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The Pros & Cons of Filing for Unemployment

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While being without a job comes with a long list of potential challenges, filing for unemployment benefits may offer assistance during the trying period. For those who meet the eligibility requirements and can file for unemployment, carefully consider beforehand the advantages and drawbacks.

Pro: Wage Supplement

Those who qualify for unemployment benefits receive monthly payments to live on while searching for a new job. Although the total compensation is just a fraction of the money the person received while working, he gets paid until he finds work or his benefits run out.

Pro: More Free Time

Without a job, you may have more opportunities to discover new interests, explore new passions and figure out new career strategies. Additionally, taking time to review both positive and negative aspects of a previous job might help you find a better-fitting position.

Pro: Improving Credentials

Being unemployed also offers a fresh chance at continuing your education. While going to school with the demands of a full-time job may be too much to handle, the time away from work is an opportunity to complete a degree or cultivate a new skill set that will help when trying to find a new career.

Cons: Less Pay

Perhaps the most obvious drawback to receiving unemployment benefits is that the pay is less than what you previously earned. This may automatically force you to live on a tighter budget, which can add more stress to the stress of being unemployed.

Con: Loss of Benefits

While some jobs come with healthcare benefits such as vision and dental insurance, unemployment benefits do not. A medical checkup or a routine dental appointment is considerably more expensive without an employer's health plan coverage.

Con: Resume Gap

Unemployment gaps can raise suspicion about your work history. When seeking new employment--a requirement for receiving unemployment benefits--be prepared to answer questions about work gaps between employers. This could make the job search more challenging, which is the last thing someone out of work wants.

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About the Author

Spencer Hendricks has written for various well-regarded blogs. His work has appeared in the "Kickapoo Prairie News" and online at sprayahen.com and Spencer Vs. The Food Industry. He is currently in the process of obtaining a degree in Web development.