The U.S. economy has shed roughly 1.2 million jobs so far this year. This is forcing many people to cope with losing health benefits after layoff. You are entitled to receive unemployment benefits after layoff by filing a claim for unemployment. In many states, workers can file for unemployment benefits online.
State Unemployment Insurance Benefits
The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides laid off unemployment insurance benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Their purpose includes:
- Unemployment insurance payments are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.
- Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law
- Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established
- In the majority of States, benefit funding is based solely on a tax imposed on employers
Health Benefits Options
You can stick with your own employer-sponsored plan under Cobra, the 1986 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. If you choose to take Cobra benefits, coverage generally lasts up to 18 months. You must opt for Cobra benefits within 60 days of losing your job.
If available, you can seek coverage from a family member’s employer. You may have the right to join a spouse’s plan if you act within 30 days after you lose your workplace coverage.
Benefits After Layoff Legal Help
If you have been the victim of a recent layoff and are having difficulty obtaining any of your benefits from your ex-employer, you may wish to seek advice from an attorney who specializes in employment law.