How To Claim Unemployment Benefits: An Informative Look At A Crucial Notion

Unemployment remains a scourge for society and is an economic disadvantage to many households within the USA but to cope with it there comes the unemployment benefits in the picture and these remain vital towards the economic well-being of many fellow citizens.

Unemployment is a circumstance in which a person who is actively looking for a job is unable to find work. Unemployment is seen as a significant indicator of the economy’s health. The unemployment rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of jobless persons by the total number of people in the labor force, is the most used measure of unemployment. Many governments provide unemployment insurance to select unemployed people who meet certain criteria.

Unemployment is a significant economic indicator since it indicates workers’ ability (or inability) to find gainful employment and contribute to the economy’s productive output. People who quit the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement, higher education, or disability, are not included.  With more unemployed employees, total economic production will be lower than it would be otherwise.

During their unemployment, unemployed workers must maintain at least subsistence consumption. This indicates that an economy with high unemployment produces less without a proportionate decrease in the demand for essential goods and services. Unemployment that is high for an extended period of time might indicate substantial economic distress and possibly lead to social and political turmoil.

A low unemployment rate, on the other hand, indicates that the economy is more likely to be operating at or near full capacity, optimising output, boosting wage growth, and gradually raising living standards. Extremely low unemployment, on the other hand, can be a warning indication of an overheating economy, inflationary pressures, and tight labour market circumstances for businesses in need of people.

While the definition of unemployment is obvious, economists categorise it into a variety of groups. Voluntary and involuntary unemployment are the two most common types of unemployment. Unemployment that is voluntary means that a person has voluntarily quit his work in quest of new employment. When it is involuntary, it signifies that someone has been fired or laid off and now needs to find new employment.

When you lose your work due to no fault of your own, unemployment benefits offer you with a temporary source of income. The money will help you pay your bills while you seek for new work and will partially replace your lost wages. Benefits from taxes paid by your previous employer(s) are not dependent on financial need. While you are receiving benefits, it is your responsibility to return to work as soon as feasible.

If you lose your job due to no fault of your own or if you are working less than full-time hours, the Unemployment Compensation (UC) programme can help you get back on your feet. If you fit the criteria, you will be given money for a limited time to help you pay your expenditures while you look for new work.

You must be a worker who provided services that are covered by the Pennsylvania UC Law to be eligible for UC benefits. All benefit applications are properly scrutinised. When filing a claim, always give complete, accurate, and genuine information. Fines, imprisonment, and other punishments may be imposed for false claims.

What is unemployment?

According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), unemployment is defined as those over a certain age (typically 15) who are neither employed or self-employed but are currently looking for work during the reference period.

The unemployment rate, which is the number of jobless people as a percentage of the labour force, is used to calculate unemployment (the total number of people employed added to those unemployed).

Unemployment can result from a variety of factors, including the following:

  • new technologies and innovations
  • the state of the economy which can be influenced by a recession
  • globalisation and international trade
  • policies of the government
  • regulation and market

A country’s fiscal policies, for example, can affect unemployment and the state of the economy. Furthermore, through monetary policy, a country’s monetary authority, such as the central bank, can impact the availability and cost of money. Aside from unemployment theories, a few classifications of unemployment are used to better precisely model the consequences of unemployment on the economy.

Structural unemployment, frictional unemployment, cyclical unemployment, involuntary unemployment, and classical unemployment are some of the most common types of unemployment. Structural unemployment focuses on the economy’s underlying issues and labour market inefficiencies, such as a mismatch between supply and demand for labourers with the requisite skill sets. Causes and solutions related to disruptive technologies and globalisation are the focus of structural arguments.

Unemployment based on real wages

When actual wages for a job are set above the market-clearing level, the number of job seekers exceeds the number of vacancies, resulting in classic, or real-wage, unemployment. Most economists, on the other hand, think that as wages fall below a livable rate, many people choose to leave the labour market and stop looking for work.

Unemployment is cyclical

When the economy’s aggregate demand is insufficient to offer jobs for everyone who wants to work, cyclical, deficient-demand, or Keynesian unemployment arises. Demand for most goods and services diminishes, requiring less output and, as a result, fewer workers. Wages remain stuck and do not fall to the equilibrium level, resulting in unemployment. Its term is derived from the numerous ups and downs in the business cycle, but unemployment can sometimes be permanent, such as during the Great Depression.

Effects of unemployment

High and persistent unemployment, as well as rising economic inequality, have a detrimental impact on long-term economic growth. Unemployment can stifle growth by wasting resources, causing redistributive pressures and consequent distortions, driving people into poverty, limiting labour mobility, and eroding self-esteem, all of which contribute to social instability, unrest, and conflict. Robert J. Shiller, the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics, stated that growing inequality in the United States and internationally is the most pressing issue.

What are unemployment benefits?

Unemployment benefits, often known as unemployment insurance, unemployment payment, unemployment compensation, or just unemployment, are payments paid to unemployed persons by government agencies. Benefits in the United States are supported by a mandatory government insurance system, not by individual citizen taxes.

Those funds may be minor, covering simply basic needs, or they may reimburse the lost time according to the prior earned salary, depending on the jurisdiction and the person’s status.Unemployment benefits are usually only given to persons who have registered as unemployed, and they are often subject to stipulations requiring them to look for work.

Unemployment insurance, often known as unemployment benefits in the United States, refers to social insurance systems that replace a portion of an individual’s salary while they are unemployed.

The first unemployment insurance scheme in the United States was established in Wisconsin in 1932, and the federal Social Security Act of 1935 established programmes managed by state governments across the country. In 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the program’s constitutionality.Unemployment insurance is administered by each of the 50 US states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Workers who have been unemployed through no fault of their own are typically awarded benefits by state governments, which are funded in large part by state and federal payroll taxes placed on businesses.

Employees in Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania must also participate in the programme. As of 2017, benefit levels for eligible workers ranged from $783 in Massachusetts to $235 in Mississippi. These benefits are classified as “social welfare benefits” under the Internal Revenue Code and are thus included in a taxpayer’s gross income. Unemployment benefits are typically granted for six months, though extensions are possible during economic downturns. Unemployment benefits were extended by 73 weeks during the Great Recession.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits

The federal government establishes broad coverage and eligibility rules, but states determine benefits and eligibility in their own unique ways. In general, the following requirements must be met:

In the previous year, a person must have worked for at least one quarter. Workers who were hired on a temporary basis or who were paid under the table are usually ineligible.

To be eligible for benefits, a worker must meet state standards for income earned or time worked during a set period of time (referred to as a “base period”).

The base period in most states is normally the first four of the last five full calendar quarters prior to the claim being filed. An employer must have terminated a worker’s employment. Workers who leave without good reason, were dismissed for misconduct, or were laid off due to a labor dispute are usually ineligible.The worker must repay the benefits they received if the employer can show that the unemployed individual quit or was fired for cause.

A worker must be available for work and accept an appropriate job offer.The worker has the opportunity to appeal if their claim is dismissed. If the employee was fired for misconduct, the employer must prove that the termination of employment was due to misconduct as defined by state law. If an employee quits their work, they must show that their voluntary departure was for a legitimate reason.

Amount and duration of the unemployment benefit

The amount of unemployment benefits is determined by reported covered quarterly earnings. The length and value of unemployment benefits are determined by the amount of wages and the number of quarters worked. In 2020, the national average weekly payment will be $378. Unemployment benefits have been deemed taxable income by the federal government since 1987.

Benefits can be received for a maximum of 26 weeks in most states. There has been an extended benefit programme that can be activated by the state unemployment rate since a 1970 amendment to FUTA. During recessions, Congress has frequently established temporary programmes to extend benefits.

This was done with the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) programme in 2002–2003, which has since expired, and with the Extended Unemployment Compensation 2008 Act, which was in effect until June 2, 2010. Many unemployed persons now receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed in February 2009.

President Barack Obama signed legislation in July 2010 that extended federal extended unemployment benefits through November 2010. Benefits for 2.3 million unemployed people who had exhausted their unemployment benefits were extended as a result of the Act.

How to claim unemployment benefits?

Benefit payments typically take two weeks to begin, with the first week being a non-reimbursable “waiting week” and the second being the time gap between programme eligibility and the first benefit actually being paid.

To start a claim, the unemployed person must go to a state unemployment office and apply for benefits.In some cases, the process is started by the employer. The impacted person must certify that they are “able and available for employment,” as well as the quantity of any part-time wages they may have received and whether they are actively seeking work.

Appeals and disqualification of unemployment benefit

If a worker’s separation from their previous employer was caused by something other than “lack of work,” a decision will be made concerning whether or not they are eligible for benefits.

In general, the relevant state makes all assessments of eligibility for benefits based on its laws or applicable federal legislation. If a worker is disqualified or refused benefits, he or she has the opportunity to appeal within a certain time frame. The state will inform a worker of his or her right to appeal. If an employer disagrees with the state’s finding of an employee’s eligibility, they may appeal the decision.

The worker has the opportunity to appeal if their claim is dismissed. If the employee was fired for misconduct, the employer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the termination of employment was due to misconduct as defined by state law. If an employee quits their work, they must show that their voluntary departure was for a legitimate reason.

For the most part, unemployment appeals are successful two-thirds of the time, or 67 percent of the time.In the state of Oklahoma, claimants in misbehaviour claims win 51.5 percent of the time. In the state of New Jersey, claimants who were fired due to misconduct may still be eligible for unemployment benefits after their six-week disqualification period has expired.

Mass unemployment weekly claim

Every week while you are unemployed, you must apply for weekly benefits. If you fail to certify your eligibility for any week, you will not be paid. Once you’ve applied for unemployment benefits, you must request benefits for each week you’re out of work, whether it’s part-time or full-time.

You can obtain benefits for the previous week on Sunday, which is the first day of the week. You can obtain rewards for the previous week at any moment during the current week, from Sunday through Saturday. You’ll be asked questions regarding your jobless status the previous week every time you apply for weekly assistance. We strongly advise utilising a laptop or desktop computer when requesting weekly unemployment benefits online.

Phone number to claim weekly unemployment benefits

Go to your UI Online account and sign in.On the account home page, click Request benefit payment. Request a benefit payment by following the directions.For your records, print the confirmation document. Call (617) 626-6338 to reach TeleCert. TeleCert is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

Keep the following details in mind:

  • What is your Social Security number?
  • Your 4-digit TeleCert pin. Learn how to create your TeleCert PIN if you don’t already have one.
  • If you worked during the week, you can claim your wages.
  • Fill in the blanks.
  • Keep calling until you’re told that your weekly claim filing is finished.

Unemployment weekly claim

It is considered fraud to file for the same claim weeks on multiple programmes.

You can now file for benefits on a weekly or biweekly basis with the new UC system. Only a “weekly” certification option is available in the system.

You do not have to choose whether to file “weekly” or “biweekly.” You will be compensated on the basis of when you file. To start receiving unemployment benefits, you must make a weekly claim the following week after you apply. Then, until you wish your benefits to end, you must file a claim every week.

How to make a submission?

For help with filing your weekly claim, go to the “Weekly claim FAQs” page.

For the quickest results, submit your weekly claim online. You’ll receive a warning under Account alerts after login in. Follow the instructions by clicking the link. The eServices User Guide has more information.

When should you submit your work?

If you’re submitting your application online, you can do so at any time between 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. Use the automated system (12 a.m. Sunday – 4 p.m. Friday, unless Friday is a holiday) or speak with a claims agent if submitting by phone. Visit for the most up-to-date claim centre contact information and hours.

You wish to collect benefits every week. The first week is when you’ll be waiting. This week, you must make a weekly claim, but you will not get reimbursed for it.

Allow two working days for us to process your application if you applied for unemployment benefits near the end of the week. Then submit your first weekly claim the following week.

Even if you’re waiting for something, you should submit a weekly claim every week.

  • Find out if you are eligible for assistance.
  • Add your wages and hours to your claim.
  • Benefits denials can be appealed.

Your “waiting week” is over

In most circumstances, your “waiting week” will be the first week of your claim. Your waiting week is not covered by unemployment benefits. If you are eligible for payment, your second and subsequent weekly claims may trigger benefit payment. You do not have to serve another waiting week if you applied for unemployment within the last year and had served one due to a previous term of unemployment.

Pandemic unemployment assistance

Benefits of the PUA ran out on September 4, 2021. For weeks of unemployment prior to September 4, the deadline to file a PUA claim was October 6, 2021. Visit Federal Provisions for Unemployment for further information on the closure of federal unemployment benefit programmes.

PUA was a government programme that aided unemployed Californians who were not typically eligible for standard unemployment compensation. Between February 2, 2020, and September 4, 2021, PUA covered up to 86 weeks of benefits. When you were directly affected by COVID-19 and when you filed your PUA claim determined when you could begin collecting these benefits.

Eligibility for PUA

If you were out of business or had drastically limited your services as a direct result of the pandemic and did not qualify for ordinary unemployment benefits, PUA benefits were available. PUA was available to the following people:

  • Employees who work for themselves.
  • Contractors who work on their own.
  • People who haven’t worked in a long time.
  • People who had exhausted all of their regular UI benefits and any additional benefits.
  • On their ordinary UI claim, people who were serving false statement penalty weeks.


Unemployment has societal repercussions that go beyond merely financial. Unemployed people not only lose money, but their physical and emotional health suffers as well. Higher crime and a lower rate of volunteerism are two societal costs of high unemployment.

Unemployment has a number of personal and social costs, including severe financial hardship and poverty, debt, homelessness and housing stress, family tensions and breakdown, boredom, alienation, shame and stigma, increased social isolation, crime, eroding confidence and self-esteem, and the loss of work skills.

You must file a claim with the unemployment insurance programme in the state where you worked in order to collect unemployment benefits. Claims can be filed in person, over the phone, or online, depending on the state.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

Tony Benett makes his living in the insurance industry by teaching and consulting. He is also recognized by the legal profession as an expert on insurance coverages. His insurance experience includes having worked at the company level, owned an independent general agency and having worked for an insurance association. He has received various certificates over the past few years and helps his clients and readers by giving them a realistic outlook on what they can expect to achieve within their set targets. At Insurance Noon, he is known for his in-depth analysis and attention to details with accuracy. He has been published as one of the most referred agents by his peers in the insurance community. Tony loves the outdoors and most sport events. His passion other than providing excellent advice is playing golf.

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