How To Claim Your Unemployment Benefits
So you lost your job and you are scrambling to regain financial security.
Before you apply to one more dead-end job out of sheer desperation or eat one more Cup O Noodles for dinner, you should consider applying for unemployment insurance.
Many people dont really know what unemployment insurance is or feel intimidated by the application process.
Thats why they miss out on funds that could be giving them financial peace-of-mind during a difficult time.
And the less you worry about money and obsess over paying your bills, the more youll feel secure and be able to make smart career decisions.
The biggest misconception out there is that unemployment is an entitlement or a form of welfare, but its called unemployment insurance for a reason.
Its money set aside by your employer in the form of a payroll tax, federally mandated by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act of 1939, as insurance against the need for welfare relief.
In some states, an employers mandatory payments increase when a worker is laid off and approved for benefits.
So the legislation acts as a way to discourage employers to frequently lay off their employees.
Or seen another way, its an incentive to offer generous severance packages to ease the transition from one job to the next so that ex-employees dont need to file for unemployment.
The whole idea of unemployment insurance is to keep workers independent by preserving their purchasing power and thereby stabilize and stimulate the economy during recessions.
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
If you are eligible for a federal tax refund and dont file a return, then your refund will go unclaimed. Even if you aren’t required to file a return, it might benefit you to file if:
Federal taxes were withheld from your pay
You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
You may not have filed a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement. But you can still file a return within three years of the filing deadline to get your refund.
Proof Of Prospective Self
To prove prospective self-employment, send us one of the following:
- Property titles or deeds for the place of business
- Rental agreement or letter from a property owner showing you planned to open a business at the time of the disaster
- Other evidence that you were preparing to open a business, such as business loan documents, business-related receipts, advertising, state tax registration, business registration, Assumed Name Certificate, etc.
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Undelivered Federal Tax Refund Checks
Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service , your refund check may be returned to the IRS.
If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS’Wheres My Refund page. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.
You can also to check on the status of your refund. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But, you can avoid waiting by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
When Could An Extension Be Confirmed
The Biden Administration has now confirmed that they wont push at a federal level or via executive order to extend enhanced unemployment programs past the September 6th expiration date.
They are instead encouraging states with high unemployment or hit hard by COVID-19 Delta to use existing ARPA stimulus funding to extend and expand traditional state unemployment benefits for as long as needed. You can see more on this in this video.
States will have to provide guidance on expanded benefits or move to state extended benefit programs prior to early September to ensure a continuation of benefits. So stay tuned as updates come out and I will update on state-by-state basis.
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Things To Know About Unemployment Benefits Under The Cares Act
Editor’s note: This information is no longer up to date. Find more recent guidance on unemployment insurance benefits at .
Expanded unemployment insurance benefits are now available to millions of Americans who are out of work for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This includes people who are not ordinarily eligible, such as self-employed, independent contractor, and gig workers.
Here are answers to four frequently asked questions about how these benefits work:
How many weeks of regular unemployment insurance am I entitled to?
How many weeks you can receive benefits depends on state law. Find info on your state program here. It is important to file for benefits in the state where you last worked because doing so helps determine your eligibility for any additional federal benefits. However, before you can receive benefits, you must be found to be eligible based on the reasons you are unemployed. This analysis varies by state, so, again, it is important to file your claim in the state where you last worked.
Do I qualify for the additional $600 in federal benefits?
What happens after I exhaust my regular state benefits?
What if I dont qualify for regular unemployment benefits, or if I have exhausted the federal benefits?
You may be covered if one of these reasons, among others, applies:
Replace Lost Destroyed Or Stale
Checks and money orders often go unclaimed after they are lost or destroyed, returned by the post office as undeliverable, or because the payee simply forgets to present them for payment.
Failure to cash or deposit a check or money order does not terminate your right to the funds and the issuers responsibility to pay. This is generally true even if a check specifies a void-after date. Checks that are not negotiated over an extended period are considered dormant, and thereafter come under the purview of government consumer protection statutes.
If you never received a check you can obtain a replacement. If you did receive a check, but for one reason or another never presented it for payment or deposited it to your bank account, you are still entitled to payment. Refunds and benefit checks issued by agencies of the federal government are subject to special rules.
Note even forgotten checks drawn on banks that have closed does not mean the unclaimed money is lost forever you may still be entitled to collect funds from government regulators.
For an unclaimed check search and to obtain assistance with refund or replacement complete the form below:
U.S. Federal Government Unclaimed
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What If I Have A Claim Balance Or Weeks Remaining After September When 2021 Unemployment Benefit Extensions For Pua Peuc And $300 Weekly Boost End
With federal unemployment benefits expiring after the week ending September 4th in states that didnt end pandemic benefits early, many are asking what will happen to their active claim balance if they have weeks left after the expiry date.
The answer unfortunately is that active balances under the PUA and PEUC programs will expire or go unused without any grace period unless another extension to the enhanced unemployment benefit program is funded at a federal or state level. At this stage the Biden administration is not extending benefits at a federal level and leaving this decision to state leaders.
This is despite many claimants, who started or continued claims this year under one or more of the extended federal unemployment programs, having remaining weeks come September 6th . Contacting your state unemployment agency for remaining balances wont be of much help either as the sudden end of benefit payments is per federal law as stated in DOL guidelines.
Note that PEUC claimants may also be able to move to a states extended benefits program, if available. Further, per guidance from the Biden administration, states can use APRA COVID relief funds to expand coverage of traditional state unemployment programs.
Covered in this Article:
If Your Hours Were Reduced Due To Covid
Some states allow you to apply for unemployment benefits if your hours have been significantly reduced.
In these cases, you can apply for benefits that will help make up the difference between your lost hours and your current workload.
Keep in mind, like with all unemployment benefits, it hardly ever amounts to the income you were making before. But it will provide a bit of relief to those who need it.
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I Already Filed My Application But Havent Received The Benefit Yet How Can I Check The Status Of My Sss Unemployment Benefit
SSS wont send you a notification indicating that the money has been sent to your account. What you can do is wait for 5 to 10 days for the money to reflect in your bank account. You may also check your My.SSS account to see if the unemployment benefit has already been processed and delivered. Otherwise, you may contact SSS via email , hotline , call center , or any of their social media channels.
How Do I Check If I Have Unclaimed Uif
How do I check if I have an unclaimed benefit? There are various ways to find out if you have an unclaimed benefit due: Visit the FSCA website, which has a built-in search engine to check if you are owed any benefits. Visit the Liberty website and add your or your relatives details for a quick and easy check.
The Insured Unemployment Rate And Ui Eligibility
State governments have some latitude to extend EB. UI participants may collect additional weeks of benefits through EB when the states 13-week insured unemployment rate is above 5 percent and is at least 120 percent of the average in the prior two years. In addition to that mandatory trigger, states may adopt an optional trigger based on its IUR: EB can trigger on it those states where the IUR is above 6 percent without a lookback requirement. The second optional measure is based on the state-wide unemployment rate states that adopt this optional trigger allow EB to turn on when the TUR is above 6.5 percent and is at least 10 percent higher than either of the prior two years.
Figure 1 is a data interactive that shows the 13-week average IURs for states . The dotted line is at the 5 percent line . The interactive shows whether states have EB triggered on, including for those states that adopted the TUR trigger, as of November 29. In every state except for South Dakota, EB was triggered on for some part of 2020. In 30 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, EB is still on.
Search For Money From Employers
Unpaid Wages The Department of Labor may recover back wages for you if your employer broke labor laws. If you think you may be owed back wages from your employer:
Search DOLs database of workers who have money waiting to be claimed. DOL holds unpaid wages for up to three years.
Pensions from Former Employers Search for unclaimed pensions from companies that either:
Went out of business or
Ended a defined pension plan
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What You Need To Know
Update 12/29/20: The federal government has extended the federal unemployment benefit programs available through the CARES Act for an additional 11 weeks. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will be available through March 14, 2021, with qualified claimants benefits fully phasing out by April 5, 2021. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits will resume with $300 weekly payments until March 14, 2021.
To receive these extended federal benefits, continue to certify weekly while unemployed. To allow your fellow New Yorkers to reach NYS DOL representatives about regular matters, please do not call to inquire about the federal program extensions at this time. As we receive additional guidance on the federal programs from US DOL, we will provide updates on our website, social media platforms, and directly via emails and texts.
- Waiting weeks for unemployment benefits have been waived during this crisis. If youve seen the term waiting week on your payment history, it is a relic of our existing system and does NOT impact your benefits.
- To collect regular unemployment insurance benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work. We understand that many of you are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of NYS on PAUSE. If you would otherwise be able to work, you should answer YES in order to receive your benefits.
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How Much Does The United States Pay In Unemployment Benefits
Total unemployment benefits paid in the U.S. 2020-2021 Published by Statista Research Department, May 6, 2021 In March 2021, 5.36 billion U.S. dollars were paid out in unemployment benefits in the United States. This is an increase from March 2020, when 3.89 billion U.S. dollars were paid in unemployment benefits.
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How Much Will I Get
We cannot tell you exactly how much you will receive without having processed your application. However, we can tell you that the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. As of January 1, 2018, the maximum insurable earnings amount is $51,700. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $547 per week.
Note: The basic rate and the maximum insurable earnings amounts are reviewed each year. For more information on the most recent rates and amounts, visit the Service Canada website.
Need more information on how benefits are calculated? See Section 3.
If Youve Lost Your Job Due To Covid
If you are a W-2 employee that was laid off from your job due to coronavirus closures, you should go to the department of labor unemployment website for your state and immediately file for unemployment benefits.
Some states may have a specific page set up for COVID-19, where you can read about relief packages and other benefits as they become available.
Be sure to read about the requirements, financial maximum, and length of benefits so that youre aware of what you will be receiving should you be approved.
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How Do You Find Unclaimed Money At Home
You can look for lost money on the internet using the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website, which will direct you to searchable state and federal databases. If you have lost some money around the house or while you were running errands, you may not know where to start looking.
Received A Notice Of Overpayment And Can’t Afford To Pay All This Back At Once Can I Make Payments
Yes, to talk to someone about a repayment agreement, call 317-233-4838 or 317-233-4839.
Where do I send my repayment of unemployment benefits overpayment?
Send any repayment of overpayment benefits to:
Department of Workforce Development
Remember to include your Social Security Number on your check or money order.
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Freelance Workers And Covid
Freelance workers, unfortunately, do not have access to unemployment benefits like W-2 workers. However, the government is working on a stimulus package that might help.
Additionally, check with the Disaster Unemployment Assistance organization, who can sometimes help freelancers gain access to much-needed help.
If You Need Help Look Local
Because the process of applying for unemployment insurance is incredibly localized and dependent on where you live, look for resources from local groups that are available to help.
For example, Working America has spearheaded a campaign in Philadelphia to increase utilization of unemployment benefits among Black workers. The group helps individuals through the application process to make sure anyone eligible receives benefits.
Also consider joining a state-specific unemployment Facebook group where people who have gone through the process can help answer questions and provide guidance. You may also get through to someone more easily by calling an unemployment office, rather than reaching out online.
As a last resort, some have found success in reaching out to their state or local representatives for assistance.
Here are state-specific sites where you can find more unemployment resources:
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Can Furloughed Workers Receive Unemployment Benefits
Yes. Furloughed workers those put on mandatory unpaid leave â are encouraged to apply for Florida unemployment benefits. If your hours were reduced or you were put on a zero-hour schedule, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Even if your employer says you wonât qualify, you should apply anyways. Eligibility is based on your earnings in a prior week, not the number of hours you worked. Once you apply for benefits, the Reemployment Assistance team will review your information and determine your eligibility.
How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits
To apply for unemployment benefits, go to Uplink CSS, the online system for unemployment insurance claims or if you don’t have internet access, contact your nearest full service WorkOne Career Center as soon as you become unemployed. You will be required to report your last employer’s name, mailing address, phone number & dates of employment as well as your address, social security number & phone number.
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A Year Of Unemployment Benefits
However, many workers may be eligible for up to roughly a year of benefits due to extra aid offered during the coronavirus recession.
For example, the CARES Act coronavirus relief law offered extra weeks of benefits, on a temporary basis, to workers who exhaust their state’s typical allotment.
The law funds an additional 13 weeks of benefits for unemployment recipients. However, this extension, called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, expires after December, meaning those 13 weeks won’t carry into the new year without intervention from federal lawmakers.
In addition to those PEUC benefits, states have rules that offer “extended benefits” during periods of high unemployment in their state. Most states are currently offering these additional benefits and generally pay up to 13 extra weeks.
Unlike the 13 extra weeks offered through the CARES Act, which are unavailable past the end of the calendar year, the extra weeks offered via “extended benefits” can bleed into 2021 if a person remains unemployed.
However, states may stop offering these extra weeks at any time if the unemployment rate continues to improve.