What is Unemployment Insurance and how do you know if you're eligible?
Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers.
Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.
Unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Each state sets its own additional requirements for eligibility, benefit amounts, and length of time benefits can be paid.
In general, benefits are based on a percentage of your earnings over a recent 52-week period, and each state sets a maximum amount. Benefits are subject to federal and most state income taxes and must be reported on your income tax return. You may choose to have the tax withheld from your payment.
Are you a furloughed federal government employee?
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Federal employees who are unemployed due to the shutdown should apply for unemployment insurance benefits. Read more about Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). To apply for unemployment benefits, find your state's program below.
Find Unemployment Benefits