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

I hope it's safe to assume you know that to collect unemployment benefits doesn't happen because you think you lost your job through no fault of their own, but because the unemployment department knows it too. 

Unemployment Tips has always been intended to give employees food for thought to see the what's necessary if you really want to improve your own chances to receive unemployment benefits, from the initial claim adjudication process, through the  tribunal unemployment appeal process that ends with an administrative law hearing.  Or at least, until you find and accept another suitable job,  .. which literally is your job while collecting.

Until I lost my job coordinating unemployment appeals for a third party administrator (TPA) I'd only given thought to what I needed to do, to prevent a denial of unemployment benefits, should I need to quit with fault attributable to my employer, or be fired from my job for something other than work related misconduct. 

I finally lost my job in 2006 due to job elimination, and once again, in 2009, when I quit the same job .. that had been eliminated by my employer. 

Of course true to my employer's own process of using strategy to reduce the cost of unemployment insurance for other employers, I was forced to fight for my unemployment benefits too .. both times, but I was fortunate that I already understood .. 

Eligibility for unemployment benefits .. is all about proving fault relative to a state's unemployment laws .. and proving is made easier, when you also know about the rules and regulations that interpret what the laws often don't tell us.

To Collect Unemployment is About Focusing On the Burden of Proof

My own experience is why I thought I might be able to explain some of the things about the unemployment process I believed claimants frequently missed using that could of helped. 

The most important element found in thousands of Q&As about unemployment insurance benefits, is to focus on finding a tenable argument to collect unemployment, vs. the emotional type, used by claimants, from the moment they apply for unemployment and explain their version of the separation from a job, to the end of many unemployment claims at the only first level tribunal unemployment appeal hearing most get, to finally and fully offer the credible facts and proof, relative to the issue of unemployment law listed on a notice of hearing.

Lower level appeal hearings are used by employers, much more to deny benefits, than by claimants to finally get benefits.

The first concern I think a former employee should have, is understanding if it's their former employer, or themselves who will be assigned the burden of proof, for being the moving party to end the job and of course, what that burden requires to prove there was good cause to quit a job, or a state's definition of misconduct to fire you.

Recent Q&As

  1. About

    Sep 06, 18 11:16 AM

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

    Read More

  2. If my employer didn't show up for the unemployment appeal hearing will I win?

    Aug 20, 18 05:14 PM

    Hi there, I just had my appeal hearing today and my employer didn't show up. But they wrote a letter. Do I automatically win because the judge still

    Read More

  3. Who is paying my benefit ??

    Aug 20, 18 11:11 AM

    I am receiving unemployment benefits from calif . I worked in calif. for 10 years quit my job and moved to oregon where i worked and was laid off after

    Read More

Here's hoping the free information about unemployment benefits helps, but if not, I hope I can refer you to Professional to represent you at a lower level tribunal appeal hearing.

Ignoring Your Employee Rights May Affect Your Claim to Collect Unemployment

When applying for unemployment benefits, you might not realize you are literally opting to initiate the right of at-will employees, when covered by unemployment insurance.  But even before you lose a job, many of us should have considered exercising employee rights we have while in the workplace.  

Unemployment Insurance Benefits stand in my own mind, as an exception, to the very idea of at-will employment relationship in the U.S. which is literally that concept that allows an employer to fire workers without any cause, or employees to quit, even on impulse, and then struggle to find a reasonable argument in support of good cause for quitting.

Free Unemployment Advice

Unemployment Tips  I'm sorry, there's a lot.

All Unemployment Q&As appeared on the blog, at one time, or another beginning in 2008.

I am solely responsible for all of the free advice .. just in case you decide to offer feedback .. or  testimonial about any service I provided.

Before you dig in, please know I'm not a lawyer, therefore nothing is intended, or represented as being legal advice

However, I was a non-attorney employee, and I evaluated thousands of unemployment claims as a UI hearing coordinator. long before the idea of a website of my own, became a twinkle in my eye and I was laid off and decided to explain for the benefit of employees.

Is there a way for you to collect, or be denied unemployment benefits?  That is the question only the details and circumstances surrounding how and why you lost your job, can answer.  

I believe in the value of foresight, as it can inform us about how to avoid making quasi-legal mistakes of ignorance.  At minimum, I know it works better than playing this game with hindsight as your only teacher.

An initial non-monetary claim determination is based only on the available information and because of that word "available" an unemployment claim adjudicator can get the initial determination wrong (erroneous).    Therefore to preserve your right to fight and have a chance at changing the outcome to be favorable,  you must appeal any initial claim determination, just to get to a first level unemployment hearing .. aka the only FULL FACT FINDER claimants, or employers usually get to change the gatekeepers .. determination.

If at any point you think a Professional Unemployment Hearing Representative, or Preemptive Coaching might be  viable to help improve your situation .. be sure to ask me about my Unemployment Referral Service.

What's in a Burden of Proof?  A Valid Argument That Allows Someone the Possibility, to Keep, or Collect Unemployment Benefits .. After an Unemployment Appeal Hearing

So .. let me begin with what I begin to think about when I refer to a burden of proof.  What needs to be proven, or rebutted and is there a way forward to get the job done.

And on the same page where I link to the chartbooks, you may get luck and find the state controlling your unemployment claim has a precedent unemployment decision digest, or whatever else they might call the resources that disseminate how an unemployment agency has the privilege of writing regulations apply to whether you can collect, or be denied unemployment  benefits.  Maybe if all states told us how they interpret their own unemployment laws, aka Employment Security Acts, you know you're expected to argue quasi-legally, to an administrative law agency

Please note, the legal disclaimer

And for those wanting assistance, I can refer appeal cases to professional UI appeal representatives, for a number of State Lower Level Hearings and written arguments to an Unemployment Insurance Board of Review.

The Unemployment Benefits Blog - Asked and Answered

Over the years I answered thousands of Q&As about unemployment insurance benefits, basically because I attached a blog to

I still consider new question though when contacted, on the condition,  if I think the issue you raise could be useful for a new blog post.  I will of course, ask for your permission first, as well as strip all personally identifying information, save the name of the state in question.  If you appreciate my answer, great, I appreciate honest testimonials.   If you feel inclined, however, to call me an awful expletive .. in a comment to an answer you found among the thousands .. please move on because I finally reached an age when feeling guilty is counterproductive to my own best interest.

Looking for questions with discussion about proving a voluntary quit is with good cause, such as when proving fault as being attributable to the employer?

How about questions about being fired from a job, and it's your employer who has to prove your termination was for misconduct?

Orienting yourself to knowing who is assigned the burden to prove fault, is basic folks, at least if you want  to how unemployment benefits can work, or why they don't work out.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Q&As

  1. About

    Sep 06, 18 11:16 AM

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

    Read More

  2. If my employer didn't show up for the unemployment appeal hearing will I win?

    Aug 20, 18 05:14 PM

    Hi there, I just had my appeal hearing today and my employer didn't show up. But they wrote a letter. Do I automatically win because the judge still

    Read More

Fired From a Job for a Reason Other Than Work Misconduct?

´╗┐Being fired and then having to fight to get unemployment benefits, can happen to any employee, even when I don't think you're guilty of misconduct.   

Yet being denied unemployment with the initial non-monetary claim determination is often enough of a deterrent that it stops people in their tracks and convinces them it's not worth a simple appeal letter to get a lower level tribunal hearing.

Lower level unemployment hearings are called FULL fact finder hearings for a reason.  The point of a hearing is to fully explore if there really was  Willful Work Misconduct when testimony and/or evidence is allowed to go beyond only the "available information" used to initially determine if you get benefits.

Once you know the definition of work misconduct, you may be ready for some Q&As About Being Fired for Misconduct .. or not.

To Quit a Job and Then Prove You Had Good Cause

Yes, people quit their job for reasons I know have potential of being found as good cause, but they are still denied unemployment benefits because they didn't pay enough attention to their own burden of proving fault as being reasonably, attributable to the employer.

Don't allow yourself to be misled by the employer when you quit.  They may think it's best for you to voluntarily quit before you can give any thought to how you will later meet unemployment insurance's burden of proof. 

If you detect a sigh of relief,  it may be that boss, or HR person knows you have nothing to help you meet the  of why you voluntary quit with good cause.

How about a ton of Q&As About Quitting a Job With, or Without Good Cause

Why You May Need to Win a Lower Level Unemployment Appeal Hearing

A lower level unemployment appeal hearing, doesn't sound as if it's the last opportunity to deny, or collect unemployment benefits .. but if you know the unemployment process .. because it's burnt into your brain from repeating it thousands of time, the first hearing is generally speaking, your last chance to get, or keep benefits .. because the second level, or higher appeal authority of an unemployment insurance board of review appeal, will by no means, ever be called the second chance appeal .. by me.

Wondering how to write an appeal letter to an initial claim level denial of benefits to get a tribunal (lower appeal hearing)? 

It easy, compared to writing a written argument, i.e. legal brief for an Unemployment Insurance Board of Review to review the record of the first hearing.

And yup, I've got Q&As about Unemployment Appeal Letters and Hearings too.

Don't Forget About the Conditional Unemployment Eligibility Rules

Conditional Unemployment Eligibility .. What's that?

Unemployment Insurance laws explain how you must maintain conditional eligibility to collect unemployment.  Regardless of fault surrounding a separation issue I often detected a conditional eligibility issue when someone asked about quitting, or being terminated, because no matter the type of issue on appeal, conditional eligibility problems can create an overpayment of benefits .. for even those who did lose their job through no fault of their own.

So .. what is suitable work (SW) for you?  Do you know when you can .. and may need to refuse an offer of work an employer thinks is suitable to you?  Well, a decision is made easier if you understand what criteria makes jobs that may be almost suitable .. still unsuitable enough for you to refuse ..  in the eyes of the unemployment department.

And then there's the conditional issue of not being able and available to work (A&A).   It's just one more condition an unemployed person must certify, under penalty of perjury, they are meeting each week, to collect.   A&A can be a problem for those separated due to health problems even if found not at fault for the cause of separation .. at least until they are able to provide medical documentation that releases them to go back to work, even if the work must meet with medical restrictions.

Being able and available to work can also become an issue for those going to school, or training while collecting benefits. 

You may find the  Q&As About Collecting and Going to School useful.

How Much Does Unemployment Pay?

I've saved the first step in the unemployment process for last .. because monetarily qualifying for unemployment benefits is based on math formulas, which isn't something I worked on .. but nonetheless, I was able to figure it out for myself .. and some others when they asked questions about monetary issues.

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

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