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How long do you have to work before you can claim unemployment?

Your ability to claim unemployment will depend on your base period.


Unemployment compensation varies from state to state.

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What is the work requirement?

Unemployment programs vary depending on the state you live in. Generally, an employee must have worked for 12 months before they are eligible to claim benefits. Read more about it here.

In order to qualify, losing your job can’t be your fault. The state unemployment agency will then use a base period to determine your eligibility.

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Are there other requirements?

Unemployment insurance programs are jointly managed by federal and state. Funding comes from unemployment taxes on employers. However, the system is not uniform across the United States.

Every state follows general guidelines, but benefits, access, and restrictions vary by state. All states require that the “worker became unemployed through no fault of their own.” States set other restrictions to what dismissals qualify someone for unemployment.

Most states have a work search requirement. This means if you are getting unemployment benefits, you must actively be looking for a new job.

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