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Have you been laid off? Find out what to do to claim unemployment benefits in your state and to get your life back on track. Though we are not a government agency and are not affiliated with any government agencies, Unemployment-Benefits.org aims to help unemployed and laid off workers find the resources they need to file for benefits, get their skills in order and get back into the working world as quickly as possible. Unemployment is not a free ride.

Though requirements vary by state, you typically need to prove that you were employed for a minimum length of time, earned a sufficient amount in wages, and are actively seeking employment. Some professions (such as commission salespeople) are often excluded from unemployment benefits. To see the requirements for your state, find a link to apply for benefits and use our benefits calculator, either choose a state from the dropdown menu above, or visit our resource center and then choose your state. If you start with the widget above, you will also see offers which may help your career or lifestyle (such as for education or insurance.) If you start from the resource center, you will get straight to the page for your state. Want to get a better understanding of where you stand compared with similar people? Try our free net worth calculator and comparison tool. The average net worth of our users is ($3,921.27) and the median net worth of our users is $34,275. (The median is the point at which half our users have a higher net worth and half have a lower net worth.)

Benefits will vary, but typically range from 12 weeks to 30 weeks depending on the state, and may cover up to 50% of your previous wages up to a limit of about $400 per week. The lower end of the payout spectrum is around $15 per week. Your specific benefits will be determined by the formula for your state, as well as an assessment by a state worker. To get an estimate, choose your state on the right and follow the path to our unemployment benefits calculator. Please be aware: You will have to pay income taxes on unemployment benefits. Also, you will be required to file a claim every week to continue receiving benefits. Benefit totals are based on your wages during a “base period” which is the first four calendar quarters out of the last five quarters prior to the quarter in which you file for your initial claim. For instance, if you file your initial claim on January 4th, 2009, the base period would be October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008.

Some economists predict the unemployment rate will rise to 10% or higher during the current recession. This is the highest level since the major downturn of the early 1980’s when unemployment exceeded 10%. To remain competitive, make sure you have the skills employers are looking for. One of the best ways to stay current is to update your education. Certain professions, like nursing, are still very much in demand.

You cannot receive unemployment in most states unless you prove you are actively seeking employment and that you are ready and willing to accept a job. Despite the unemployment rate, there are still many job opportunities available, and virtually all pay more than you would be entitled to by collecting unemployment. Furthermore, most states allow you to work part-time and still collect some unemployment benefits.

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