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Getting and Managing Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are available for workers that become unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet certain eligibility requirements that vary state to state.

Find your state unemployment insurance office.

You will receive unemployment benefits weekly, generally for up to 26 weeks.  The amount you receive is calculated using the amount of money you were paid by all employers during your base year, which is the earliest four of the last five complete quarters prior to your application for benefits.  Recipients tend to receive about half of their weekly wages, up to a cap, as determined by their state.

There will be a waiting period of one of more weeks until you receive your first check.

Unemployment benefits are taxable, and you may elect to have federal taxes deducted from each payment.

During the time that receive unemployment benefits you must be:

  • Able to Work - You must be physically and mentally able to perform work functions.
  • Available to Work - You must have both the time and the ability to get to a job.
  • Actively Seeking Work - You must engage in an active job search while receiving unemployment benefits.  Your job search activities may vary based on your past employment and what type of job you are seeking.