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Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits?  You May, If You Also Know Why You Lost Your Job Through No Fault of Your Own

In 2006, I was a non-attorney, like most employees.   I just happened to know how to collect unemployment benefits because the job I lost, was assisting employers, to fight unemployment claims when an unemployed person applied to receive benefits.

The less obvious advantage I had, was coordinating unemployment appeal hearings for the business end of things, forced me to learn why it's better to work with your eyes wide open to the realities of how employers get ready to fight .. before the a job is ended.

As for my job in UI cost control, I once heard the CEO describe it as a fertile field for the company's cash cow.  Made sense then, as it does now, because there's a lot a business to be derived from millions upon millions, of employment records.

My job was eliminated in 2006.  I managed to collect unemployment benefits, despite my former employer's best efforts to argue otherwise.  But enough of my employment / unemployment story, because it was just a part of the reason this website even exists .. for those who bother to ask questions about the unemployment benefit process. 

It's a fact, there are unemployed people everyday, who might of proven they had good cause to voluntarily quit a job,  or rebutted why they were fired without any good cause.  At the end of the day,  this is why I believe it's important for employees to know how to improve their odds to not just collect unemployment initially, but retain those benefits after a the first unemployment hearing .. before they quit, or get fired.

Employees need to up their ability to meet, or rebut to a standard of law if for no other reason, than to know what actually causes an unemployment story to come out on top as the more credible of two separate versions of the same story about the loss of a job .. which is what takes place at  tribunal (lower level) unemployment hearings.

Unemployment Eligibility Rules

Ask me about the seemingly elusive ability to collect unemployment insurance benefits, and I may end up asking questions, just so I can explain how things might be made to work, as opposed to what prevent things from working for you. 

Unfortunately a reason for an answer is sometimes caused by those elusive variances in state unemployment laws and/or regulations .. or just how differently, similar sounding laws about eligibility, can be  interpreted from one state unemployment administrative law agency .. to another.  

I'd show you a chart representative of the differences between states .. but it might depress both of us, so let's just proceed and find some objectivity.

Recent Q&As

  1. Where can i get help understanding a board of review decision?

    Oct 19, 18 10:20 AM

    I have been collecting unemployment and my employer has been trying to fight it, but losing. Today I got a letter from the board of review and I just don't

    Read More

  2. About

    Oct 03, 18 11:09 AM

    Answering questions about collecting unemployment benefits is how I dealt with being laid off .. and still having to fight for benefits

    Read More

  3. What If a Company Closes It's Doors But Offers the Same Job at a location That Makes it Impractical?

    Oct 02, 18 11:02 AM

    I have been working with the same Company for 10 years. The Company has decided to close their doors in NM. They did offer me employment in the same

    Read More

How to Write an Unemployment Appeal Letter

If you have been denied unemployment benefits with an initial claim determination, (usually states the finding was "based upon the available information"), you can appeal that determination .. whether you know if you can win yet .. or not.

The state, generally speaking, acknowledges receipt of an appeal letter and then schedules a lower level, aka tribunal unemployment hearing.  This hearing is held by phone in many states.  A notice of hearing is sent to all "interested parties" to the appeal.

I suggest this format to write a simple stupid appeal letter .. and with good reason.  Or you can jump ahead to learn more about what goes on at lower level unemployment hearings aka, full fact finder hearings meant to fully develop a record of facts, should there be any higher authority unemployment appeals filed.

The Burden If You Quit Your Job and Then File an Unemployment Claim

If you quit a job and then decide to apply for unemployment, it's helpful to know before you quit, the initial burden you will be expected to meet to prove you had good cause to quit your job , since fault for you voluntarily quitting your job, needs to be proven as attributable to the employer .. and it hard to impossible to prove much after the employment relationship is ended impulsively, by you.

Here's the Q&As about Quitting and Proving the Burden for Unemployment Benefits

The Burden to Rebut You Weren't Fired From a Job For Misconduct

When fired from a job, the burden of proving work related misconduct is correctly assigned to the employer, to prove your guilt of misconduct  and the final incident that forced the employer to choose to end the at-will employment relationship.   

Work Related Misconduct as it is defined as good cause above, is helpful to not only employers but you, even if it's chocked full of awful sounding words, intended to describe what underlies the employee's acts of misconduct.

But even a definition should raise questions for the former employer who must now understand how .. or if they should try to rebut their guilt, including when it's clear to them their former employer may of been attempting to avoid the burden of proving misconduct first, such as may be the case for a quit in lieu of being fired.

Here's the Q&A About Being Fired and Rebutting to Collect Unemployment

Free Sample Unemployment Appeal Letter of an Initial Non-monetary Separation Claim Determination.

I see know reason why a person needs help appealing a monetary determination, but since many asked questions about the amount of their weekly unemployment benefits, base periods, partial benefit amounts, or payments such as severance, or pensions that may reduce that amount here are the Q&As about monetary entitlement to benefits.

But every monetary claim determination (the first one you receive), tells you what you're entitled to receive .. if you are found otherwise eligible to collect, based on the facts concerning the cause for your separation .. and to appeal this initial claim determination, here's a template to keep your appeal letter .. simple stupid, given I don't know, why you're appealing.

Here the Q&As About Unemployment Appeals

Do you know lower level unemployment appeal hearings, are used regularly by employers using the services of  TPA companies (third party administrators) because they really do provide unemployment insurance expertise that effectively reduces the claim experience rating system for determining what unemployment tax an employer will pay on the wages of it's current employees.

Do you know only employees in Alaska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, may be required to pay a minimal amount  of State unemployment tax? 

More Unemployment Questions and Answers

I'm sorry, I hindsight has taught me, I answered questions I shouldn't have answered .. because they became part of the Collect Unemployment Blog

Yet to be honest about unemployment issues, there's more to be concerned about than just quitting with, or being fired without good cause to include know what's suitable work, how school affects benefits, special VQ rules to affect temp employees and why an overpayment .. means repaying benefits.

It's safe to say .. there's a lot of Q&As that touched on one, or more conditional eligibility issue, claimants need to be aware of while they continue to collect benefits, or to protect their right to collect again, they should they accept a new suitable before exhausting benefits, at anytime between the BYB (benefit year begins) and BYE (benefit year ends) dates.

All the Q&As .. or at least most of them.

How Your Employee Rights In the Workplace May 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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