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Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If.....

In 2006, I knew lots of people ended up denied unemployment benefits .. even after if I suspected they'd might of literally lost their job through no fault of their own.  

I knew why and how this could happen to those who might of otherwise been allowed benefits, since I had just been laid off from a job where I had been uniquely positioned to have the duty of evaluating the merits of an appeal of an initial determination, whether filed by the employer, or the claimant.

Without a doubt, my unemployment story made me lucky, to of had the experience, as it trained me to distinguish validity of merits from tactics and strategies to appeal all unfavorable determinations and then take advantage of, or just rely on what unemployed people are often unaware .. to take advantage of what they didn't know about unemployment laws.

When they dig deep enough to uncover a better point to argue to get and keep unemployment when an employer's best working merit is what a claimant doesn't know about using process and procedures for unemployment appeal hearings.

Ready to find out when, how, if and why you should argue the truth to be the credible facts, that allow you to collect unemployment benefits instead of being denied .. erroneously due to what you didn't know?


Unemployment Blog

  1. She's the best advice you'll ever get. Period.

    Mar 23, 17 04:53 PM

    You land on the site, you see there's plenty of great advice from Chris, yet, you don't know if you should talk to her, it's normal. Everyone goes through

    Read More

  2. CHRIS is the BOMB.COM

    Mar 23, 17 03:50 PM

    I had a unemployment benefits case that I had won, and then my employer reopend it, and I felt so defeated at my last hearing even though it was ruled

    Read More

Once you know the basics pertaining to the burden of proof affecting benefits, the answers to questions about unemployment benefits,  will likely make more sense and you can begin thinking like the person mentioned often in unemployment decision ..... The Reasonable Person.

Why Unemployment Tips is for the Unemployed

I hope you don't mind, but I need to first try provide some essential context about the reasoning behind my decision this website should be focused on those claiming unemployment benefits....


I believed in 2006, same as I do now, that people denied benefits after a first level unemployment hearing, often attend a tribunal hearing wholly unprepared to win on the issues,  Or, more simply, lose by default by not appearing for an unemployment appeal hearing.  I now know .. many of you represent yourself, or non-appear, thinking an appeal to a board of review .. is some kine of second chance appeal.

The truth is .. f you don't know which details about your voluntary quit, or discharge for misconduct are relevant to making unemployment law work for you, I think you need to take a breath and then settle in to learn if your "plan" for arguing for benefits right now, might literally be what could aid and abet a weak the employers argument to fight your claim to benefits .. they pay for.

What I know to be true about how to deny benefits, works basically in reverse, to receive and/or KEEP unemployment benefits after the first appeal hearing is done and over.

That first hearing is not just an unemployed person's best opportunity to correct an erroneous initial determination .. it's also an employer's, or the party in my job experience, that appeals much more often than a claimant erroneously denied initially.

So you know up front, I earn money via this website only when I choose to coach someone I believe to be coachable, or when I refer claimants to the same quality unemployment hearing representatives I once contracted for employers on a daily basis .. at least in the current list of states where administrative law rules allow me to refer you .. and accept a finders fee.

If you think you should inquire about a referral to a professional hearing rep for your appeal hearing .. you probably should since there is always a free initial consultation first, just to determine if you have a winnable case.

(Trust me, I get you are unemployed and not in the best position to afford a professional who argues this law for a living in multiple states across this country each day ..  

But for you, I offer the basics about unemployment benefits, I learned while I coordinating hearings for employers for years across this country.

What is Meant by ..  Meeting, or Rebutting a Burden of Proof?   

Ask me and I'll likely tell you the unemployment insurance process is set up to be adversarial.  

But this means to me .. the process is better used, if you know it's supporting your story with documentary evidence that can compel those conducting tribunal unemployment appeal hearings (also known as the full fact finder hearing) to decide in your favor about the fault causing your separation from a job, because your explanation was the most credible and  .. regardless of who was assigned the initial burden to prove fault.

Know the Burden You're Arguing For .. or Against

What is Good Cause to Quit a Job?

Good cause to quit your job is what an employee should focus on proving before they quit .. to meet their burden and prove the fault for voluntarily quitting your job, can reasonably be attributed to the employer and/or work itself after they quit.  People quit for all sorts of reason that might be good cause, but they just can't prove it after the fact, to an unemployment departments quasi-legal tests, to initially meet, or sustain the fault was that of an employer's .. after the first appeal hearing.

Sidenote:  If you're working as a temp employee, through a staffing agency .. a number of states have special voluntary quit provisions .. just for you.

What is Misconduct When Fired From a Job?

Misconduct is simply, an employer's good cause to fire an employee and not be required to pay for benefits.  However, those with the authority to fire employees at work are usually employees too and some of them also ignore the court decision that first defined what work misconduct is.   Imagine what was relevant in 1941 .. is still relevant today all, or in part to how states define misconduct.    

Rebutting a discharge isn't as difficult as proving the burden to quit,  however, to qualify that statement, one should never ignore the business experience and long history of denying benefits .. to employees who keep quiet until unemployed and then wish they hadn't .. after they apply.

Conditional Unemployment Eligibility Requirements

Not maintaining conditional eligibility, can happen to any person collecting unemployment benefits.  When I noticed a conditional eligibility issue, in a question about a separation issue I was answering .. I often explained how conditional issue become a problem for even those who are found to be "otherwise eligible" on the two basic separation issues of quitting, or being fired.

Read your  "claimant handbook" (you should receive it after applying, and before you know if you get benefits) It should explain a state's rules a claimant must follow, while they wait for, or later, continue to collect benefits after an unemployment appeal.

  • You must apply for jobs in each week you claim benefits.  When wise, you will use the log (evidence) to detail your job searches each and every week you collect, even a partial unemployment benefit amount in the event your claim is flagged, or just subjected to a random job search audit.
  • You cannot refuse an offer of suitable work while collecting benefits.
  • You must report all wages (and even some other types of earnings in some states) each week you claim benefits.
  • You must be able and available to search for and accept suitable work in each and every week you claim benefits .. including when many of you will opt to use a period of unemployment to go to school .. or job training.

Are You Using the State Unemployment Process, to Your Advantage?

If you've not heard, or read,  unemployment insurance laws in fact vary by state, know I just see this as a federal acknowledgement a state is still sovereign. Even if it's federal law trying to protect us from at will employment by forcing states to comply with the mandate of a state/federal unemployment insurance partnership where each is allowed to write it's own varying Employment Security Act.   

Yet, the unemployment process from state to state works much the same with only a few a handful throwing in deviations in the process to quasi-legally and administratively speaking drag the process out and the burden of deciding benefits off a tribunal section of a department .. for as long as possible.

Odd thing is .. when a state insists on delaying the unemployment process, it may be to minimize those who push back when initially denied, but wane, when they realize a claim redetermination (Ohio), or reconsideration (Illinois) is part and parcel of what you must go through .. to get to the full fact finder appeal level. 

An unemployment claim section accepts applications for benefits and provides initial adjudication for two separate initial determinations. First, they take care of adjudicating the monetary issues.  

Then comes the non-monetary separation issue which is where fault for a voluntary quit, a discharge for misconduct, and sometimes, even  a lack of work comes into play.

The claim department may have to become involved throughout the remainder of a benefit year to adjudicate any new issues that arise to affect benefits when someone continues to file weekly claims to receive benefits.  Generally these are referred to as conditional eligibility such as whether you're able and available to accept suitable work.

An initial claim determination can be easily objected to when the party aggrieved by it's findings writes even a basic unemployment appeal letter.

Determinations are based upon the "available information".

The lower level unemployment appeal section accepts appeals of claim determinations. This lower level appeal body of a department provides us with the indispensable right to due process to disagree. Many employers wouldn't think of ignoring the right to appeal when benefits are allowed initially.  The hearing, aptly referred to as the full fact finder hearing,  establishes the full record of facts via testimony and evidence, including any relevant info or proof, not made available by an employer, or claimant at the initial claim determination phase.

A tribunal hearing decision has the power to sustain, (affirm) reverse, or modify an initial claim determinations.  A lower level appeal hearing decision is in reality, the last word on allowing, or denying benefits, unless the decision is successfully appealed to an unemployment insurance board of review, usually for good cause related to protecting a party's rights to due process. 

If you're thinking applying for unemployment opens you up to a legal process .. you might be over thinking since quasi-legal only turns legal if a party appeals a board of review's order to an actual court of law that accepts appeals addressing board orders often based on the record established at the first hearing.

Learn more about unemployment appeals and hearings

Question Whatever Your Argument is Now, to Improve the Odds You Will Collect and Keep Unemployment Benefits

You may want to use a search bar, located at the top of each page of this website, to narrow the field of answers about unemployment benefits.. before you decide to ask a question .. because there's been a ton of Q&As .. so many this page takes a while to load and the links become clickable.  Sorry .. my bad.

Questions often lead to answers .. about how, or what I would consider .. to collect, as well as me trying to explain why one person may collect, when another is denied unemployment and the cause and reason may sound identical .. except for some really important details connected to the burden of proof.

Generally, I find these differences in what I'm told by you and make an assessment of how well the moving party might use those details to meet the burden to prove fault for the reason behind a job separation. 

If you take nothing else, into consideration, know that this is your problem and I know resolving it begins by evaluating your own ability to objectively identify the most obvious quasi-legally based argument that will work for you vs. others many unemployed people use that leaves a wide swathe for a state, mandated to be objectively fair and impartial about the facts to deny benefits, or an employer who will use what you told the department, or revealed in an appeal letter to literally, work against you to get, or keep benefits, after a first level appeal hearing.

Ask me to Refer You to a Professional Unemployment Hearing Representative

Especially if initially allowed benefits and you have an overpayment of unemployment looming as a potential consequence of losing.

More Criteria for How a Burden of Proof is Met .. and Not

There's also a lot of  free unemployment law resources.  Problem is .. State and Federal Governments seem to enjoy playing hide and seek .. or they might of just eliminated the information I have personally bookmarked over the last two decades.  

So, if a link isn't working .. let me know, and even better, don't be shy to let me know where it might of been moved if you find it again .. or if you found a good resource that helped you understand something critical to understanding how unemployment insurance benefits work .. state by state.  

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