The unemployment rate in the US had hit it’s lowest in May 2019. Even though it is the lowest –3.7 percent in June 2019– there are still 6.0 million jobless people residing in the country. If you are one of the 6.0 million unfortunate ones, applying for unemployment benefits will get you the much-needed financial support until you find a new job.
What do you need to know about the Unemployment benefits?
The United States government runs an unemployment insurance program for people who have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. For instance, someone who is currently unemployed as a result of his/her employer going bankrupt is eligible for unemployment benefits. Just because the organization you worked for shutdown(due to financial reasons, personal reasons, etc), doesn’t mean you should go broke.
There are states like Massachusetts who pay $783.00 per week to people who qualify for this state-run insurance program. Not every state in the United States provides handsome unemployment benefits. For instance, Mississippi only offers $235 per week to unemployed people.
Moreover, the funding for unemployed people is provided by the taxpayer himself. Every employee(except contract workers and self-employed individuals) has to pay unemployment tax from their monthly salary. In some states, the employer pays unemployment tax. The rules vary from state to state.
How to take advantage of unemployment benefits offered by the state government?
1. Apply for free unemployment education and training programs
Many Federal agencies offer free or low-cost training for people who have lost their jobs and don’t have the necessary skills that employers want. One such initiative is the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act(WIOA). WIOA is run by the US department of labor and its main motto is to strengthen and improve the nation’s public workforce system.
For people with less or no previous work experience, the Apprenticeship Office Finder can be very beneficial. By registering with them, you can find apprenticeship opportunities in companies and unions of your interest. To fond an office, you just have to input your area pin code and the list of offices will populate.
2. Continue to get health insurance with COBRA
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) lets unemployed people continue to get health insurance for themselves and their families until they find a job. Health insurance is really important. Especially in times when you are jobless. How are you planning to pay for a sudden medical emergency?
So, unemployment benefits apply to only those who lose their jobs due to natural causes. You won’t qualify for this insurance plan if you were fired due to misconduct. In that case, you should look for part-time jobs as getting a full-time job will also be difficult.
You must have heard the phrase that “Finding a job is also a job in itself“. Most states follow this concept and will continue to pay your unemployment benefits until you show them proper proof of your job hunt, interview letters, etc.