Unemployment Extension - A Filing "How To" Guide

Now that Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning has finally relented and allowed the Senate to pass unemployment extension benefits, many out-of-work Americans can breathe a sigh of relief.

When there's a high volume of unemployment -- like we have with our current economic recession -- the federal government typically extends unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted their unemployment compensation. Usually benefits are continued for at least 13 weeks; some states even provide up to 20 weeks.

If you're one of the 1.2 million Americans scrambling to keep your unemployment benefits, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Here is a list of what you will need:

  1. When a state begins their unemployment extension; those who have received benefits in the past are notified. If you believe that you qualify for an extension but were not contacted, you can contact your State Unemployment Insurance Agency to find out whether or not you are eligible for an extension.

  2. If you kept a copy of the information from your initial application, then you're in luck. Most likely, you will be asked the same questions in the unemployment extension paperwork. If you no longer have this information, it's a good idea to gather the necessary documents you'll need to complete the application.
    • Accurate information of your former employers (address, telephone numbers and dates of employment) within the last 18 months or a copy of your W-2 form
    • Your Social Security Number
    • Names, birth dates and Social Security Numbers of your dependents
    • The reason for requesting an extension
    • Your preferred payment method (debit card or direct deposit)

Each state has different procedures to extend benefits, so it is important to contact your local agency about what information you might need so that your application won't be delayed.

Next:The Rules of Unemployment >>

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