Take Advantage Of Unemployment If Youre Eligible
No one likes losing a job, but dont think of unemployment insurance as a crutch or something to be embarrassed about. The unemployment insurance system exists as a backstop for people to use when they need it, and its needed by people now more than ever.
So if youve lost your job or arent working as many hours as before, get an unemployment claim filed as quickly as you can and get a temporary income stream flowing back into your household.
Having money issues due to the coronavirus pandemic? Read CNN Underscoreds previous stories in this series:
Where Do I File For Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.
Please see the map and list below to find the contact information for your state in order to apply for Unemployment Benefits.
Forgotten Password Or User Id
If you forget your password or User ID, the Logon page has quick links for you to retrieve your User ID or reset your password.
To reset your password, you will need to answer security questions that you set up when you created your User ID. Keep your answers to the security questions private, just like your password.
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Budget For Less Than Your Old Paycheck
Not only does each state have its own unemployment rules, each state also pays out a different amount for unemployment.
In many states, youll get roughly half of what you earned at your job each week for up to 26 weeks. But other states have a different formula thats less generous, so the overall average replacement rate is closer to 40%. And in some states, the benefits period can be as short as 12 weeks.
But as part of the same CARES Act that expanded eligibility, Congress also added an additional 13 weeks of unemployment funding. So right now, depending on your state, you might be eligible for up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Also, each state has a cap, or maximum amount, you can get, and that maximum amount varies significantly depending on where you live. According to figures provided by Evermore, the lowest is $235 in Mississippi, and the highest is in Massachusetts at $1,192, including additional dependent allowances.
So if you were lucky enough to have a well-paying job, youll probably get a lot less than half of your previous salary each week from your unemployment claim.
How Much Will My Florida Unemployment Benefits Pay
The weekly payment amount you receive during unemployment will vary from person to person. The only way to be sure of your benefit amount is to submit a claim.
The state determines your weekly benefit payments based on your previous earnings during employment. In 2020, you can receive a maximum of $275 per week for 12 weeks. You are entitled to a maximum benefit amount of $3,300.
You will continue to receive Reemployment Assistance weekly for up to 12 weeks. When you secure a job, the payments will stop. However, working part-time or temporarily does not necessarily end the benefits.
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Dont Count On Extra Help From The Federal Government
As part of the CARES Act, Congress originally provided an extra $600 per week that was added on top of state unemployment benefits. However, this $600 federal add-on expired at the end of July, and Congress and the White House havent been able to agree on an extension.
While negotiations are still ongoing for a second stimulus plan, even if one finally passes, there are no guarantees that itll include another federal addition to unemployment. So when youre budgeting your expenses, plan on only having access to what your state provides. Then if a federal addition is eventually passed into law, itll be icing on the cake.
What You Need For Apply For Unemployment Benefits
To apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you need to provide personal information including your Social Security number, birth date, home address, email address , and phone number.
You also need information about your employment history from the last 15 months, including:
- Names of all employers, plus addresses and phone numbers
- Reasons for leaving those jobs
- Work start and end dates
- Recall date
You may need additional information in certain situations:
- If you are not a U.S. citizen your Alien Registration number
- If you have children their birth dates and Social Security numbers
- If youre in a union your union name and local number
- If you were in the military your DD-214 Member 4 form. If you dont have it, you can request your DD-214 online.
- If you worked for the federal government your SF8 form
If youre a non-U.S. citizen applying for UI benefits, DUA must verify that you are legally authorized to work in the United States. Non-English speakers can apply for UI in their own languages on DUA’s foreign language application site.
If you’re not sure that UI is right for you, you can check your eligibility or review our overview of unemployment assistance benefit programs.
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Protect Yourself From Scams
IWD does not ask for unemployment insurance overpayments to be paid by credit card or gift cards. Individuals who have received an unemployment insurance overpayment will be notified by mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
In addition, IWD does not request sensitive account information through email communications. Individuals filing for unemployment insurance benefits will receive pertinent information regarding their account through the U.S. Postal Service.
Important Tips To Ensure Your Application Can Be Processed Timely
Unfortunately, identity theft is a common occurrence. Identity thieves sometimes use stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits.
To verify your identity, we review your answers to ALL questions. We also verify the information you provide using other data sources. It is very important to read each question carefully and to give an accurate, complete response. Incorrect or incomplete information will result in delays in payments .
Here are some tips:
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I Am An Independent Contractor Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits Under The Cares Act
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, depending on your personal circumstances and how your state chooses to implement the CARES Act. States are permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation. To qualify for PUA benefits, you must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020. The amount of benefits paid out will vary by state and are calculated based on the weekly benefit amounts provided under a states unemployment insurance laws. Under the CARES Act, the WBA may be supplemented by the additional unemployment assistance provided under the Act.
Prepare For Your Claim
To apply for unemployment benefits, you will need:
- Your Social Security number
- FEIN number
- If you donât have a FEIN, use employer details from paystub
Some workers will need to provide additional information:
- Non-U.S. citizens must provide their Alien Registration Number or work authorization form
- Military employees must provide their DD-214 Member copy 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8
- Federal employees must provide SF 8 or SF 50
- Union members must provide the unionâs name, hall number and phone number
If you want to use direct deposit, you must provide your bank account number and routing number. You can also request a Reemployment Assistance debit card.
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What Can The Claimant Do If He Or She Believes A Job Offer Is Not For Suitable Employment
If a state raises an issue of failure to accept suitable employment, the state unemployment insurance agency must provide the claimant with an opportunity to provide his or her side of the story and to rebut any evidence provided to the state before making a final determination.
Most state laws allow for refusal of suitable employment for good cause, which is defined in state law. Criteria for good cause may include, but are not limited to, the degree of risk to an individuals health, safety, and morals the individuals physical fitness, prior training, experience, and earnings the length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in a customary occupation and the distance of the available work from the individuals residence.
Claimants may file an appeal if they disagree with a states determination regarding suitable work. Please contact your state unemployment insurance agency for additional information.
One Of My Workers Quit Because He Said He Would Prefer To Receive The Unemployment Compensation Benefits Under The Cares Act Is He Eligible For Unemployment If Not What Can I Do
No, typically that employee would not be eligible for regular unemployment compensation or PUA. Eligibility for regular unemployment compensation varies by state but generally does not include those who voluntarily leave employment. Similarly, to receive PUA, an individual must be ineligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law, or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, and satisfy one of the eligibility criteria enumerated in the CARES Act, as explained in Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 16-20. There are multiple qualifying circumstances related to COVID-19 that can make an individual eligible for PUA, including if the individual quits his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19. Quitting to access unemployment benefits is not one of them. Individuals who quit their jobs to access higher benefits, and are untruthful in their UI application about their reason for quitting, will be considered to have committed fraud.
If desired, employers can contest unemployment insurance claims through their state unemployment insurance agencys process.
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Learn About The Childrens Health Insurance Program
Is my child eligible for CHIP?
CHIP qualifications are different in every state. In most cases, they depend on income.
How do I apply for CHIP benefits?
You have two ways to apply for CHIP:
Fill out an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
What else do I need to know about CHIP?
You can apply for and enroll in Medicaid or CHIP anytime during the year.
Unemployment Insurance Taxes And 1099
Unemployment insurance benefits are subject to federal and state income tax. If you collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2020, you will need the I.R.S. 1099-G tax form to complete your 2020 federal and state tax returns. Please note that when you completed your initial claim application, you chose whether to have any taxes withheld from your weekly benefit amount. If you chose not to withhold any taxes, then you will be required to pay the appropriate taxes on the total benefits received when you pay your taxes.
Marylandâs Division of Unemployment Insurance has issued a 1099-G tax form to all claimants that received unemployment insurance benefits during the calendar year 2020 based on the delivery preference chosen in their BEACON portal.
All claimants will be able to immediately access their 1099-G tax form by visiting their BEACON portal and selecting Correspondences from âYour Options.â Select âSearchâ to display all Correspondences and select â1099â to view. If you selected the U.S. Mail as your preferred method of delivery, then you will also receive a 1099-G tax form in the mail.
To learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit, find locations offering FREE tax preparation through the CASH Campaign of Maryland, get financial help with the cost of health coverage through the Maryland Health Connection, and more, please visit our website. To learn more about the 1099-G tax form, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.
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Unemployment Insurance Relief During Covid
The CARES Act gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. Please contact your states unemployment insurance office at the website or phone number provided below to learn more about the availability of these benefits where you live.
If Youre Moving To Universal Credit From Income
If your income-based JSA claim is ending because youre making a new claim for Universal Credit, youll automatically continue to get the amount of JSA you currently receive, as long as youre still eligible. Youll normally get this for 2 weeks, starting from the date of your new claim.
The Department for Work and Pensions will write to you telling you how this works.
You do not need to pay this money back, and it will not affect the amount of Universal Credit you get.
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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
States provide benefits for up to 26 weeks , but what if you exhaust your unemployment benefits?
Under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, you were eligible for an extra 13 weeks of UI under the CARES Act. However, you had to be “able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work.” States were required to offer flexibility to applicants in meeting PEUC eligibility requirements related to “actively seeking work” if an applicant’s ability to find work was affected by COVID-19.
That 13-week period was extended to 24 weeks when the CAA was signed in December 2020. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan added an additional 29 weeks for a total of 53 weeks for the PEUC program. The PEUC program expired on Sept. 6, 2021.
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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Community Services Block Grant Program
The Community Services Block Grant Program is designed to help members of low-income households be self-sufficient. The funds are distributed by local governments and non-profit agencies called Community Action Agencies.
These funds are used in a variety of ways to combat poverty, including:
- Providing emergency health, food, housing, day care, and transportation assistance
- Housing counseling
- Nutrition programs and federal surplus food distribution
- Community gardening projects
Appeal A Denial Of Benefits
If you were denied unemployment benefits, you may file an appeal online. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity refers to those seeking benefits as Claimants. Claimants, employers, and authorized representatives may appeal a decision that was not made in their favor.
You must wait until after a determination is mailed or delivered to file an appeal. The determination will also contain instructions on how to file your appeal after a denial of benefits.
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Submit An Application By Automated Phone
You can apply by phone on Fridays, between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm.
At the end of the call, you will be transferred to a Customer Service Representative to complete your application.
Florida Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
To qualify for Florida unemployment benefits, you must meet several criteria:
- You must have lost your job through no fault of your own. You wonât qualify if you quit for personal reasons or were terminated for malicious misconduct. Poor job performance does not disqualify you.
- You must be totally or partially unemployed. Partially unemployed means your hours were reduced or youâre a part-time worker who canât find additional work.
- You must have earned at least $3,400 before taxes in what is called the “base period,” which is the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim.
- You must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. This includes being able to get to a job and have child care if necessary.
The best way to find out if you are eligible is to apply online. If you need help applying or determining your eligibility, contact your local CareerSource Florida center.
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