Filing For Unemployment Benefits

You will need to file for unemployment benefits as soon as possible after job loss. Even if you think you might not qualify for whatever reason, file anyway. Check your state's requirements on their official government website. You can usually file online. Be sure and get this step out of the way - it is part of your necessary money management activities.

If you think you will not receive compensation because of your circumstances, don't make the mistake of assuming that you won't qualify. When I was first laid off in December of 2008, I hadn't worked the required number of weeks to qualify for Michigan's unemployment benefits. But I was unaware that the requirements were lowered after January 1st. I therefore missed out on about 6 weeks worth of benefits since I didn't research the subject until mid February of 2009. I won't make that mistake again!

Bottom line - Make sure you check out the requirements yourself instead of relying on any information you hear about. And then apply anyway regardless of whether you think you qualify. No matter what your financial situation is - get the benefits you are entitled to receive. You will need everything available to you in order to continue on your career change journey.

The amount of weeks for receiving compensation varies from state to state. However, Federal extensions have been the norm during these tough economic times.

There is another thing to be aware of: If you are receiving severance pay then you might not be able to collect state benefits. Which is fine - severance pay is usually more money. But since most states have a time limit to apply for benefits after a job loss, be sure to file as soon as the severance is scheduled to end.

If you will need further education as part of your job search then check out these free job retraining programs.

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