Are you currently employed?  If so, do you have any knowledge if you are eligible or not for unemployment benefits in case you lose your job?  It would be beneficial for you if you take a look and find out.

What is Unemployment Benefit?

In the United States, Unemployment benefits are given to employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own such as being laid off due to budget cuts, downsizing, or lack of work.  Its purpose is to provide temporary financial assistance to those workers who lost their job as long as they meet certain requirements of the state law.  Each state has its own unemployment insurance program established within the guidelines of the Federal law.

Employees who get fired for poor performances, violation of corporate mission, frequent absences or tardiness, or for some other valid reasons, are not entitled to such claims.  The same applies to those who resign or voluntarily quit their job.  Those who become unemployed and are entitled to these claims can be compensated for up to 26 weeks.  In some cases particularly when high unemployment rate is determined, such claims may be extended for additional weeks. Claimants must meet eligibility requirements based on wages earned during an established period of time.

In Case You Lose Your Job

The very first thing you need to do once you lose your job is to file a compensation claim by contacting the State Unemployment Insurance Agency.  You need to accomplish some paper works and answer pertinent questions related to your job and the reason for becoming unemployed. The processing normally takes one week unless you fail to provide complete and correct information that may cause the delay of your claim.  You may be instructed to register with the State Employment Service, an agency that assists in finding employment.  On a weekly basis, you will be required to report any job offers or refusals as well as earnings you have made.  Said agency may also be able to refer you to some training programs that match your field of specialization, help you develop your skills, or learn new things.

Are You Eligible for Benefits or Not?

If you work for a non-profit organization, you need to verify first if you are entitled for unemployment benefits.  Some organizations covered under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code such as churches, orphanages, feeding centers, and the like, are exempted from providing unemployment coverage to their employees.   Unless they elect to do so, these organizations are allowed to not contribute into the unemployment insurance fund.  If you work for these organizations, you are likely not eligible for unemployment benefit if you get laid off or become unemployed.  For those who come from secular jobs before working for these non-profit organizations, they may not be aware that such regulation exists.  It is advisable that you check with the Human Resources staff in charge of processing employee benefits regarding eligibility.  Employers must discuss this with their employees during the hiring process or during an orientation session.  They are also legally required to post a Notice in a conspicuous place for their employees to read.