Every state has its own guidelines on unemployment, including how long you must work to qualify. Generally speaking, you must satisfy the following criteria in order to qualify for unemployment benefits:
It concerns employees who leave their jobs for reasons that make it practically difficult to stay put, such unsafe working conditions or low compensation.
You must have lost your employment due to someone else's fault in order to qualify. If you are dismissed or resign, you are typically no longer eligible.
You must have worked the minimum number of hours per week and/or received the minimum wage allowed by your state while employed for the minimum period of time needed by that state.
Unemployed individuals must satisfy the state's standards for hours worked or money received during a predetermined time frame known as a "base period." Your benefits will be determined based on your income at that time.
The tough part comes at the end since each state sets its own requirements for jobless eligibility. The guidelines for New York's unemployment eligibility, for instance:
- You must have worked and been paid wages in jobs covered by unemployment insurance in at least two calendar quarters; - The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to you in your high quarter.
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits in several states if you worked over the required number of quarters at some time in the previous year.
Therefore, even if you worked for your previous job only briefly, don't assume that you are ineligible for assistance.
It never hurts to apply for unemployment benefits, which is an excellent lesson to learn in general about unemployment. You might be shocked to learn that you are eligible.