Cancelling Unemployment Benefits

In this article...
  • How do you cancel unemployment benefits? Collecting unemployment has helped millions of Americans get through 2020, but what’s the best way to end your claim?
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How Do You Cancel Unemployment Benefits?

Canceling unemployment benefits is much easier than getting approved for them in the first place. In most states, you can simply stop filling out your weekly certification form. In a short time, the benefits you would have gotten will disappear and your claim will be closed.

Unemployment Insurance Claims in 2021

With the pandemic and general shutdown of the economy that took place in 2020 and 2021, tens of millions of Americans found themselves suddenly out of work. For many of them, this was the first time they needed to file for unemployment benefits, which are distributed by states to help the jobless.

The procedure for filing for unemployment varies by state, since each of the 53 unemployment systems in the United States and its territories has somewhat different rules. The process is generally time-consuming and difficult for first-time filers. For many people, a first-round rejection of claims forces an appeal that can last weeks or months. When an award is finally made, the funds can come as a welcome relief.

Weekly Claims Requirements

Once your claim is approved and you’ve been paid the back amount you’re owed, most claimants are under a continuing requirement to seek work and not refuse any job they find. Most beneficiaries must certify that this is the case by filling out weekly claim forms and answering questions to prove they are still eligible for their benefits.

Once the claim forms are received, they are generally approved within a day or two and payment is made, usually to a debit card that works like any other bank card, but can also be directly deposited into a bank account.

Most states award unemployment benefits for an initial period of 26 weeks. After that, if you are still in need of benefits, you can generally file for an extension. In 2020, Congress authorized an automatic extension of unemployment benefits for every recipient who continued to claim them. No action was needed to get this extension, as the funds were automatically made available and approvals were issued to all recipients.

Stopping a Claim

As helpful as unemployment benefits can be during hard times, eventually your claim comes to an end. This can be because your benefits period has run out, or it can be because you are no longer eligible for aid. Apart from the disqualifying factors that can cut your eligibility, such as a conviction for fraud or failure to abide by the work search requirements of your claim, you can also lose eligibility if you find work and go back to earning a paycheck.

When this happens, you do not need to inform the unemployment department that has been processing your claims.

In all 53 systems in the United States, you can just stop recertifying each week. After a brief period with no further action on your account, your claim will expire and no benefits will be paid. Be aware that you must not claim any benefits for times when you worked or earned money, as these funds will have to be repaid.

If you worked part of the last week you were eligible, you can claim a partial payment for the days you did not work on your last claim form. Many recertification forms also have a checkbox you can tick if you want to stop your benefits immediately, though if your new job doesn’t work out, you will have to file a new claim after this.

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