Today I applied for unemployment benefits. I've never done this before, or even thought I would. I graduated from college 10 years ago, and I've gone to work every day since until yesterday. So today I apply for the benefit.
The actual application took about 20 minutes online. For Minnesota, the site is http://www.uimn.org/uimn/. And I'll have to fill out what I assume is a condensed version of that form every week until I get a job. My weekly benefit will be direct deposited into my bank account (there's also an option to receive a debit card). I was able to estimate my benefits a few weeks ago by submitting my Social Security Number online, and the benefit estimate I got today is the same amount (the final amount will be mailed to me once everything is analyzed). The actual amount won't be disclosed here, but it's based on 2/3 of my income over the past 18 months. And although no one will be jealous of my income, it's enough for us to get by.
How does the application make me feel? The form itself was pretty direct. It was eye-opening how much the system already knew about me - although it did list a company I've never worked for as a former employer. There's no reason I should feel guilty about receiving these benefits, and I don't. I've looked for a job since I knew I would be laid off, and I will continue to do so, along with finding little ways to make extra money in the meantime. When I took the job at DealChicken, I intended to work there for a period of several years. This is a blip. Hopefully I will be employed again soon.
Of course, there's not benefits outside of money - we've had temporary insurance since I left Tastefully Simple, and we will continue to have that until I find a job (but that's a story for another day). If TV is accurate, at one point you had to actually go to an office and meet with a caseworker to collect your benefit. I'm glad I don't have to do that.
Stay tuned for more adventures in unemployment.