Make an Unemployment Action Plan
4 Things You Need to Know About Unemployment:
- You have to be laid off to collect. You cannot apply if you quit.
- There is no time limit to apply.
- If you apply and are denied unemployment, you have a limited time to appeal. Each state is different, so check the time frame with your local office.
- You can apply online. "So you don't have to go down; you don't have to do all these things that could be embarrassing for you," Suze 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."