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Staying Prepared With Unemployment Insurance

Aug 17, 2007
Unemployment insurance is intended to be a social insurance program that provides temporary benefits to unemployed workers, and imposes payroll taxes on covered employers. It was created in response to the Great Depression, when millions lost their jobs. It was legalized in 1935 as a part of the Social Security Act.

Benefits of Unemployement Insurance:

Unemployment insurance replaces a part of your income when you lose your job, for no fault of your own. If your employer has laid you off, then you are potentially eligible to collect the benefits for at least 26 weeks, until you are recalled, find another job or leave the workforce. In general, the amount of benefit is based on the percentage of earning of an individual, over a recent period of 52 weeks. Many unemployed workers are also provided 50 to 60 percent of their previous wages, but this would depend on the state they live in. Each state in the US works on a different unemployment insurance plan, while the federal law determines the guidelines of each program. This insurance makes sure that the purchasing power of the citizen is maintained. The money for providing these benefits comes from the tax that is imposed on the employers. No contribution comes from the wages of employees. Some States may provide additional benefits for some specific purposes.

Eligibility For Insurance Benefits:

The state law determines the eligibility, amount, and the length of time the benefits will be available to an individual. The amount of benefit depends on the kind of work that you have performed. Your recent work record for a period of 12 months is known as the base year. The claim for unemployment insurance will be based on this base year. In Oregon, 104 dollars per week is the minimum benefit. The maximum benefit a worker can receive is 445 dollars per week. If your wages are 8,112 dollars during the qualifying period, you can become eligible for benefits for 26 weeks. In case of lower qualifying wages, however, you will receive just one third of the amount.

If you want to file a claim for unemployment insurance you need to contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible. You can also file it on the Internet or by telephone. You will receive your first benefit check within two to three weeks of filing the claim. Some states have a waiting period of one week. It is important to give all the information about your former employment when you file the claim, to ensure that the process is not delayed.

The eligibility for collecting additional benefits starts after an unemployed worker has exhausted other unemployment insurance benefits. The State agency can offer you advice on your eligibility for these additional benefits.

Reasons for Disqualification:

If your reason for staying out of a job is because of something other than the lack of work opportunities, then the State agency will determine if you are eligible for the benefits or not. In case of a disqualification, you can file an appeal within an established period. Your employer can also file a counter appeal if he/she disputes the genuineness of your eligibility.

Therefore, if you are eligible for unemployment insurance, then get in touch with the State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible to be able to overcome the financial crisis that results from being unemployed.
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