How To Calculate Your Unemployment Benefits
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to calculate exactly how much money you’ll receive through unemployment benefits or for how long you’ll be able to collect those benefits unless your state has an online unemployment calculator. However, there are calculators you can use to estimate your benefits.
Each state has a different rate, and benefits vary based on your earnings record and the date you became unemployed. Once you find out whether you are eligible, you can file a claim for unemployment benefits. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, check with your state unemployment office. You don’t want to lose out on unemployment compensation because you didn’t think you would qualify.
When Can I Expect My First Payment
The soonest you will receive a payment is the third week after your benefit account is established.
- You always request your benefit payment for a previous week. You cannot request benefits for the current week or a week in the future.
- The first week you are eligible for benefits is your nonpayable week .
- For most applicants, the second week you are eligible for benefits will be the first week for which you can receive a payment.
- Most applicants request payment for their first payable week the third week after their benefit account is established.
Your first payment may be delayed beyond the third week if:
- You had earnings greater than your weekly benefit amount or worked 32 or more hours .
Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits
To be eligible for unemployment benefit payments, you must:
- Lose your job through no fault of your own OR quit for good cause related to the work or the employer.
- Make at least $2,250at least $1,500 during one of the calendar quarters, and at least $750 during the remainder of the base periodfrom an insured employer during your base period. .
- AND your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times your highest quarter wages.
- OR you must make at least 1.5 times the Taxable Wage Base during two of the four base period quarters.
- Any information provided during the claims application process may be subject to verification through computer matching programs.
- If your hours were reduced, you may also be eligible for partial unemployment benefits.
- To remain eligible:
- You must report all wages earned each week, even if you wont be paid until later. This includes tips, commissions, bonuses, show-up time, military reserve pay, board, and lodging.
- You must be able and available for work each week. This means you have no illness, injury, or personal circumstances that would keep you from working full time.
- Refusing an offer of work may result in denial of unemployment benefits.
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Guidelines For Qualifying For Unemployment Benefits
How can you tell if you’re eligible to receive unemployment? Each state sets guidelines that determine whether an individual will be eligible for unemployment benefits, and how much compensation they will receive.
There are eligibility requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits, including having worked a certain number of weeks for a certain number of hours each week. Those guidelines also determine how many weeks of benefits an unemployed worker can collect.
You’ll find detailed information regarding eligibility criteria on your state unemployment website. In most states, you will need to have worked for a certain period of time, met minimum earnings requirements, and have lost your job through no fault of your own. If your claim is denied or contested by your employer, you can appeal the denial.
But even if youve been terminated for cause, dont assume youre out of luck. You may be able to collect, depending on the circumstances, and whether or not the termination was justified. Its worth it to learn about your rightsincluding your right to appeal a denial of your unemployment claimsbefore you give up on the idea of filing for benefits.
Check with your state unemployment department for information on qualifying for and collecting unemployment compensation in your location.
Check Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits
Most Massachusetts workers are covered by the Unemployment Insurance program, although workers in some jobs may not be eligible for benefits.
When you apply for Unemployment Insurance , your initial eligibility for benefits is based on your earnings and your reason for leaving your job. Ongoing eligibility requirements include being able to work, available for work, and actively searching for work.
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How Much Will Your Benefits Be
Once you file for unemployment and are approved, you will begin to receive benefits. Your benefits might come in the form of a check, but more often they will come in the form of a debit card or direct deposit to your bank account. It varies by state. You typically can file weekly online, by email, or by phone.
The amount you receive depends on your weekly earnings prior to being laid off and on the maximum amount of unemployment benefits paid to each worker. In many states, you will be compensated for half of your earnings, up to a certain maximum.
State benefits are typically paid for a maximum of 26 weeks. Some states provide benefits for a lower number of weeks, and maximum benefits also vary based on where you live. In times of high unemployment, additional weeks of unemployment compensation may be available.
Regardless of how much you make, you never can collect more than the state maximum.
Disability Benefits For Veterans
You may be eligible for disability benefits if youre on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.
You may get social assistance payments from:
- your province or territory
- your First Nation
These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.
You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:
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You Should File Your Claim For Unemployment Benefits As Soon As You Lose Your Job But You Might Not Receive Your First Check For At Least A Few Weeks
Updated by Aaron Hotfelder, J.D., University of Missouri School of Law
If you have recently lost your job, you are probably anxious to start collecting unemployment benefits. Unemployment is available to those who are temporarily out of work, through no fault of their own. To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must file a claim with your state unemployment agency. The agency will then review your application, perhaps interview you , and make an eligibility determination. If the agency finds that you’re eligible for benefits, it will calculate your benefit amount and begin paying your benefits.
This article explains how the process generally works. However, each state follows its own procedures for handling unemployment claims. To find out how long you should expect to wait to start receiving benefits, contact your state’s unemployment agency.
Am I Still Eligible For Unemployment Benefits
Due to delays from the White House, federal extended benefits programs lapsed for an estimated 14 million people after Dec. 26, leaving many to wonder whether they would still be eligible when the new bill passed. The answer is pretty cut and dry: If you are currently unemployed whether youre a long-term or recent claimant or become unemployed in 2021, you will be eligible for extra benefits.
People who have been on unemployment during this period will get all of the additional benefits, says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. But it wont be looking back, it will be for people who continue to be unemployed in 2021.
Those who previously experienced joblessness between July 31 and Dec. 27, but have since found work will not receive any retroactive enhancements, even if theyre still reeling from the lost income.
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How To Get Unemployment Benefits Even If You Quit Your Job
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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
What is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation ?
PEUC is a federal Continued Assistance Act program that extends benefits to those who have exhausted state unemployment benefits. This benefit ended September 4, 2021.
What does it mean to exhaust state unemployment benefits?
A person exhausts state unemployment benefits when he or she either draws all available benefits that could be paid, or reaches the end of the benefit year and is not monetarily eligible for a new benefit year. Also, the individual cannot be eligible to file a claim in any other state.
How long does PEUC run?
Under the March 2020 CARES Act, the PEUC extension program allowed an additional 13 weeks of benefits and the program expired on December 26, 2020. The Continued Assistance Act extended this program to expire the week ending March 13, 2021. Under the new American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 , the PEUC program expired the week ending September 4, 2021.
How do I apply for PEUC?
Once your state unemployment claim has a zero balance, you can apply for PEUC on our website at www.GetKansasBenefits.gov.
PEUC applications can only be filed online at this time.
Do I have to apply for the extension provided under the new ARP Act?
No. If you were previously filing for PEUC benefits, you do not have to file a new application for the additional weeks. You just need to continue filing weekly claims each week you are unemployed.
How much does PEUC pay each week?
PEUC is available for the following periods:
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Receive Financial Determination Letter
Keep this letter in a safe place. It states your financial eligibility. Financial determination letters are typically received within 3 business days via your UC Dashboard communication preference.
Your financial determination letter will tell you:
- Your benefit year begin date AND the date your benefit year expires.
- Your weekly benefit amount and eligible weeks AND how they were calculated.
- How much you will receive if you are totally unemployed and how to estimate your partial benefits for part-time work.
If Youve Exhausted Your Employment Insurance Benefits
If youve exhausted your Employment Insurance benefits and are no longer eligible for EI, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria . However, if you worked while on your EI claim, you may be able to establish a new EI claim. To determine your EI eligibility, you should make an EI claim before applying for the CRB .
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Ui Back Payments With End Of Extended Unemployment Programs
With the expiry of federal enhanced unemployment benefit programs like PUA, PEUC, $300 FPUC and $100 MEUC after September 6th 2021 in all states, there have been a lot of questions around what happens with ongoing, new and past payments.
Ongoing and new weekly payments will end after September 6th . This means a cessation of federal pandemic unemployment benefits for 8 million+ jobless or under-employed claimants which that will result in them losing all current and future benefits under the PUA, PEUC or supplementary $300 FPUC programs.
States like New Jersey and California, have already stated that validated claims after a successful determination or appeal for eligible weeks would be paid out over the next several weeks. Note, per the sections below, that back payments are limited to the program extension coverage periods.
Eligible Claimants should continue to certify for benefits for weeks they are owed unemployment. Any weeks of unemployment that occurred before these programs expire can still be paid retroactively if a claimant is later determined to be eligible for those weeks of benefits. Check your state unemployment website for more details on certifying for retroactive back payments.
Handling of Retroactive Unemployment Benefits
Am I Eligible For Regular Unemployment Compensation
Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:
- Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
- Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your states requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.”
- Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own states program.
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Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provided an extra weekly benefit on top of regular unemployment insurance .
The original benefit provided an additional $600 weekly under the CARES Act, but that benefit expired on July 31, 2020. The FPUC was modified and extended as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020. Unemployed individuals receive an additional $300 per week in benefits beginning after Dec. 26, 2020.
Another extension of the FPUC was approved after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11, 2021. Under the plan, FPUC benefits expired on Sept. 6, 2021.
Keep in mind that the FPUC benefit was not payable during the gap from July 31, 2020, to Dec. 26, 2020. In other words, the $600 in extra money added to unemployment benefits ended on July 31, 2020. This means the $300 didn’t kick in until after Dec. 26, 2020.
Although FPUC payments ended on Sept. 6, 2021, eligible claimants will continue to receive regular unemployment compensation from their state if they are eligible. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, regular unemployment benefits currently replace about 38% of a worker’s wages, on average.
How Do I Apply
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.
- You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
- Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
- When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
- It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check.
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Worked In Washington State
COVID-19 update: Emergency rules have been adopted for workers and employers affected by COVID-19.
To determine if you are eligible for unemployment benefits we examine:
1. Whether you worked enough hours in your base year:
- You must have worked at least 680 hours in your base year.
- At least some wages must have been earned in Washington, unless you recently left the military and are currently located in Washington state.
2. The reason you’re unemployed or not working full time. We’ll consider whether you:
- Are on a leave of absence
- Are still working
Special Circumstances During Covid
Theres the unemployment process, and then theres the unemployment process during the coronavirus pandemic. A few rules have been temporarily tweaked and changed.
Qualifying requirements have been relaxed considerably under federal law through the end of 2020. Thanks to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, gig workers and self-employed individuals are now eligible for benefits, as well as those who only worked a short period of time before being laid off. State unemployment benefits and the PUA program are two separate programs in some states, so you might be able to apply under the PUA while your states appeal process evolves.
The majority of states have also waived their waiting periods, and some have gone so far as to waive higher unemployment tax rates for employers when numerous employees apply for benefits due to the pandemic. They might, therefore, be less likely to file appeals during this time.
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