Do You Qualify to File for Unemployment?
You could be laid off from a large company, laid off from a small company, “let go,” you could be employed seasonally and be laid-off for the winter. You could quit or you could be fired…what then? Do you still qualify?
Joblessness is reaching epidemic proportions and cutting across all demographics. Before you waste your precious time trying to file an unemployment claim find out if your jobless situation entitles you to apply and receive benefits.
There are plenty of closely related situations if you are suddenly out of work and it’s not your fault.
Laid Off from Your Job
Most people collecting unemployment have been laid off from their jobs either permanently or temporarily. Typically, to be qualified to apply for and receive state unemployment compensation you need to have lost your job “through no fault of your own.” Job lay-off is just that—you have been a good employee and had no intention to leave your job at this time, it was the decision of management and nothing personal.
You’ve Been Fired
The general belief is that if you’re fired from your job you are ineligible to collect unemployment. In some cases that may be correct. But every situation is different. Most state unemployment offices allow you the opportunity to state your case for collecting unemployment when you’ve been fired. If you can eloquently argue that your being fired from your job was completely unfounded, that you did nothing to intentionally instigate the firing and that you had no intent to become separated from your job under those circumstances, then you could be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.
Can you collect unemployment benefits if you willingly quit your job? That depends on a number of factors.
Your state unemployment office will allow you the opportunity to have a hearing on your case. At this point it’s up to you to convince them that your quitting was not your intention, but the result of adverse or unsafe working conditions, abuse and harassment or some other reason that made it a “bad” place to continue working. So, it’s possible to be eligible to file for unemployment if you’ve quit, but you must have just cause.
Available for Work and Able to Work
When you file for unemployment expect your state to ensure you register with a local workforce center. Collecting unemployment is your right, but you must be actively looking for work. Before you can receive any weekly unemployment income you will be expected to attest to the fact that you’ve sought employment and in fact applied for jobs as they become available through your Workforce center.
Union workers often do not have to register with a workforce center.
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