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What to know when applying for unemployment benefits

What to know when applying for unemployment benefits
Posted at 1:30 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 16:04:37-04

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in massive layoffs around the country. Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. If you are someone who needs to file for unemployment, there are a few things you need to know before signing up.

Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster Jobs, says full-time and part-time workers can apply for unemployment benefits, which can provide monetary relief when you have been terminated from a job.

And in some states, gig workers like Uber and Lyft drivers, can also file for unemployment benefits.

“State rules and state eligibility differ,” Salemi explained. “Your best point of reference for your own state is to go to careeronestop.org .”

In order to file, you’ll need your social security number, driver’s license, reason as to why you are no longer employed, wages earned over the past year and your employer registration number, which can be found on your W-2 form.

Many states have waived the one-week waiting period before you can receive your benefits.

“Once you apply and you receive that first check you’ll be paid for that first week of unemployment,” Salemi said.

You should not expect to get your full paycheck. Benefits usually cover 50 to 60 percent of what you are used to receiving from your employer.

These benefits will go straight into your checking account each week if you have set up direct deposit for your unemployment benefits. It’s important to note that unemployment benefits don’t last forever.

“Unemployment benefits can last up to 26 weeks, which is around six months, but you do need to claim every week,” Salemi explained.

During this time, it’s important to look for a job. Salemi says many states will only continue giving your unemployment benefits if you show you are looking to be employed again.