smart spending

Can you collect unemployment benefits?

Regardless, Wentworth suggests that if you qualify, you also put aside any misgivings about collecting unemployment. That's because your former employer had been paying this tax for the day when the company couldn't pay you itself, he says. And you can be eligible even if you have an income-earning spouse or consider yourself a person who wouldn't normally seek out social assistance programs.

"There's a stigma attached and there shouldn't be," says Wentworth. "It's a safety net intended to help people find their way between jobs."

This month, meanwhile, unemployment rates in 18 states and in Washington D.C. fell slightly, but not enough to slide checks out of anyone's hands. Jobless rates rose in 14 states but, for those still under the line, not enough to activate new benefits.

When benefits are not available or they end, says Wentworth, many people resort to accepting jobs that are beneath their qualifications or they collect public assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

"There are a lot of sad stories out there," he says.

How long will your benefits last?
Here's the deal: Since June 2008, Congress has been expanding the number of weeks you can collect unemployment benefits. You start with the first program and travel through until your state's unemployment rate bounces you into the next program.
ProgramWeeksTrigger rate
Standard benefits26 weeksNone
Emergency unemployment compensation
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4

20 weeks
14 weeks
13 weeks
6 weeks

None
None
6 percent unemployment
8.5 percent unemployment
Extended benefits13 weeks
20 weeks
6.5 percent unemployment
8.5 percent unemployment
 
Residents that qualify for extended benefits
States, territories with unemployment high enough for all tiersUnemployment rate
Alabama10.2
Arizona9.6
California12.3
Connecticut8.9
Delaware8.6
Florida11.5
Georgia10
Illinois10.4
Indiana10.1
Kentucky10.1
Massachusetts9
Michigan13.3
Mississippi11
Missouri9.2
Nevada14.2
New Jersey9.7
North Carolina10.1
Ohio10.5
Oregon10.5
Pennsylvania9.2
Rhode Island12.1
South Carolina10.9
Tennessee10.1
Washington9
Washington, D.C.10.1
West Virginia8.7
Puerto Rico16.4

News alert Create a news alert for "smart spending"

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed, 0 point 4.28%  0.13 4.41%
15 year fixed, 0 point 3.30%  0.03 3.33%
5/1 ARM 3.30%  0.04 3.34%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.74%  0.01 4.75%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.53%  0.02 4.51%
100K FICO-based HELOC 4.26%  0.02 4.24%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.86% --0.00 2.86%
48 month used car loan 2.79% --0.00 2.79%
60 month new car loan 2.94% --0.00 2.94%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.90%  0.01 0.89%
2 Year CD 1.03%  0.02 1.01%
5 Year CD 1.59% --0.00 1.59%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.67%  0.04 15.71%
Cash Back Cards 16.32%  0.04 16.36%
Low Interest Cards 10.91% --0.00 10.91%
 
Search
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us