Not everyone will need to use unemployment benefits in their lifetime, though if you need them, you will be happy to know they are out there. If you have savings when you are laid off, you may not need any help, and you may cruise through until you find another job or are called back to work. For many people, however, living paycheck to paycheck often means when they are suddenly out of work that they have nothing saved, and they need a way to temporarily support their family until they can get back to work.
I used unemployment benefits one time in my life. This was shortly after I got out of college. I had a job, but they laid me off a year after I began. They had apparently over projected their earnings, and they had to let quite a few of us go. I was thankful for the unemployment benefits, as they allowed me to search for another good job rather than taking the first crappy one that came along. I didn’t need to use them very long, but they were indeed a blessing back then when money was scarce and my career was uncertain.
If you find yourself fired or laid off, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you quit your job on a whim, I am pretty sure that you are not going to get any benefits. However, if your parting with your employment was not your fault, you can get help until you secure another job. You will have to go and apply for your unemployment benefits, and they won’t kick in right away. Once you have applied, you have to wait for acceptance, but that usually doesn’t take too long.
Once you have been approved for your unemployment benefits, you should know that you will get about half of what you made at your job. For example, if you make 600 a week, you will get 300 a week in unemployment benefits. This is not meant to take the place of your job, it is meant to tide you over until you can get a new one. In most cases, you can only get benefits for six months, and you must report in each week about your job search and your financial situation. You must be looking for work, and if you do make any money, you have to report that. Depending on how much you made, your benefits may adjust accordingly.