After You Lost Your Job
Potential Income from Unemployment Benefits (U.S.A.)
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The Pages that will Help You Handle the Loss of Your Job
Lost the Job: The First Steps to Recovery

After You Lost the Job: Assessing your Financial Position

Self Assessment of your Abilities when you are looking for a new Job

Lost your Job:
How do I find a new one? -
Some Rules to Help you
Lost the Job: What income (unemployment benefit) can I expect
Lost the Job: Make an Expenditure Budget

Lost the Job: Saving your Home - A Survival Guide when Foreclosure Looms

Lost the Job: Some Tips for coping with a Job Loss and avoiding Depression

Lost the Job: What will further Education bring me?

How to write a Resume
How to master an Interview

The Ten Rules you should not break, when looking for a Job

HR Evaluation and Testing
How to start a successful Business I: Some Guidelines

How to start a Business II: The Business Planning Process

How to Start a Business III: Creating an Internet Business Presence



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Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the U.S.A.

Unless, you have made some private insurance, you will rely on the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program to provides unemployment benefits. These benefits can be obtained by eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law. The unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.

Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law. Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established. In the majority of States, benefit funding is based solely on a tax imposed on employers. (Three (3) States require minimal employee contributions.)

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

The Basis for Unemployment Benefits and the Length of Payments

In general, benefits are based on a percentage of an individual's earnings over a recent 52-week period - up to a State maximum amount.
Benefits can be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks in most States (extended by another 13 to 26 weeks in some areas)
Additional weeks of benefits may be available during times of high unemployment. Some States provide additional benefits for specific purposes. Extended Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. The basic Extended Benefits program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits, when a State is experiencing high unemployment. Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (26 weeks maximum) of Extended Benefits during periods of extremely high unemployment
Benefits are subject to Federal income taxes and must be reported on your Federal income tax return. You may elect to have the tax withheld by the State Unemployment Insurance agency.


You must meet the State requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a "base period". (In most States, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the time that your claim is filed.) You must be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own (determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirments of State law.

Meanwhile, because of the high rate of unemployment Congress has extended benefits for an additional 26 weeks and in in some states with high unemployment for an additional 13 weeks!

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Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefits by State

Alabama - $235 Hawaii — $523 Michigan — $362 North Carolina — $476 Texas — $378
Alaska — $320 Idaho — $364 Minnesota — $538 North Dakota — $385 Utah — $427
Arizona — $240 Illinois — $511 Mississippi — $210 Ohio — $493 Vermont — $409
Arkansas — $409 Indiana — $390 Missouri — $320 Oklahoma — $392 Virginia _$363
California — $450 Iowa — $426 Montana — $386 Oregon — $463 Virgin Islands — $454
Colorado — $455 Kansas — $407 Nebraska — $298 Pennsylvania — $547 Washington — $515
Connecticut — $576 Kentucky — $415 Nevada — $362 Puerto Rico — $133 West Virginia — $408
Delaware — $330 Louisiana — $258 New Hampshire — $427 Rhode Island — $641 Wisconsin — $355
District of Columbia — $359 Maine — $496 New Jersey — $560 South Carolina — $326 Wyoming — $387
Florida — $275 Maryland — $380 New Mexico — $455 South Dakota — $285 Virgin Islands - $454
Georgia — $320 Massachusetts — $628 New York — $405 Tennessee — $275  

All figures are as of Jan. 1, 2013, and may have changed since then.
(2013 figures might be, depending on the State, marginally higher!).

In reporting to the Department of Labor, these states included allowances for dependents in their calculations.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

How to File a Claim

You should contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. In some States, you can now file a claim by telephone or over the Internet. (Click on the Link)

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.

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 UI agency, where you now live, can provide information about how to file your claim with other states. You may click on the link above to find contact information for all states.

It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check. Some States require a one-week waiting period; therefore, in those States, the second week claimed is the first week of payment, if you are otherwise eligible.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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