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Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If I Lost My Job Through No Fault of My Own?

If I were still an at-will employee, and even suspected I might need to collect unemployment benefits if I quit my job, or thought I might be fired, I'd put my former job experience aiding employers get denials of unemployment benefits at unemployment appeal hearings to work.. in MY best interest. 

Telling your unemployment story better, is about giving it  proper context to the facts that allow you to reasonably argue, why you shouldn't be held at fault, by a state unemployment insurance agency for losing your job.  

Of course it should go without saying the  context I'm referring to, is best decided on before you apply for unemployment compensation benefits.

We should all be so lucky to know we have rights to due process in this process, since it's expected we know, before quitting a job with good cause, or get fired from from a job without the good cause of work misconduct.

As for me, I learned what I know while coordinating first level unemployment appeal hearings for employers and I hope you find something helpful to explain how unemployment insurance benefits should work for you.

The Unemployment Benefits Blog

  1. How do I talk to a live unemployment agent on the phone in New Jersey?

    Feb 20, 18 11:57 AM

    I have been trying to apply for un-employment insurance for 2 weeks now. Spending many hours on the phone only to hear all lines are busy and then I am

    Read More

Do You Need Representation at an Unemployment Appeal Hearing?

The Basic Thing About Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

I'm relieved you asked some sort of question, about collecting unemployment benefits, or maybe you're here because you've been initially denied benefits and are wondering if appealing is the answer.  Well, all I can say now .. is if you do appeal .. is make it a timely appeal. offers basic unemployment information I hope will acquaint you with the burden of proof.  And a slew of Q&As I've collected over the years about proving and rebutting a burden.

Please be aware everything is subject to the terms and conditions, including a legal disclaimer I paid an attorney to write for me.   

Arguing with relevancy, to the burden of proof means you must also identify the unemployment eligibility issues affecting your ability to collect benefits. 

Where do we find the issues?  Well, let's not wait to find out because it's always going to be individual  State Unemployment Laws and some free resources that help explain what they mean.

Want to know about me?  Well, my name for purposes of this website is Chris

I'm responsible for being here, although I didn't feel alone for long .. in the fight to collect unemployment .. despite my facebook page indicates something to the contrary.  What can I say .. except I've keep failing Social Media 101.

I Was Fired From My Job for Work Misconduct: Can I Collect Unemployment?

    I'm sorry to hear when anyone is fired because losing a job often plays havoc with our emotional well being and egos.  But in turn, this can distract us from arguing, why a termination from our employment was for something other than work related misconduct.   
    Being fired for no good reason however, is the common risk all employees are susceptible to, when we accept a job .. aka at will employment in the United States. 
    So, what does unemployment insurance benefits basically do for employees when fired without sustainable good cause for the moving party, aka your former employer?
    Unemployment Insurances creates an exception to the general rule of most job being of the at will variety in the U.S.  
  • If you get fired from a job, the burden of proof is on the employer to prove your guilt .. found in the definition above.  It's referenced often in in case law, called unemployment insurance precedent decisions (I include links to  state unemployment precedent digests  if I could find that sort of manual, along with other useful self-help material.)   

And of course I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how to poke holes in an employer's burden, or if you prefer, how to undermine an argument that promotes the idea you were guilty of work related misconduct at the time you were discharged.

Q&As About Getting Fired for Misconduct

I Quit My Job With Good Cause, Can I Collect Unemployment?

´╗┐If you tell me you quit your job with good cause, my initial reaction isn't to not believe you, but ask if you can prove it to the standard of law .. the burden of proof assigned to you as the moving party to of ended your at-will employment relationship.

Ultimately, the basic problem is .. people quit a jobs on impulse, and usually before considering how to meet the burden of proof to quit a job with good cause. 

  • If you voluntarily quit your jobthe employer doesn't need to tell you what you have to prove and  they often take advantage of what you don't know about quitting with good cause after you file an unemployment claim.   On the other hand, they're just taking advantage of how the laws work which leads to state unemployment agencies who often don't explain good cause may mean you built your  case to quit, by showing/proving you made .. exhausted efforts to preserve your jobs, just to prove the fault for quitting was attributable to your employer.

So .. as they (employers usually) say, document, document, document .. because if it's not written down, you can question whether it really happened.

Q&As About Quitting a Job With Good Cause .. anyone?

Winning a First Level Unemployment Appeal Hearing

A lower level unemployment appeal hearing, may not sound as if it's your last opportunity to collect unemployment benefits .. in the overall unemployment process, but for claimants initially allowed to collect, or those denied unemployment benefits erroneously without experience knowing how to prepare to win a tribunal level unemployment hearing, they often think a board appeal is some sort of second chance

But, if you're wondering how to write an appeal letter for a denial of benefits, for a tribunal (lower appeal authority) hearing .. you might consider that appealing a lower level hearing decision, often means you need to write a written argument, and that might compare to what some call a written legal brief .. if board appeals weren't usually considered to still be quasi-legal.

Q&As about Unemployment Appeals to explain more.

Winning Tribunal Unemployment Appeal Hearings

The tribunal unemployment appeal process, is generally your last chance to get, or keep your benefits.  

If you're looking for help writing an appeal letter to a denial of unemployment benefits,  here's my K.I.S.S unemployment appeal letter template.

Conditional Unemployment Eligibility Rules

Conditional Unemployment Eligibility Issues

Unemployment Insurance laws contain contains conditional eligibility issues.  These to can be of consequence  to a person's ability to collect unemployment. 

Take note, if a claim determination, or a hearing notice mentions anything about suitable work (SW) or being able and available to work (A&A). 

And read the claimant handbook from front to back, if you think you may need to learn about required job searches, or unemployment fraud, which as an issue often includes language to suggest a claimant may of misrepresented material facts in an effort to obtain benefits.

And last, but not least, I'm sticking a special voluntary quit provision, just for folks employed by a temporary staffing agency .. under conditional issues.

I have addressed all sorts of issues about getting and keeping unemployment benefits  over the years including somewhere around  4,000 free Q&A's appearing also on's  blog

The good news should be if someone like me can figure out how unemployment laws should work through these free resources, you may not need my services as a coach.

How Much Does Unemployment Pay?

Monetarily qualifying is based on wages found in a claim's base period and fortunately how much is based on formulas  .. subject to math rules.  After filing for unemployment it's important to file a continuing claim each week .. whether allowed, or just waiting for benefits to be approved.

  • When you certify you are owed benefits in any week you claim, you are doing so under penalty of perjury.  This is important to keep in mind when answering questions about you being able and available to work, that you complied with any requirements regarding your search for new work (keep a log for proof), or certifying you didn't refuse any offer of suitable work.  
  • You must report earnings for any week you claim you're owed benefits, while still certifying .. and don't wait to report until you get paid.  (Yes, unemployment departments can and do split this hair later when the dept. becomes aware an employer paid you).
  • Make sure you file a claim each week, you're fully, or partially unemployed, even while waiting to be approved, because if you don't file you can't be paid for that week.
  • File timely, or as instructed .. because timeliness is essentially another conditional eligibility rules .. while unemployed you need to be concerned enough to follow.

If all the above seems like a no-brainer to you .. that would seem a good thing to me.  But then again, if working as an unemployment hearing coordinator for employers taught me anything .. it's that merely assuming what someone tells you is true, or not .. doesn't mean it's been proven, or rebutted  to become a credible fact. 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits are Connected to How Administrative Law Agencies Regulate Laws to Work

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