If you are suddenly out of a job, Suze says your next step must be to put in an unemployment application. "Do not wait," she says.

How Unemployment Benefits Work:
1. The dollar amount you receive will never be more than 50 percent of your current salary.

2. In most cases, you can receive up to 26 weeks of benefits.

3. If you qualify for an extension, you can receive up to 46 weeks of benefits.

4. Under the new economic stimulus package, you will get an extra $25 a week in your unemployment check. That $100 a month can go a long way.

If you received a severance package, some states may make you wait to collect unemployment. Learn more about your state's policy on severance packages and unemployment. 

But remember: What you receive in unemployment is taxable. "Unemployment is not just this free lunch," Suze says. "However, the other good news that has recently happened with the stimulus program and the other things is the first $2,400 a month is tax-free."

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Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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