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Whether it's unemployment questions I'm answering, or an unemployment statistical chart, I'm looking at,  there is an undeniable suggestion the real problem for people trying to collect unemployment benefits is ignoring how unemployment works until after they quit for a good cause reason, or get fired for a reason not miscondcut.

Unemployment insurance law is about an ability to prove good cause when you quit, or rebut the employer didn't have it when you were fired.   Quasi-legally speaking this ability is often separate and irrelevant to the stories that are spilled by those claiming unemployment because the story is disconnected from the burden of proof every unemployment department is mandated to focus it's attention to .. to decide if benefits should be allowed, or denied. 

The Unemployment Tips and Articles   are a sincere effort to prime and expose those who work for a living to think about this ability by sharing what  I learned on a job coordinating unemployment hearings for employers.

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My name is Chris and Unemployment Tips exists because I had that job working in the unemployment insurance field.  It was where I learned denials of unemployment are frequent and too easy .. thanks to what those who might collect, don't know.   What a way to win .. by being thankful to cluelessness unemployment claimants  who don't know they are expected to argue and do so to the standards  of law used to administer unemployment law.. to receive benefits , which of course can vary state by state.

Many pay no heed to the answers to questions, but take the wait and see approach, only to figure out what quasi-legal actually means, after the first (tribunal) unemployment appeal hearing is concluded.

The unfortunate result is often being denied once again when there might of been a better argument to collect, or worse, being denied for the first time when an employer appeals to fight benefits and  learning you're expected to repay benefits you already received .. even if you are unemployed still.

Uh-oh, unemployment insurance .. a safety net with holes.

In simple terms, I attempt to assist any employee exhibiting a modicum of responsibility and accountability, or a willingness to conform a truthful unemployment story to be more relevant to the reason behind why they quit a job with, or without good cause, or why they got fired for misconduct, or something that may not stack up to that burden of proof.. 

Conforming a truth favorably, is tailoring it to hit notes about the rules of unemployment eligibility and the unemployment laws that vary by state.


Can You Find Good Cause to Collect Unemployment Benefits?

If you currently have an existing employment relationship, but is in trouble for some reason then you should explore how good cause for unemployment is connected to employee rights that can impact your unemployment eligibility, after the fact..when you're not aware of what a burden of proof is, or why it's important for the moving party who must prove good cause for moving to end the relationship. 

Voluntarily quitting a job, or being discharged for work related misconduct is not an exhaustive list of unemployment law issues affecting unemployment claims, or appeal hearings, but  together they are the two most common non-monetary issues found on initial determinations causing an aggrieved party to appeal to a first level hearing.

The first hearing, is basically, the last shot to effectively change an initial determination about your right to collect benefits.

Unemployment Laws Vary by State

Unemployment laws definitely vary from one state to another on some very common issues used to allow and  deny benefits ..  such as quitting for health reason, moving to follow a spouse, to the weekly benefit amount, or even the length of and monetary earning requirement for a disqualification for quitting or work misconduct.

Unemployment Benefits Laws and Interpreting What They Mean, State by State

Free Unemployment Benefits FAQs by Issue

New Q&As ocassionally appear on Unemployment Tips Blog.  The only requirement is any new question already be answerable.  

All  Q&A's  can be accessed from one very long page, but it currently  is loaded with over a 1,000 Q&As, which makes it loads slowly, so below you will find pages to where I am dispersing them by issue.

I'm Working on it!)  

Chris -

Quitting With Good Cause

Can I Quit a Job and Collect Benefits?   It's the basic question that prompts me to ask questions pertaining to whether a person can meet their burden that good cause existed and was attributable to the work, or your employer when they quit a job, or if they have to rely on telling the most credible .. believable story at an unemployment hearing.

Q&As About Quitting a Job With Good Cause    Answers  explore the burden to prove good cause, and explain those things that can aid and strengthen an ability to prove quitting was attributable to the work, employer, or at least a provision in law that may create an exception to the rule of attribution of fault.

Questions about quitting  have run the gamut of reasons to quit. All fall into two categories. Compelling personal reasons or those attributable to the work, or an employer, but answers can be specific to the state liable for your claim.

Fired Without Good Cause

Can I Collect Unemployment When Getting Fired?    Certainly, the  answer should now be dependent  on whether the employer can meet it's burden of prove you were fired for nothing less than work related misconduct

Q&As About Unemployment Benefits When Being Fired.

Personal accountability issues aside, we now need to explore an employer burden if we want to rebut effectively why you were not at fault.  We're looking for holes and weaknesses in the burden that give us some kind of ability to exploit  and expose what's wrong with the picture of guilt, to the unemployment law agency, whose state UI laws are controlling the claim so they too can see and understand why you were fired for something other than work related misconduct. We're lucky misconduct has a definition.

Appealing for Unemployment Benefits

To begin it can never hurt to know before you apply for benefits that a non-disqualifying unemployment appeal letter  isn't an argument, or a short story to spill something for your opposition to use against you.

Research for Merits .. Because Those are the Things That Allow You to Argue Valid Points of UI Law

According to google, administrative law is  "the body of law that regulates the operation and procedures of government agencies."  

This explain how unemployment insurance are also made to work and what I think puts at-will employees at a crippling disadvantage when they don't know they are expected to use those often hidden procedural rules effectively, at a first level unemployment appeal hearing .. regardless of who appealed.

forget that I personally find it unconscionable that relatively few state unemployment websites offer an unemployed person useful eligibility guides before they file a claim because employees are expected to know just as well as an employer how to argue for their own particular benefit.

The fact is .. the more you work the system, the easier validity is to recognize and then use to improve the quality of a pro se (self representation) game plan.

Any plan should be based on truth and meet head on, the standard of law be applied to find fault for how and why you're now unemployed ..

And as far as I'm concerned, the real fault often only comes out at an unemployment hearing, also referred to as the full fact finder hearing. 

To assist those who must DIY it, I provide links to as many interpretive unemployment law resources by state, as I have been able to find.  Now,  If only individual states would stop making me chase after where they move good resources to .....

The First Unemployment Appeal Letter

The first unemployment appeal hearing (often called a tribunal hearing) is important because it creates the record upon which further unemployment appeals are based.

Yet the appeal letters I used to read when I had a job .. well many did me, the person looking for an argument against benefits, more good than they did the unemployed person who wrote it.  Therefore, my template is to help you keep your's simple stupid (K.I.S.S.)

Sample Unemployment Appeal Letter for a Denial of Benefits

Last Chance Appeal to a Board of Review

First, there are all sorts of simple straightforward reasons you may need to appeal to a board of review.

But when you and an employer appeared for the first level tribunal hearing .. and you lost, that's not one of those simple reasons.   Now you need a "written argument" that adequately explains to the review board where to look n the record for the error, that made the hearing decision erroneous.

The Last Real Chance You Have is To Appeal to a Board of Review.  Give them what they need to vacate, remand, or reverse a hearing officer's tribunal decision.

Unemployment Questions and Free Advice 

Why wouldn't employees, or those trying to claim benefits, be free to discuss how to make better use of unemployment law, or any ongoing administrative process .. to their own benefit?

No, this is not a trick question, but if you're astute about wanting to protect yourself as an employee, you should notice what can be read in between the lines when I encourage employees and claimant to keep their name and their employer's name out of a question and to just focus on the facts .. ma'am, sir.. that related to the burden that must be met.

Let me apologize now.  I clearly went overboard, before I thought .. aha .. "I need different categories for all these questions about unemployment".

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 facing a fact.  When you quit, you are also assigned the burden to prove good cause to of been the moving party to end the at-will employment relationship.

Benjamin Franklin said it best. 

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

Read More About the Burden of Good Cause to Voluntary Quit a Job 

You can also follow up with hundreds of individual Q&As about quitting a job.

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 supposed to be assigned to the employer that fired you.

And of course, we now have a general definition of work misconduct that can help guide us to know how we might defeat an employer set on proving us guilty of it.

And then there are the Q&As about being fired and collecting unemployment  

Unemployment Questions and Answers

Typically, employee's ask all sort of unemployment questions, trying to understand the process of an unemployment claim.  However, my best tip is to find the ability to think critically about your own claim for benefits and realize that is best served by removing the obstacle of emotional response .. to what you're facing once you apply for benefits .. an issue of unemployment law.

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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