With unemployment abound, I have noticed an increase in inquiries regarding information about benefits and other resources for aid. There are a few topics that I’d like to discuss on unemployment, so I am creating a series of posts to cover each topic. In this post, I provide some general information about unemployment benefits and where you can find additional information. In future posts, I will discuss some of the benefits to unemployment and ways some families are preparing for such an unfortunate event.
Unemployment benefits are based on a duality of federal and state law. The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance program provides eligible unemployed workers with financial assistance in the unfortunate event of forced unemployment. Your individual state defines ‘unemployment,’ determines your eligibility, and determines how much money you will get and for how long.
The Federal Department of Labor provides general information about the Unemployment Insurance Program and provides a link to state unemployment insurance websites. If you would like to receive unemployment benefits, start with your state’s program website.
DC Unemployment Insurance
Since I am located in Washington, D.C., I will use Washington, D.C.’s unemployment insurance program to demonstrate the type of eligibility criteria that may be required in a given state or locale. According to the DC Department of Employment Service (DOES)’s website:
1. You must meet the following wage requirements:
· You must have wages in at least two quarters of the base period**
· You must have at least $1,300 in wages in one quarter of the base period**
· You must have at least $1,950 in wages for the entire base period**
· Your total base period wages must be at least one-and-a-half times the wages in your highest quarter, or be within $70 of that amount.
**Depending on when you file your claim for unemployment benefits, the base period is the 12-month period ending on the day specified by the DC DOES
2. You must also meet the following requirements:
· You must be unemployed through no fault of your own.
· You must be available for work. This means that you must be ready and willing to accept work considered suitable for you because of your past training, education, or experience.
· You must be physically able to work. You cannot collect benefits while you are sick, injured, or disabled.
· You must make at least two job contacts each week.
· You must make a personal and continuing effort each week to attain gainful employment, using methods that are customary for your occupation. (You may be asked by your Employment Services Center to demonstrate your work search activities, so you should keep a record of such efforts.)
Emergency Unemployment Compensation 08 (EUC08)
The EUC08 program is a federally-funded program providing payments to certain eligible unemployed workers that have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. Unemployed workers that are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits in DC, another state, the federal gov’t, or Canada may be eligible for EUC08. New applications for EUC0 will not be accepted after March 28, 2009. More information about EUC08 can be found here.
Is there anything I am missing? Are there other benefits available for unemployed workers?
MAKE MONEY MONDAYS is usually a forum to discuss ways in which you can create additional sources of income. In light of the current employment environment, however, I am using this forum to write a series of posts focussing on unemployment issues. If you have any questions or would like to make a contribution, please share your comments in the comments section. Thanks.