November 21, 2008
What you need to know about your extended unemployment benefits
If you're one of the many whose unemployment checks are about to run out, you've probably heard the good news by now: President Bush signed a law today that will extend your unemployment benefits seven more weeks. That should make the holidays a bit cheerier.
Things you should know about the extension, and unemployment benefits in general:
- It's best to file for unemployment immediately upon losing your job, as the benefits can take a few weeks to kick in. (Incidentally, the Associated Press reports that unemployment checks average $300 a week.)
- In order to collect a state check, you need to actively be looking for work. Check with the state's Employment Security Department for details.
- According to CNNMoney.com, if your unemployment checks have recently run out or are about to run out, your seven extra weeks of checks likely will kick in automatically. Again, check with the Employment Security Department for details on your particular situation.
- Temping, freelancing, or working part time will reduce your unemployment check. And you're still required to look for full-time work if you want to keep receiving those state checks.
Note: Getting an extension on your unemployment checks is not license to go hog wild on your holiday spending. You'll be sorry you did come January. For those who need it, here's a primer on low-cost gift giving.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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