- Step 1: Calculate your recent earnings Calculate your earnings over the most recent 52-week period. Benefits are based on a percentage of your earnings over this period. The maximum amount you are eligible for depends on your state.
- TIP: To obtain information about unemployment benefits for a particular state, go to www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp
- Step 2: Check your eligibility for extended benefits Check whether you are eligible for extended unemployment benefits beyond the 26-week maximum mandated in most states.
- TIP: The basic extended benefits program lets states experiencing high unemployment provide up to 13 additional weeks of benefits. Some states may also enact a voluntary program to pay additional weeks.
- Step 3: Pay your taxes Don't forget to report unemployment benefits on your federal income tax return.
- FACT: The unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 25 percent during the Great Depression.
You Will Need
- Unemployment rules
- Earnings over past year
- Eligibility for extended benefits
- Federal tax return
- Internet access (optional)