Continued Unemployment Claims
Staying Eligible for Benefits
Unemployment benefits filing is an ongoing and often confusing process. Most state governments do a better job than they did a few years ago clarifying the claims process. You’ll find fairly navigable state unemployment websites—usually the State Department of Labor or Workforce Development. And in many instances the process is more streamlined thanks to online claims filing or filing by phone. But the unemployment benefits process involves the following hoops:
- Filing an initial application or unemployment claim
- Filing weekly continued unemployment claims
Have Your Benefits Run Out?
Click this link to find out how to get an unemployment extension:
Ongoing Verification of Your Unemployment Status
Each state unemployment office establishes its own procedures for unemployment benefits according to guidelines laid out by the federal government.
You only receive weekly or bi-weekly unemployment income when you continue to qualify for benefits and apply for those benefits. You don’t automatically receive jobless pay from week to week. You must take action to make this happen.
A key to maintaining continued unemployment eligibility is making sure you register for work at your state’s Workforce Department. Here you will file applications, search for jobs, be present for scheduled interviews and available for work when jobs opportunities are presented to you.
Filing a Weekly or Bi-Weekly Continued Unemployment Claim
As a condition of your continued unemployment you are required to file a weekly claim before you can receive any income. This weekly application verifies your continued eligibility for unemployment benefits:
- Verification of your identity
- Verification of full unemployment or partial unemployment
- Verification of any hours worked
- Verification of any money earned
- Verification that you’ve been available for work, sought work and continue to be able to work.
Again, in many states you can submit this information over the phone or through online claims forms.
You Can Work Part-Time and Still Receive Benefits
A rising number of unemployed workers is opting to take part-time jobs when no full-time are available. If you are one of them this doesn’t mean you are disqualified from receiving unemployment pay. Depending upon how many hours you work and the compensation you receive, expect that your weekly benefits will be adjusted accordingly.
How Long Can You Collect Unemployment Pay?
Regular unemployment benefits usually last 26 weeks. After that the federal government and state governments can enact Extended Benefits any number of times based on the condition of the economy. Right now the unemployment rate is cataclysmic in many states and both federal and state governments have taken additional steps to enact extended unemployment programs.
Compensation: A Fraction of What You Earned
What’s imperative to understand is that unemployment compensation does not duplicate the income you earned at your job. Unemployment insurance was created to be a “temporary” fix for displaced workers and not a long-term solution. Truth is your unemployment pay will be a fraction of what you formerly earned and based on a percentage of your weekly earnings over the last year or so.