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Your Guide to Unemployment Benefits

Now that you are out of work, it is important for you to understand unemployment benefits, how to apply and collect for it.

Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.

  • Your State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.

  • Your State law determines eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available and establishes the claims.

  • Not everyone who is unemployed is eligible. Some factors that will disqualify you are: discharged for misconduct, voluntary termination without good cause, failure to make reasonable effort to find employment.

  • Check your own State guideline on how to file for Unemployment Benefits. For California visit

  • Unemployment covers up to 26 weeks in most states; extended benefits maybe available during period of high unemployment (for some states up to 13 additional weeks). Click here to find your State Unemployment Insurance Agency and determine whether you are eligible for extended benefits.

    Do you want to know the unemployment rates for your state? The Bureau of Labor Statistics show unemployment rates for your state.

  • Apply right away as there is normally a one-week waiting period before you will receive the payment.

  • Applying online or by telephone is an option that you can avail. You no longer have to stand in line.

    Before applying online, make sure you have all the necessary information you will need such as your dates of prior employment, addresses of your former employer, any payments, i.e., severance or supplemental pay you received from your former employer in addition to your regular wages. Calculate your earnings accurately and be prepared to explain what these are clearly so as not to delay your claim.

  • Do not pay any third party service for assistance with your claim. Your local unemployment office should be able to help you.

  • Some States will also require you to register online with their Job Bank.

  • Your State website is a good resource for your job search needs. Most has a one-stop shop providing you with services to include assessment, counseling, job search and placement assistance, information on training benefits, resume listing, etc.

Additional information can be found at US Department of Labor website or your local/State Unemployment Office.

Go here for the latest update on Unemployment Extension

According to the California EDD, there is now a Federal Unemployment Benefit Extensions New Work Search Requirements. Below is what was posted in the CA EDD webpage. Please read so you will not miss being paid for your unemployment benefits.

"The federal legislation signed by President Obama in February requires individuals to meet specific new work search requirements to be paid benefits on their federal extensions. Those collecting federal extensions could lose their benefits if they fail to comply with the work search requirements of the federal law. Individuals collecting regular UI benefits and federal extension benefits have always been required to look for work. However, this legislation requires individuals collecting federal extension benefits (Tiers 1-4) to also meet the following work search requirements, in addition to meeting all other UI eligibility requirements:

  • Document their work search efforts, which now must include contacts with at least three different employers each week; and
  • Provide their work search documentation upon request to the EDD; and
  • Ensure they are registered in EDD’s CalJOBSSM, California’s online job listing and resume service, by entering or updating their résumé in the system."

  • Unemployment Benefits
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