It's never easy to be unemployed and looking for a new job. However, life circumstances -- or a sudden change at work -- can lead us down the road to unemployment in a heartbeat. Depending on your financial circumstances and how much money you have saved away for a rainy day, circumstances like this can be extremely frightening.
Fortunately, many individuals who lose their source of income will be able to apply for unemployment compensation after a layoff or termination. Here are the general requirements for unemployment compensation:
- You're a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- You've been employed by another person for some time.
- You've been employed long enough to have earned some money from your previous employer.
- You are able and available to work.
- Your are actively in the process of seeking a new form of employment.
- There are a few exceptions to the above. Particularly, if you're a student, a recent graduate who hasn't been employed or a self-employed worker, you won't be eligible to receive unemployment. Furthermore, individuals who lost their jobs due to misconduct, insubordination or illegal action may not be eligible for unemployment compensation.
Quitting your job could also interfere with the ability to receive unemployment benefits -- unless it was for the following exceptions:
- You quit due to dangerous work conditions.
- Your employer relocated somewhere that's too far for you to get to work conveniently.
- You had personal reasons to leave, such as being sick.
Did you unexpectedly lose your job? Learn more about unemployment compensation and your legal rights.