Five Things You Should Know About Vacation Pay and Unemployment Benefits

Employment benefits can be confusing to job seekers since they can vary from state to state, and even company to company.

Vacation pay and unemployment aid are often the benefits that are put into question, whether it be at the start of employment or during a termination. Employees should review their employee handbooks to make sure their vacation pay and unemployment benefits are outlined clearly.

While these benefits vary depending on your employment situation, here are some things to keep in mind when reviewing your vacation pay or unemployment benefits:

1. Vacation Pay is Not Required

It may surprise you that the U.S. Department of Labor does not require businesses to offer paid time off, or vacation pay, to employees. But once you make an agreement with an employer, by law they have to stand by that policy.

2. Use it Or Lose it

If you leave your job or if you come to the end of the year and still have vacation days left, your employer may not honor the unused paid time off. Check with your state laws on what they say about employers being responsible for unused vacation days and be sure your employee handbook follows these laws.

3. Unemployment Benefits Are Easy To File

As soon as you lose your job you should file for unemployment. Filing is easy, you can fill out your information online and receive all of your information within 10 days.

4. Unemployment Benefits Are Running Out

Due to high unemployment rates, unemployment benefits are running out, especially in states with the highest unemployment rates. Legislation was signed to extend benefits, but aid will continue to run out fast.

5. Get Your Finances in Order

When applying for unemployment, you'll be asked if you want taxes withheld or if your company owes you paid time off. Answer the questions to the best of your ability and do considering having taxes withheld in each check so you are not surprised with how much you could owe the government at the end of the year.

Get your finances in order by figuring out a budget based on your savings and your unemployment checks. Having a budget in place that represents how much you'll get from unemployment will keep your mind at ease as you get back on the job hunt.

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