Did you know that you do not have to file for unemployment benefits immediately after getting laid off? While many absolutely need the money it provides, others may need the money but have more flexibility in when they can claim it.
Keeping in mind that all money received as income is taxable, if you leave a job at a point in the year where you have earnings, maybe you receive a severance check, and if you claim unemployment benefits, it can add up to push you up into a new tax bracket and then you end up having to pay higher taxes.
When UI benefits are calculated, it’s based on your wages from your previous employer over the previous 15 months. If you wait too long to claim benefits, your payments could be lowered if you had, within those 15 months, some months of $10,000 in earnings and other months with $0 in earnings. The exact computations and rules vary by state, so consult your state’s website to be sure you understand the particulars of your situation.