DEFINITION of 'Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program'

A social safety net that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Each state has its own unemployment compensation program and its own qualification guidelines and benefit amounts. The state programs operate within overall guidelines created by federal law. Also known as "unemployment insurance".

BREAKING DOWN 'Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program'

In times of high regional or national unemployment, benefits may be extended in 13-week increments. For example, when a state's unemployment rate reaches a certain level, federal regulations may require the state to extend the length of eligibility for unemployment benefits to a total of 39 weeks. In times of national hardship or crisis, Congress may enact legislation extending the length of benefits nationwide.

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