Unemployment insurance helps workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. It’s particularly vital in difficult economic times, when even well-qualified, highly-motivated job-seekers have trouble finding work. To be effective, though, unemployment insurance has to be properly funded, and while Massachusetts has a sensible funding system, it is regularly disregarded.
In recent months, unemployment insurance has once again been the subject of heated debates, both here in Massachusetts and down in Washington. Who should be eligible? How long should people get benefits? And where will the money come from? Here are nine things you need to know.
1. What’s unemployment insurance?
Imagine you work at a thriving company that makes widgets. You get a regular paycheck that you use to buy groceries, repay your student loans, cover rent, and generally keep your finances together. Everything is routine until one day the economy sours. Suddenly, sales at your widget company collapse and your boss has to let you go. Now what?
If you’ve been putting money away then you’ll have some savings, and you might be able to rely more on your credit card. But you may need additional help to stay afloat, and that’s what unemployment insurance provides: money you can use to offset your lost wages.
2. Who is eligible?
Those who: have recently lost work through no fault of their own; are able to work; are actively seeking work
3. How long do the benefits last?
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