Unemployment FAQ

Your Questions Answered on Unemployment Insurance and Benefits Filing

What is an unemployment extension?

When you file for unemployment with your state office you qualify typically for a benefit period, usually 26 weeks. But when the national and/or state economies are in real dire straits, as many are now, the federal government and/or the state government may extend unemployment benefits for another period of time. This may be interchangeably called, “employment benefits extension” or “emergency unemployment benefits extension.”

Do I receive my unemployment benefits via check?

Nowadays most states pay eligible unemployment benefits recipients with a specially issued debit card. Others may also offer direct deposit of benefits to your savings or checking account.

Can I collect unemployment?

Unemployment benefits are available to you if you were separated from your job “through no fault of your own,” meaning you were laid-off. If you’ve been fired or you quit your job and can prove the separation was warranted due to adverse job conditions (this doesn’t include just being a disgruntled employee, you must have a real argument) you could qualify to receive unemployment in an appeal.

Where is my state unemployment office?

Your state unemployment office is probably located in a number of areas of the state making it accessible to a wide number of people. Check out our state unemployment office guide for locations and contact information.

How do I find the phone number for my state unemployment office?

You can find the phone number on your state unemployment office website or in the government pages of your phone book.

What was the unemployment rate during the Great Depression?

During the depths of Great Depression, unemployment rose to 25% (1). Unemployment spiked again—to 19%-- during a recession in the late 30s. (2)

How long can I collect unemployment?

That depends. You can generally continue to collect unemployment as long as you’re unemployed, but maintain your eligibility status. You may also continue to collect partial benefits if you become employed part-time. At some point unemployment benefits end, but the federal and state governments can extend unemployment benefits, which skews the question of “how long.” Check with your state unemployment office for specifics on your benefits claim.

Can I work part time and still collect unemployment benefits?

Yes. However your benefits amount will be adjusted accordingly. To maintain weekly benefits eligibility you must report any and all earnings for that particular pay period.

What is unemployment insurance?

Unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) are federal-state programs that provide temporary relief to workers displaced from their jobs due to unexpected economic circumstances and even disaster. UI benefits are a fraction of your former income and are intended as a short-term crutch, not as long-term income.

Where is unemployment the worst?

Currently, for first quarter 2009 the top 5 states beginning to crumble under the weight of unemployment demands include Michigan, Rhode Island, South Carolina, California, and Nevada. Here unemployment rates have risen to between 9 and 11%. But the numbers and rates can change based on a medley of factors.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Compensation from before World War I through the Great Depression

2 Wikipedia, Great Depression

Maybe We Can Help: 

If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum


# RJH 2010-09-22 09:33
Q1 -- If you are unemployed for 8 weeks and you finally get an appeal hearing and that hearing officer is sick and now they have to reschedule which will be another two weeks away, and you have no money, what options do you hve ?

Q2 -- If you have been unemployed for 8 weeks now and you are waiting on your hearing to prove your side and you get a job offer and go back to work, do you still get those back weeks that you filed for--prior to going back to work ?
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# RJH 2010-09-22 09:36
Q1 --What options do you have if you are in dire straits and have been unemployed for 8 weeks now and your appeal hearing officer is out sick and now they have to reschedule and you have to wait another couple of weeks or so ?
Q2 -- What if you are unemployed for 8 weeks and you filed as you are supposed to do for those 8 weeks and are waiting, and you get a job offer and go back to work - does unemployed still have to pay you for the weeks that you were unemployed and that you filed on ?
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# b k 2010-09-22 13:04
Hi, I know you can get benefits if you work part time and and don't excede
amounts determined. I was just hired part
time and have been trying to inquire with
kewes about keeping status until hired full time. i'll be able to work 2-5 weeks
then maybe off 2-4 weeks. the weeks i work i wont need compensation but i will the weeks i'm not earning. is there anything i need to do to keep this in motion in reporting if status still applies?
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# Michael 2011-01-27 17:35
I work as a federally licensed aircraft mechanic. I recently had my license suspended for 60 days by the FAA. In order to receive the Obama Cobra discount, can I file for unemployment/temporary unemployment? The company I work for claims that I am on personal leave though I never signed any type of paperwork requesting personal leave.
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