Can I Collect Unemployment
If I Get Fired, or Quit a Job?

Let me cut to the chase .. because I don't know what particular question about unemployment benefits brought you to 

But, I know what bothers me about how it works and I know there's one important question many state unemployment websites often fail to disclose before you file an unemployment claim online.

Your question is usually about why, or how you can collect unemployment benefits if you quit, or get fired through no fault of your own.

Or your question might be about how to win an unemployment appeal hearing on either issue.

Especially, if all your experience has been working for a living at will and only know enough to feel you have lost your job through no fault of your own.

Unfortunately, in recent years, a number of states have consistently proven themselves to not be interested, in making things easier for unemployed people when they lose a job.

Instead these states have sought out specific ways to implement changes to their individual UI laws, which in turn, have made how unemployment insurance benefits could once be expected to work under certain conditions, a distant memory of the last eighty years preceding these abomindable changes that feel more like a war being waged against ALL unemployed people.

There's a statistical way to compare how just changing laws, has worked well over the course of a few short years.  Add to this the push to take advantage of what you don't know .. to deny benefits .. and I.. just threw up.

Twenty-six percent of the total number of unemployed collected unemployment in the last completed year of 2014.  If we were talking about real people, then we're numbering in the millions who are denied now when compared to the typical 35 percent who collected pre-unprecedented mega-recession.  We're also talking about big savings for a state from simply denying benefits ..

Take for instance, North Carolina who recently celebrated it's own victory.  In three short years the state managed to ride their way back to a solvent UI fund on the backs of unemployed people .. even those who were found to of lost their job through no fault of their own. 

Employees by now, are used to the idea an employer will fight benefits, but in my opinion, there's never been a better time to question how it is you, will compel your state unemployment department to follow the letter of the law and fairly and impatially find who was really at fault, for the loss of your job.

Questions about Collecting Unemployment Benefits?  Anyone? 

Or maybe, you're the type who sees the need to zero in on issues and valid reasonings to collect unemployment.


Collecting Unemployment Learning Curves Starts Here

There is a basic learning curve to understanding how unemployment insurance benefits should work for everyone. 

But if you're ready, you may want to drill down and just learn about ..

To explain how unemployment works in the simplest way I know how. at least now, unless you want me to help figure out how you should approach your unemployment claim, or appeal hearing.

The reason anyone may be allowed, or denied unemployment benefits, rarely has much to do with how they feel about how they lost a job.  

But more with their strategic positioning to unemployment's burden of proof.

This burden is central to how a state administrative law agency (the unemployment insurance department) is supposed to quasi-legally administer it's own unemployment law, at least when applying sections of law to your special circumstances leading to your unemployment.

Overall, all states must administer it's laws within wide guidellines provided by the federal government.

Good Lord, I know.  However, I do keep official resources that may help you learn more about how unemployment is suppose to work  ..

And yes, they helped me .. when I coordinated UI hearings for the other side as well as when I linked to the resources in a lot of answers and tips for the unemployment blog.

Can You Collect Unemployment When You Quit?

Simply put, yes it is possible for a person to collect unemployment when they quit.  

But there's nothing like the burden you will be assigned insistent you must prove you had good cause to quit that often reminds me of a Benjamin Franklin quote. 

"An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure."

So, what stops you when you feel you have good cause for unemployment when you quit a job?

Trust me, it's your inability to prove the truth, as a fact to the unemployment department..  

Read more about Good Cause for Unemployment Benefits

Maybe then, the point being made in the Q&As about quitting a job will begin to make more sense.

Unemployment When Getting Fired From a Job

The only fortunate thing I can tell you right now about getting fired from a job, is the burden to prove good cause is assigned to an employer.  

And of course, now we can find an actual definition of what work misconduct can be to guide us and know what our employer might of taken on when they fired us.

Yet, some of you will focus your unemployment story when you tell it to the claim adjudicator, a whole lot of stuff that is completely irrelevant, to what the employer will try to prove to meet it's burden.

In fact, if Q&As about being fired and collecting unemployment are an indication, some unemployed people have been responsible for the very story that actually aids in proviing their own guilt .. or they might just miss the mark and not even attempt to rebut anything that would help their position of not being guilty. 

An Unemployment Appeal Hearing (Tribunal Level)

Possibly, the biggest risk for employees is the one they don't always see coming and ultimately, fail to do anything about.

You really should prepare how to meet, or rebut a burden of proof before the first level unemployment appeal hearing. 

To be frank, my goal at this point is only to warn you that the chances of a succesful second level appeal to an unemployment insurance board of review are frequently contingent on what happened at the first hearing.  

It's the first level hearing where the record is created by fully exploring the facts about the issue at hand and listed on a hearing notice.

What goes on at an unemployment hearing? 

Maybe those Q&As about unemployment appeals and hearings can help us figure out what does go on at unemployment appeal hearing across the country.

About Those Free Unemployment Questions .. and Answers of Course.

Intentionally, the unemployment Q&As are not your state's basic FAQs, (although those can be very important to read when deciding what to do for yourself).  

The anwser are also, not legal advice.  But hey, you've got to disclaim responsibility when they came from my own perspective as a non-attorney, who just happened to once have a job as unemployment hearing consultant for UI third party administrators.  (This is a company that provides unemployment services .. to you know who, don't you?)

Typically, employee's as unemployment questions  like .....  

Although not an exhaustive list of the questions I used to answer regularly, when you start digging for those  answers, you'll notice it's the individual details of each job separation whether a quit, or discharge that goes back to the burden to prove good cause to a state administrative law agency .. aka your unemployment department.

Evaluating an Unemployment Story for Merits to Win an Unemployment Appeal

Hows, Whys, Whens, Buts & Ifs of Collecting Unemployment

All info on is subject to a legal  disclaimer.

When you tell your unemployment story to friends, family, or even me, you likely aren't telling the story in the same way I would tell you to explain things to the unemployment department.

Every unemployment claim goes through it's own initial adjudication phase and by then, you should be focused on telling the story for best affect on the burden.

If you quit your job, you should be focused on what will prove good cause for being the moving party.

If you were fired for misconduct you should be focused on poking holes in the burden the employer must meet to prove misconduct .. related to the work.

Example:  What does you being a top performer, have to do with a rebuttal argument to that of an employer stating the final incident was one of you, committing work related misconduct?

Point being, even top performers and a supervisor who might come under the heading of employer, can both be proven guilty of meeting the definition of misconduct.

How you you relate your story to the unemployment administrative law agency is crucial.  But the question to ask yourself is whether it's coming from an emotional defensive stance, vs. an objective offensive position.

Emotions are said to clutter the issue of anything legal and this holds true for matters of unemployment, although unemployment is considered to be quasi-legal administrative law.  Many states and the federal government allow even non-attorneys to practice this type of law as you should note when you thoroughly review the instruction that come with a hearing notice and notice the  term "other representative".

In fact, your employer may be using a company such as I, (a non-attorney) once worked for, called a cost control company. with the primary goal of denying to at least those quitting, or being fired.

Click here to learn more about me.

Tip:  An employee, just like your boss, or HR dept. has more ability to affect the final outcome of a first level unemployment appeal hearing while there is still active employment relationship in which to build documentation that actually supports the reason the job ended..

Good Cause to Quit 

Discover why it's important to first try to preserve and save your job.  Read the Q&As

Good Cause to Fire

Discover what your employer must prove for you to be guilty of misconduct. Read the Q&As

Of course there's more issues that can affect the outcome of benefits aside from good cause to quit, or discharge.  They are called conditional eligibility issues.

How Unemployment Works
When You Quit a Job

When you quit a job and file for unemployment benefits, you will have assured yourself of being assigned the burden to prove you had good cause to quit.  

You might be asking, "what's wrong with that".  Plenty .. if you're clueless as to how unemployment works when you quit your job.

Questions and answers about voluntarily quitting a job can shed light on not only the burden you must meet, but the specific reasons people quit their job .. as they connect to the possibility of even being with good cause.

Q&As - Can I collect unemployment if I quit my job?

How Unemployment Works
When You're  Fired

Better than when most people quit .. and that's because the burden of proof is now assigned to the employer and the burden is to prove work related misconduct.

Misconduct, as well as what it isn't, has been defined in a precedent decision 1947 and It's still the predominant definition upon which most state specific definitions of misconduct are still based.  

Q&As - Getting Fired and Unemployment Benefits

Fighting a Denial of Unemployment Benefits

Although there is a lot written about employers legitimately fighting unemployment benefits, very little is written about how some choose to use and abuse the unemployment process when someone is allowed to collect benefits, even when they clearly have little to no merit to stop your benefits.

On the other hand, employees who've been initially denied unemployment, often ignore their own right to write an appeal letter to an erroneous initial denial of unemployment benefits. 

Not to mention the need to prepare to win a hearing on merits .. not hopes and wishes.

Read more about Unemployment Appeals

How to Apply for Unemployment

How to claim unemployment, at least for me, is first knowing how you should apply for unemployment properly and with a legitimate argument to back your claim up from the beginning.

If you need to know where to apply for unemployment .. I'm already concerned for you .. but then you might also be the type to ask questions .. before you act and that's a really good thing.

The list of initial causes one can choose for being unemployed is shorter than I am.

  • Voluntary Quit
  • Discharge for Misconduct
  • Lack of Work (Laid Off)

The question is simple .. however the answer often gets cluttered up with your own emotional confusion about the events leading to a voluntary quit, or discharge.

Get this cause for separation question right .. otherwise you run the risk of appearing as someone who may of thought they had to willfully misrepresent it as material fact in an effort to obtain benefits.

And here's why you don't want that.

Qualifying Monetarily Doesn't Mean You've
Been Allowed to Collect Unemployment Benefits

Most unemployment claims receive two initial determination about any benefits.

  1. Your claim receives a monetary determination qualifying you for a calculated weekly benefit amount.
  2. You will then receive a non-monetary determination telling you if you're eligible to collect that amount each week.

Some of you may have mistaken the monetary determination (sometimes called the award letter)  with meaning you get benefits.   If only it were that simple, but more of you need to scrutinize the the monetary determination for errors .. which might include a denial .. because an employer didn't report, or pay taxes on your covered wages.

Q&As About Monetarily Qualifying for Unemployment Benefits 

Read the full disclaimer here: provides information with the perpetual hope it will be educational, and eye opening for those looking to find and advantage to outweigh the disadvantage of ignorance.

Because .. in the end that is often what denies unemployment benefits that might otherwise have been yours.

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