Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If ....?

Clearly, I think I have  a lot to talk about, at least when it comes to the most effective way I know of for an unemployed person to to collect unemployment benefits, rather than being denied,  in spite of when the relevant facts align and could of shown why you weren't at fault, for the reason you became unemployed.

Being more effective, may mean, however, there is a need to talk about your unemployment story, for me to get the details I need, so I can know how and why you quit a job, or how and why you were fired

Let me be up front, my experience, tips, or advice, isn't that of an unemployment lawyer, but  a former unemployment appeal hearing coordinator who worked on behalf of only employers.   

What I learned is employees rarely investigate how unemployment insurance benefit laws may work for them, if they are to be found eligible .. and before push comes to shove, and they end up learning first hand after a first level unemployment hearing why the first hearing is generally their last chance to argue the relevant truths about their story as also being the credible facts.

So here's my over-arching tips that can make collecting unemployment .. more likely.

Document, document, document your own reasonable and your employer's unreasonable actions, while employed because documentation is evidence that weights testimony with credibility.  And you may have just as much to lose,  as your employer, who will likely be paying a higher unemployment insurance premium .. should you win an unemployment appeal hearing .. regardless of who has to appeal.

Have an Unemployment Eligibility Question Yet?

Receiving and Denying Unemployment Benefits is About the Same Thing..  The Moving Party's Ability to Meet Their Burden of Proof

The basic questions of an unemployment agency, asked during an initial phone unemployment eligibility claim interview, aren't all that different than the ones I ask when I talk to someone.

You need to focus on just one fact about how unemployment works .. it's that the moving party must prove the fault for ending an otherwise at-will employment relationship, was that of the non-moving party.   

In a nutshell, your advantages, or disadvantages are most often found by exploring the moving party's burden to prove good cause, as it may also be relevant to the applicable standard of law being applied at the time, to whether benefits are allowed, or denied.  

Initially, the burden of proof is  based on the available information.  The information is  made available by you and your last employer.  

However, most initial claim determinations (monetary, or non-monetary), are very  easily appealed with a letter disagreeing with the findings of the claim determination. 

In most states an appeal letter will cause the claim to be transferred from the claim section of the agency, to the Lower Appeal Authority section.   

Once there, a hearing will be docketed for a date, time and mode of the hearing (phone, or in person) in front of  the lower appeal authority, aka a Tribunal Unemployment Appeal Hearing.

The standard of law the moving party must now meet, goes up a notch to a preponderance, which result in a hearing decision based on whose testimony and/or evidence is more credible .. even if the other party doesn't appear for the hearing.

Knowing the context of what the moving party is expected to prove at hearing, is as important to a claimant, as it is to an employer and  whether you quit, or were fired.

It's not a BURDEN of PROOF for no good reason.

Unemployment Benefits If You Quit Your Job

Many people try to collect unemployment benefits after quitting a job, but they don't win unemployment hearings very often, even those initially allowed benefits. 

I for one think the common and often relied upon typical losing scenario for those who may of quit their job for good cause, but are still denied could be avoided more often, if only employees would take to heart the underpinnings that allow them to meet the burden of the issue of quitting .. listed on their hearing notices. 

Did the claimant voluntary quit with, or without good cause attributable to the employer? 

Need more info about how you might prove you had good cause to quit your job?  Here's some Q&As.

Unemployment When Fired From a Job

I think the reason there is an unemployment myth that it's better to be fired, than to quit a job,  is because those who quit often lose an appeal hearing and those who are discharged for misconduct aren't burdened with having to prove the cause for separation was misconduct.

Question is .. does an employee need to rebut the employer's burden of proving misconduct?  Ask me and it depends on an honest evaluation of how you think the employer will try to prove their case.

Did the employer discharge the claimant for misconduct connected to the work, or for some other reason not misconduct?  

Need more about collecting unemployment when fired from a job?  Here's some Q&A's

Unemployment Appeal Hearing Representation

Claimants losing unemployment appeal hearings they might of otherwise won, has always bothered me .. almost as much as the reason I think they lose winnable appeal hearings .. is they ignore the fact unemployment insurance is a quasi-legal form of law controlled by an unemployment department .. aka an administrative law agency.

I may not be able to keep you on track by being your personal hearing coordinator, but I can offer you a chance for  free case evaluation with a professional unemployment hearing rep .. the like of which I once contracted to represent employers.

Who knows,  after talking about your case, the hearing rep, may think you have a case that's winnable, therefore worth taking on .. provided you don't object to a flat fee for representation services at your hearing.

Need more info about what can go wrong .. or right with an Unemployment Appeal?  Here's some Q&As

Unemployment Laws:  Learn How They Vary State By State

Unemployment laws regarding eligibility, and/or being found ineligible, make up a relatively small portion of a state's statutes regarding Unemployment Insurance. What employees are often looking to learn, often come under a heading such as Disqualifications from Benefits.  And yes, please believe me when I tell you unemployment laws vary by state .. including what is, or is not considered disqualifying.

Individual state unemployment insurance programs were mandated by the federal government with the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935.  For those of you interested in history, Frances Perkins was the Secretary of Labor at that time.  Personally, I think she was a special woman of that time in our history, she was responsible for many of the employment laws, during her long tenure, that still provide our basic protections as at-will employees today.

Here's the links to Unemployment Laws and Other Free Resources to help you understand if, when and why you may be able to collect .. even if couldn't were you to of lost your job in another state.

Meeting, or Rebutting the Burden Focused On Proving Fault

Unemployment Insurance is made to work when the moving party (the party that ended the employment relationship), is able to meet their burden of proof, the non-moving party was at fault.

The burden, for lack of a better way for me, a non-attorney to explain what  claimants often miss, is the standard of law applied at unemployment hearings to prove, or rebut to the context of the burden, assigned to the moving party.  Which can be the cause of why many will be denied unemployment benefits erroneously.

To Quit a Job With Good Cause

It's possible to quit your job for a reason that is good cause, but still not be able to prove you had good cause.   When people voluntarily quit for good cause, they are frequently denied unemployment because they can't prove one or more element that not only shows how the fault was attributable to the work, or the employer, but that they first exhausted reasonable efforts to preserve their job.

Given the standard for being found eligible after the initial claim determination phase, is based on the available information obtained from both you and your former employer,  it may be worth your time to consider the burden of proof, should you need to make the argument at a first level unemployment hearing, whether you are allowed to collect unemployment, or are denied benefits erroneously in your own mind after the initial claim adjudication.

Q&As About Quitting and Collecting Unemployment Benefits

My Employer Fired Me For Misconduct

Okay, who thinks they were fired from a job for a reason that shouldn't be considered as being misconduct connected to the work? 

Here's an old definition for what work misconduct is, that still relevant today.

Well, as you might note, the good news about being fired is, you don't have to meet the burden of proving your actions were misconduct, nor do you need to help your employer prove the burden that is their's to prove.

But logic dictates, if you you don't need to help your employer prove any misconduct, you may still need to know what you should be trying to rebut.

Questions about Being Fired From a Job?

More Questions About Collecting Unemployment Benefits

Want to learn more about proving, rebutting, or arguing to show your unemployment story is the most credible story that fits within the confines of how unemployment is supposed to work?

Then you'll find a variety of Q&As on the  contact me page.

And for those who think it could be wise to know who is offering these unemployment tips and why, you may want to read my employment and unemployment story.

How Do Employees  Quit, Or Get Fired From a Job Through No Fault of Their Own and Still End Up Denied Unemployment Benefits?

If you left your job, by voluntarily quitting, or being discharged, the baseline you need to know when you begin thinking about how to collect, or not be denied benefits, is that fault is generally required to be attributed to the non-moving party, by the moving party that ended the relationship.. at least most of the time.

I'm like a broken record, when it comes to claimants failing to recognize who has the burden of proving fault, which I think is best known, from the moment you apply for unemployment benefits.

My experience, however, is what has sincerely forced me to explain because everyday I worked to coordinate hearings for employers, I was also banking on some claimants being responsible for why they would be denied unemployment.

Losing is what can happen if you, or even an employer, ignores the burden and the context of the story, someone is trying to prove who was really to blame at unemployment appeal hearings..

Appealing, to get unemployment, or to deny benefits .. comes with another burden if you ask me.  It's a personal responsibility to evaluate a story for the actual facts relevant to  the intent underlying unemployment law .. which is the opposite of ignorance creating fake holes in the economic safety net for someone to fall through .. because they didn't know to avoid the hole.

Unemployment Appeals:  How to Write a Letter When You're Initially Denied Unemployment Benefits

I'm often asked for my opinion on how I think someone should try to win an unemployment appeal hearing.

My answer is always the same about a claimant writing a letter to appeal an initial denial of unemployment benefits.  

Keep It Simple Stupid.

Or if you prefer, let me offer you something different.

A Referral to a Professional Unemployment Appeal Representative.

Unemployment appeal case referrals and passive ads are the primary two ways I earn money from this site .. You should learn more about that when you visit the Terms of Use of this website.

Unemployment Benefits Q&As

  1. Fired for hanging up the phone on customers.

    May 16, 19 10:22 AM

    I worked in a call center and was fired for hanging up on a customer before I said anything. No conversation took place and they said their was a customer

    Read More

  2. California Unemployment Benefits and Temporary Jobs WARNING

    May 14, 19 10:41 AM

    The shit just hit the fan... I am a long-time troll of Internet sites regarding UI, now I have something to contribute. If you are trying to research

    Read More

  3. Unpaid wages

    May 11, 19 11:24 AM

    I worked 80 hours every two weeks over the past 6 years and for most of that time I got paid like clockwork.Then my boss got mad at me and my two coworkers

    Read More

How Employee Rights In the Workplace Can Affect Your Ability to Collect Unemployment

When applying for unemployment benefits, it can be easy to miss some of the questions may relate to whether you exercised an employee right .. you may of mentioned in explaining the final incident, or the cause of why you voluntarily quit, due to the fault of the employer.   

Unemployment Insurance Benefits are really an afterthought of an exception, to the idea adhered to in the U.S., which this employment attorney began to explain about the impact the doctrine of employment at will has on us all.

If you grasp that Unemployment Insurance was added to the mix in 1936 after the Great Depression, and the employee rights we've come to take for granted to day have literally become a counterweight against unemployment benefits and that extra weight for your arguments for benefits, lurk beneath the surface of a workplace culture, you can expose as fact better, while you're still an employee.

In any case, I know of at least one UI precedent decision that agreed there was no good cause to quit .. because the employee failed to exercise a right in the workplace first .. to show they tried to preserve their employment first. 

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