Florida Cuts Unemployment Benefits

Posted: May 8th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 201 Comments »

On May 6th, the republican-controlled House and Senate in Florida passed a bill to cut unemployment benefits in Florida; republican governor Rick Scott is expected to sign it. The bill will cut the maximum state benefits by 3 weeks when the jobless rate is 10.5 percent or higher, and by as much as 14 weeks as unemployment decreases. Florida, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, was already one of the states offering the lowest amount of unemployment benefits.

A number of other states are considering similar cuts, or have already implemented them; Michigan, for example, has reduced benefits by six weeks as well. Many states did not collect enough in premiums while the economy was growing to pay benefits now, and as of March, 32 states and the Virgin Islands no longer have any money in the unemployment fund and have been forced to borrow to pay premiums. Additionally, republicans are generally opposed to providing unemployment benefits on principal, claiming the system as an unneeded tax on businesses.

In Florida, the money saved on unemployment benefits will be used to cut corporate taxes.

Unemployment Extension Act of 2010

Posted: December 17th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 219 Comments »

Unemployment extension update today – President Obama signed a bill into law today that extends the unemployment extensions discussed on this website by another 13 months, to the end of 2011. While the majority of the $858 billion bill will go towards tax cuts, it continues extended unemployment at current levels, and is also expected to drop the unemployment rate by a minimum of half a percent over the next year.

Those who are working at least part time will also benefit from a temporary cut in the social security deduction, from 6.2% to 4.2% of salary; the social security tax will be restored to normal levels in 2012.

Republicans Kill Unemployment Extension

Posted: November 18th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 178 Comments »

Congressional Democrats attempted today to extend unemployment benefits ahead of their expiration on November 30th, but House Republicans blocked the bill. As a result, 800,000 Americans will love benefits at the end of the month (2 million by the end of the year).

Democrats still have a majority in the House during the current lame-duck session, but to avoid anyone losing benefits, they brought the bill to the floor under fast-track procedures that require a 2/3 majority; as such, with only 21 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and 143 opposing it, it failed to pass despite a 258-154 vote in favor. The bill can be brought back under regular rules, which will require more time but can pass with a simple majority; however, Republicans are expected to filibuster it in the senate.

Unless Congress takes action, unemployment benefits will no longer be available for more than 26 weeks.

Where to File for Unemployment, by State

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 177 Comments »

The following links will take you to the unemployment page for each state; this is where you should go for state-specific information, as well as (usually) to file for unemployment.

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Virgin Islands
West Virginia

How to File for Unemployment

Posted: September 26th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 197 Comments »

These days, filing for unemployment can often be done over the internet, making it more convenient and less embarrassing. Indeed, provided you have net access, the entire process can be completed without ever speaking to another person.

The exact process, of course, depends on the date. Generally you’ll want to visit the website for the state you reside in; it will have instructions for filing your claim. After the claim is accepted, the site will also let you file a request for benefits, which is required every two weeks to continue receiving unemployment.

Before you get started, you’ll want to have the following information handy:

  • Full mailing address
  • Social Security number
  • W2 information for all of your employers in the past two years
  • Dates of employment and pay for all of your employers in the past two years

As part of your application, you’ll be asked whether you want taxes withheld from your benefits; if you choose no, then you will be responsible for paying taxes on the money when you file your next tax return. Many people choose to have taxes deducted and live on what remains.

You will be asked why you are no longer working; you are eligible for unemployment only if you lose your job through no fault of your own. In other words, if you were fired for cause or quit, you are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Finally, once you are approved, every two weeks you must file a new claim for benefits. For each week that you make a claim, you must have looked for work; exact requirements vary by state. Colorado, for example, requires that you make at least five job contacts each week. If you do not look for work, you are not eligible to claim benefits that week. Additionally, you must accept any reasonable job offer you receive.