Monday, February 25, 2013

If You Live in Certain States, Your Unemployment Checks Can Work Towards Starting a Business

All states have some form of unemployment insurance, but in five states--New York, New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Oregon (and apparently from their inclusion in this document, Delaware)--the unemployed have another option.  In the other 45 states, the unemployed have to show that they are working towards another job by training and/or pounding the pavement.  But in these five states, there is a self-employment assistance program.  Unemployed workers in these states can earn their check by proving that they are working to become self-employed--that they are training to set up a workable business, writing a business plan, or other concrete steps to start a business, and the usual job hunting requirements are waived.

What are the requirements for this?  Each state has different regulations that you can find here.  While this page is set up for policy makers in other states, it lets you know what is expected. 
The U.S. Department of Labor is trying to expand this program to other states, and has given money to states across the country to set up their own programs.  If you (sadly) become eligible for unemployment insurance in your state, ask if your state has a self-employment assistance program, and what you need to go to become eligible.

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