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Unemployment Benefits After Losing a Job

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By Andrew Lu on July 02, 2012 9:55 AM

With the economy still not fully recovered, many individuals find themselves laid off and not working.

But just because you lost your job, this does not mean you'll lose your source of income.

In fact, many employees may qualify for unemployment benefits that can help them through the rough patch before getting back on their feet.

Generally, government sponsored unemployment benefits programs provide individuals monetary assistance that is based partly on how much they were paid at their previous position. Every state has different rules, but there are some general rules regarding unemployment benefits.

To be unemployment benefits eligible, states typically require employees to:

  • be a U.S. citizen or otherwise have a legal right to work in the U.S.
  • have been employed for a certain period of time
  • have earned a certain amount in wages before becoming unemployed
  • be available for work immediately
  • be physically able to work

In addition, it may be difficult to get unemployment benefits if you've been fired or have quit your job. In most states, an employee fired for cause or who voluntarily quits the job may be deemed ineligible. However, if you were terminated for financial reasons, unintentional actions, or due to a layoff, you may still be eligible for benefits.

If you believe you are eligible, you can file an unemployment compensation claim with the appropriate state agency. You'll have to submit an application and provide appropriate documentation like pay stubs, a Social Security card, and proof of unemployment status. If you are unsure of your eligibility, you may want to contact an employment attorney.

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