If you are a formerly employed US citizens that is recently unemployed through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive benefits through your state’s Unemployment Insurance, or UI program. UI programs across the nation are run through a joint effort between federal and state governments to provide temporary benefits to jobless individuals while they search for a new career.
While UI benefits are not meant to be a long-term solution for your financial matters, they are meant to supplement lost wages until you secure a new job. For this reason, each individual UI benefit case is different, based on the applicant’s state of residence and his or her salary prior to losing a previous job.
Benefit amounts typically range between half of your previous earnings and half of the state average salary earnings. Each state has specific caps on the amount of UI benefits that can be paid per week. The following is a list of the maximum weekly payments allowed for UI benefits by state (rates current as of September 2014):
Each state has a separate UI benefits program that is regulated by the federal Department of Labor, but run by the state itself. To find out more about potential unemployment benefits and filing an unemployment claim, contact the Unemployment Insurance agency of the former employee’s state. The UI agency can also help residents check their continued eligibility, inquire about incorrect payments or get more information on an eligibility disqualification. Claimants should make sure they meet the minimum requirements for both wages earned and length of time worked (your base period) before filing a UI benefit claim.
U.S. states draw funding for Unemployment Insurance from taxes imposed on employers. Currently, a majority of states have an unemployment benefit payment maximum time limit of 26 weeks. Weeks may be added to the overall benefit time limit during times of high unemployment through the government’s extended UI benefits program. Contact a local state Unemployment Insurance office for more details.