Should I File For Unemployment Benefits?

Calendar Icon Updated February 21, 2019
Unemployment

Unemployment benefits are available through your State Unemployment Insurance Agency. The payments are designed to bridge the gap in income caused by losing your job. These benefits are only offered to individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own. If you become unemployed and it’s not your fault, applying for benefits is a worthwhile endeavor. There is no cost associated with filing for unemployment benefits.

If you were laid off from a job or lost a job due to a company closure, it is highly likely that you are eligible to receive these benefits. Benefit payments are available to anyone who has lost their job and are not based on financial need. You will not likely be eligible if you were fired or quit your job, since the actions leading to unemployment were likely your own. Common scenarios where one should consider filing an unemployment insurance claim include the following:

Evelyn worked at a manufacturing plant for over 20 years. As the economy took a downturn, her plant began to lay off workers. During the second round of lay-offs, Evelyn was let go to cut costs at the company. Since Evelyn’s unemployment was due to factors outside her control, she is likely eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Trevor started working for a new startup company when he graduated from college. After just over 6 months the company went under and closed its doors. Since Trevor’s position is no longer available, he is likely eligible to receive unemployment benefit payments.

Amber and her husband both work and each make enough money to fully cover their family’s expenses. The owners of Amber’s company decide to relocate to another state and Amber becomes unemployed. Even though Amber’s household income remains sufficient, she is likely eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Hundreds of eligible unemployment claims go unfiled each year. Filing is free, benefits are not based on need, and checks can be stopped at any time. If you lost your job, there is no reason to not claim unemployment benefits, which can help pay rent or put food on the table, while you search for another job. Another reason not to forgo unemployment benefits is the support it can provide while finding another suitable job in your field. Instead of being forced to take a job out of financial need, unemployment benefits can bridge that income gap, leaving you a longer window to your next opportunity.

Eligibility Team

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