Most people never want to find themselves in the unemployment line. However, many people found themselves unemployed in December 2007 after the United States suffered the worse recession since the Great Depression. Over 5.1 million people had lost their jobs by March 2009. Over 13 million people were unemployed.
The national unemployment rate was 8.5 percent. Over 656,000 people were turning in an unemployment application by the end of March 2009. The good news is that things have improved a lot since then. The unemployment rate is currently 4.4 percent. This is the lowest that the unemployment rate has been since May 2007.
You may be wondering how to get unemployment benefits. Here is an explanation of how it works.
Defense Against Economic Repair
The unemployment program was created in 1935 after the Great Depression. Millions of people were unable to buy goods because they had been laid off. This increased the unemployment rate. The unemployment program is designed to help people who do not have a job provide themselves.
People will be able to buy clothing, food and provide shelter for themselves by getting the weekly check. They will have to look for a job while they are receiving unemployment.
The Costs are Shared by the State and Federal Government
Federal law dictates how the unemployment program is run. However, it is administered by the states. The unemployment program is different from other social programs because it is almost entirely funded by employers. The employers pay federal and state taxes.
Employers currently pay six percent of the first $7,000 that their employees earn. The cost of administering the program is covered by federal taxes. The federal UC taxes will also pay half of the cost of extending unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits may be extended during times of high unemployment.
State unemployment compensation tax rates can vary from state to state. They can only be used to pay unemployment compensation. The state's unemployment rate is one of the factors that will determine the state's tax rate. Federal law states that states the tax rate has to be raised when the unemployment rate increases.
Almost every salaried and hourly worker is covered by the unemployment compensation program. Railroad workers are covered by a separate program. Unemployed people who have recently served in the military are also covered by a federal program. Independent contractors and self-employed people are not able to get unemployment compensation.
How Long do The Benefits Last?
Most states allow people to get unemployment for up to 26 weeks. Extended benefits can last up to 73 weeks. Extended benefits are only available during times of high unemployment. Federal and state funds pay for extended benefits equally. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed people to get an additional 33 weeks of unemployment benefits. The bill also allowed people to receive an additional $25 per week.
Former President Obama signed the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act into a law on November 2009. This allowed people to get unemployment for an additional 14 weeks. Additionally, states where the unemployment rate exceeded 8.5 percent were able to get six additional weeks.
The amount that you get depend on the state that you are in. In Mississippi, the maximum check is $235 per week. The maximum unemployment check in Massachussets is $742 per week. People who have children can get an additional $25 per child.
Most states allow people to get unemployment for 26 weeks. However, unemployment benefits last for 12 weeks in Florida. Unemployment lasts for 16 weeks in Kansas.
Who Runs The Program?
The United States Department of Labor's Transporation and Training Administration takes care of the program at a federal level. Every state also has unemployment agencies.
How to get Unemployment Benefits
The states have their own requirements for getting unemployment. However, in order to get unemployment compensation, you must be unemployed due to something that is outside of your control. For example, you can get unemployment compensation if you lost your job because the company downsized.
You cannot get unemployment if you were fired due to something that you did. You also will not be able to get unemployment if you quit your job. You will need to go to the unemployment application in order to fill out an application.
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