Guest Sign UpLoginNew PostSections ₦0What's Up?DownloadsShopChatToolsAdvertise
Join the Publishers' Program. Get paid for writing.
Recharge DSTV, GOTV, StarTimes, & PREPAID METERS on

Mr A

Understanding Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are temporary income assistance for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. These benefits are meant to provide financial support while an individual searches for new employment. In this article, we will discuss the important aspects of collecting unemployment benefits, including eligibility criteria, how to apply, maintaining eligibility, and effective job searching.

Eligibility Criteria for Unemployment Benefits

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must meet specific criteria set by your state’s unemployment insurance program. Although these criteria might slightly vary from state to state, some common requirements include:

Monetary Eligibility

To be monetarily eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have earned a certain amount of wages during the base period, which is typically the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before your claim is filed. This requirement ensures that you have a significant work history and confirms your attachment to the labor force.

Job Separation

You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. Generally, this means you were laid off due to a lack of work, your temporary job ended, or your workplace closed. You may also qualify if you have been furloughed, had your hours significantly reduced, or experienced a pay cut. In most cases, you will not be eligible for benefits if you quit or were fired for misconduct.

Able and Available to Work

To maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits, you must be physically and mentally able to work, actively seeking employment, and available for work when a suitable job offer is made. Some exceptions may be made for individuals who have a definite return-to-work date or for those participating in a state-approved training program.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits

To receive unemployment benefits, you must file a claim with your state's unemployment insurance agency. The application process might slightly differ from state to state, but the general steps are as follows:

Gather Required Information

Before you file for unemployment, gather the necessary documentation, which typically includes:

  • Your Social Security Number.
  • Your mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
  • Your driver's license or state identification card number.
  • Your employment history for the last 18 months, including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all employers, as well as the starting and ending dates of employment.
  • Reasons for separation from each employer.
  • If applicable, information on any additional income you are receiving, such as Social Security, severance pay, or pensions.

Filing Your Claim

Once you have gathered the necessary information, you can file your unemployment claim. Most states allow you to file online, by phone, or in person at a local unemployment office.

Wait for a Decision on Your Claim

After filing your claim, wait for the state agency to review the information you provided and make a determination. This process typically takes one to three weeks, depending on the state and the circumstances surrounding your claim. If your claim is approved, you will receive notification of your weekly benefit amount and the duration of your benefits.

Maintaining Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

Once you start receiving unemployment benefits, you must maintain your eligibility by meeting certain ongoing requirements.

Certifying for Benefits

To receive benefits, most states require you to certify your ongoing eligibility regularly, usually every week or every other week. During the certification process, you will answer questions about your job search efforts, any income earned, and your availability for work.

Actively Searching for Work

You are required to actively search for work each week you claim unemployment benefits. Make a record of your job search activities, including:

  • Positions applied for
  • Dates of applications
  • Company names and addresses
  • Names and contact information of hiring managers
  • Any interviews or communication with potential employers

Your state unemployment agency might request this information to verify your continued eligibility.

Report Any Earned Income

If you earn any income while receiving unemployment benefits, you must report it during your certification process. Depending on your state's regulations, earning income might reduce your weekly benefit amount or disqualify you from receiving benefits altogether.

Effective Job Search Strategies

While collecting unemployment benefits, it's essential to devise an effective job search strategy to increase your chances of finding new employment. Consider the following tips:

Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter

Make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date and tailored to the positions you are applying for. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for the job.

Expand Your Network

Take advantage of online networking platforms such as LinkedIn or attend local job fairs and networking events to meet potential employers and other job seekers.

Utilize Job Search Resources

Make use of online job search resources and websites, local job centers, and employment agencies to find job openings in your industry.

Develop New Skills

Consider improving your skill set or learning new skills to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. You can explore free or low-cost online courses and training programs to enhance your employability.


Collecting unemployment benefits can provide a financial lifeline during periods of job loss. To maximize your chances of receiving and maintaining these benefits, it's crucial to understand the eligibility criteria, follow the application process carefully, fulfill ongoing requirements, and commit to an effective job search strategy. Investing time in learning and networking during this period could open up new opportunities for your career.

Follow @JalingoHQ on twitter.

Related Topics

Top SectionsSee More


Top Posters This Month (500 Credits)
(See More)