According to the recent reports, around 26 million Americans don’t have their jobs anymore. This has happened during the last month amidst the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Approximately 4.4 million Americans have already filed for their unemployment benefits over the last week. This is in addition to those 22 million who had initiated the process after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States. Few experts are suggesting that people should start applying for their benefits even if they wouldn’t have done so under normal circumstances. So, how do you do it? Any idea? The following points might help you.
Have All the Information at Your Disposal
Even if you haven’t yet lost your job, this is the perfect time when you must have copies of your recent paychecks. Ensure that those are easily accessible in times of need. Take out a print out or save it for you on your PC or laptop.
This is advisable because if the employer decides to shut down, you will still have all the data with you. When you are applying for unemployment benefits in the state where you have been working, your income will be put under scrutiny by the employment agency. In case your employer has run out of their business, they will use your records.
Also, you need to document every information and communication that comes from your employer regarding your work status. It can be emails, notices, anything. Aside from your work status and salary statements, you would need to furnish some more details such as your social security number, home address, telephone number, you email address, bank name, account number, employer’s details, your first and last day at the office, the reason of leaving work, your pension package, etc.
Apply Online as Soon as You Can
For those of you who are tech-savvy, this is a good piece of news. States are trying their level best to make the application process online, and efforts are going on. In maximum states, the recommendation is to finish the application process online. You can get access to the direct unemployment website of each state and gather their contact information from the CareerOneStop site of the Department of Labor.
The unemployment sites are crashing from the continuous influx of people applying for unemployment amidst this pandemic. Such a situation is completely unprecedented, but yes, you have to keep on trying. If you can’t find any favor online, you can give a call. In several states, whether you make an online application or ring up, you can only initiate the process during the normal business hours.
Apply for Unemployment Even If You Are Unsure
The procedure for applying for unemployment is different from one state to another. However, there are two important questions which you would have to answer. The first question is whether you have lost your job without any fault of yours. The second question is regarding you are capable and available for work. If both the answers are in the positive, you will be highly eligible to receive benefits.
Many a time, there are a lot of eligible people, but either they aren’t confident about it or don’t realize it. Even if you lost your job recently, you should go ahead and apply. Additionally, remember that you don’t have to be necessarily laid off to receive the unemployment benefits.
Have the Patience to Wait
Several quarters have concerns about how long the states would take to cope with the workload and complete processing the applications. Americans have been vocal about the complaints they have about the crashing of sites and long waiting periods. Reports say that states don’t have sufficient funds, and they don’t have the proper manpower in this crisis too. Legislation regarding emergency relief funding to the states is pending in the Senate, and until and unless that’s not being looked into, people might have tough times ahead.
In case you do not get your unemployment benefits, don’t forget to appeal. Yes, that process can take up a lot of your time. But who knows, appealing can be worthwhile at the end. These are challenging times, but don’t lose your heart. Everything will fall into place eventually and the world will come out stronger from this crisis.