What is Unemployment?
Unemployment, as defined by the federal government, occurs when an individual or a group of individuals is without a job. To be considered ‘unemployed’ the individual must actively seek employment. As a result of this definition, the unemployment rate is a measure of the prevalence of unemployed people in a given area. The unemployment rate is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by the entire population currently in the labor force.
When an individual loses his or her job, they have the potential to seek aid through their particular local government in the form of unemployment compensation. Although the term “unemployed” refers to all individuals without a job who are seeking unemployment, the ability to collect unemployment benefits is contingent on a number of factors. The major component when evaluating an individual’s ability to collect unemployment revolves around how the worker lost his or her job.
Those workers terminated for performance-based issues or gross misconduct is typically not eligible for unemployment benefits. That being said, the stipulations that govern unemployment benefits are governed by a particular state’s local government and their subsequent interpretation of employment law. Typically, those who seek unemployment benefits were victims of mass-layoffs as a result of a company’s failing business model or inability to secure a stable profit.
When an individual is terminated from their job, they may seek unemployment benefits (depending on the reason for termination) by partaking in a systematic procedure.
How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation is typically available to workers who have been laid off or terminated through no fault of their own. Unemployment benefits are considered insurance payments and are not classified as charity.
All employers are required to pay a special form of tax to fund unemployment compensation programs. Unemployment compensation programs are considered a necessary function of a local government because the funds delivered through unemployment benefits enable individuals to consume products and pay bills.
To file for unemployment benefits you must first apply for benefits (either in person or online with your local unemployment office) as soon as you get laid off or terminated. You must act quickly, because unemployment compensation takes two to three weeks to process.
You must gather all necessary information and documentation, such as date of employment, a pay stub, and the address and contact information of your former employer.
Once approved, you must routinely prove to your unemployment office that you are actively seeking employment. In addition, you should understand and observe your eligibility—the average time you are able to receive unemployment benefits is 26 weeks from the date you were terminated or laid off. During times of economic slowdown, these dates may extend to 52 week limits.
To receive unemployment benefits (weekly or bi-weekly) you must file a claim based on your particular state’s requirements. During this process you must answer basic questions concerning your job search and report any earnings you may have received while collecting the benefits.