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Unemployment Insurance

States administer the unemployment system to provide unemployed individuals with a regular income, for a specified period of time, after the employment relationship ends. The system is funded by state and federal taxes paid by employers. According to federal guidelines, each state determines the scope, coverage of, and eligibility for unemployment insurance.

The eligibility requirements vary among the states; however, most states determine eligibility by four criteria:

  • The applicant must have earned a minimum amount of wages within a specific period and/or worked for a minimum period in the recent past.
  • The applicant must register for work with the state unemployment office.
  • The applicant must be available for work.
  • The applicant must be actively seeking work.

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