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When eligible seniors claim unemployment benefits after losing their job, they receive temporary financial assistance through the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program. After filing a successful unemployment benefits claim, elderly workers receive compensation for a portion of their regular working income. As such, these federal unemployment benefits help seniors to pay for their daily living expenses as they search for new work in their field. After claiming benefits for unemployment, seniors must maintain their eligibility status by filing weekly or biweekly claims through their State Unemployment Insurance Agency. However, seniors may only claim unemployment compensation for a certain amount of time, unless they qualify for an extension. To qualify for an unemployment benefits extension, claimants must exhaust all other UI benefits, including Trade Readjustment Allowances and Disaster Unemployment Assistance. To learn more about how to claim unemployment benefits each week and to discover the many advantages of doing so, review the information below.

When I claim unemployment benefits, how does this affect me?

After claiming benefits for unemployment, elderly workers who meet UI eligibility requirements receive temporary financial assistance from their State’s Unemployment Insurance Agency as they search for new suitable work. After claiming senior unemployment benefits, applicants may need to register for work with their State Employment Service, depending on where in the U.S. they reside. If seniors make an unemployment benefits claim and need to register for work in the state, their local Employment Service office can also help them to find new jobs, training programs, counseling services and skills testing.

In addition to these federal unemployment benefits for seniors, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sponsors the CareerOneStop website, a free online resource for job-seekers. While claiming unemployment benefits, unemployed job-seekers may use the national website to create a resume or cover letter, get interview tips and find local training programs. To learn more about these federal unemployment benefits, download our free guide.

How long can I claim unemployment benefits as a senior?

After filing a senior unemployment benefits claim, successful petitioners can generally obtain unemployment insurance compensation for up to 26 weeks or until they meet their state’s maximum benefit amount, whichever happens first. However, specific unemployment benefit claim requirements vary by state.

Furthermore, an unemployment benefits extension may be available to certain claimants during periods of high unemployment in their state. If claimants are eligible for a senior unemployment benefits extension, they will receive a notice from their State Unemployment Insurance Agency. Alternately, applicants may inquire about an unemployment insurance extension by contacting their local UI Agency for additional information.

After filing an unemployment benefits claim, how much will my benefit amount be?

When seniors claim unemployment insurance, the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program pays them a percentage of their regular earnings over a 52-week period. However, seniors who claim federal unemployment benefits may only receive compensation until they meet their state’s maximum benefit amount, unless they qualify for an extension. Furthermore, seniors must report unemployment benefit claims on their federal tax return, as UI pay is subject to income taxes. In some cases, however, claimants may choose to withhold federal or state taxes from their UI benefit amount.

If claiming federal unemployment benefits as a senior while working part-time, applicants must also track their gross earnings for the week, including income earned from their salary, commission, cash, vacation pay, bonuses and tips. If claiming unemployment insurance, however, applicants cannot earn more than their individual weekly benefit amount, or they may not receive UI compensation for the week. With all these factors, benefits amounts are determined on a case by case basis. After claiming benefits for unemployment, seniors can choose to receive their UI payments through a debit card or direct deposit, depending on their personal preference.

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits Each Week

After claiming benefits for unemployment as a senior, applicants must continue to file weekly or biweekly claims if they wish to maintain their eligibility for unemployment insurance. As such, weekly unemployment benefit claims are also known as certifying for benefits. When applicants claim unemployment benefits each week, they must report any job offers or refusals as well as their weekly earnings (such as pension payments or part-time income). However, the process of filing an unemployment benefits claim each week varies by state. In many states, applicants can claim senior unemployment benefits online or by telephone. If seniors do not claim their federal unemployment benefits in a timely manner, however, their payment may be late, or they may not receive compensation for that week. To learn more about how to claim unemployment benefits each week, download our helpful free guide.

When claiming benefits for unemployment, applicants must also continue to meet their state’s specific eligibility requirements. When claiming senior unemployment benefits, for instance, applicants must complete and retain their job search logs while also actively searching for new work, as this information may be necessary in the event of a UI benefits interview.