Types of Workers Excluded From Unemployment Benefits
Are Changes Afoot?
Considering the staggering number of unemployed Americans it’s even more shocking to consider the volume of unemployed workers ineligible to collect unemployment benefits based on various state UI rules. Here are some situations that could make you ineligible for state unemployment benefits.
Keep in mind, though that many states are taking heat for shutting out so many unemployed workers. In response more than a few are in the process of making revisions to their UIB eligibility rules. And you can always try using your state UIB appeals process.
Ineligible Part-Time Workers
As we’ve covered here again and again, every state has its own particular guidelines for unemployment insurance collection. If you’re laid off from a part-time job the assumption often is that you’re not eligible to file for your state’s unemployment benefits. This may or may not be the case, again due in large part to variables such as your state UI guidelines, the wages you were earning prior to lay-off, and more.
For example, in Colorado you may be eligible to receive benefits when laid off from a part-time job if you are only able to work part-time and have earned 60% of your wage “credits” during the base period.(1) Expect to have to dig through some of your state’s official legalese to find out if part-timers qualify.
Workers Who Don’t Earn Enough to Qualify for UI Benefits
In Colorado if you are laid off from your job and you didn’t earn $2500 during your base period you are ineligible for unemployment benefits as the rules read right now. But here is a state with rather strict UIB regulations that is making attempts to adjust its eligibility rules to embrace more of its laid-off and hurting population.(2)
But Colorado is not alone with a minimum earned clause in its UIB rules. Check with your state UIB office and stay up to date with current revisions to state unemployment eligibility rules.
Workers Laid Off From New Jobs
In some states you could be ineligible for unemployment benefits if you were laid-off from a new job, employed for less than 6 months before your lay-off, or laid-off from a job that you started during your base period. This could also fall under a common state eligibility rule that requires you have earned a certain amount of wages during the base period to qualify for unemployment compensation. If you don’t find the answer to this question on your state website, call the inquiry hotline, but be prepared for a long wait time.
State Appeals Processes
You are welcome to appeal most unemployment decisions that go against your favor, but some states are much more lenient than others. Common appeals include: you quit your job, you were fired from your job, you didn’t earn enough money during your base period, you were employed less than 6 months prior to a lay-off. Visit your state Department of Labor and unemployment insurance website for particulars on your state’s appeal process. Some states may allow you to appeal online or in writing,some may require you to request a special unemployment appeal hearing.