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Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If ....

If you're here to because you asked, can I collect unemployment insurance benefits, what I will tell you now, is for me to get to an answer, it usually means taking a hard and objective look at the devil, found in the details that would come after the word, if.   

Each unemployment story has a beginning and end, but the end, is central to your unemployment claim and only because  you applied for unemployment benefits ..  and the questions asked are generally centered on the final incident that caused the moving party to move .. or end what was otherwise, an AT WILL employment relationship.

The constant question found in unemployment elibility rules is if the moving party, is able to prove to the state unemployment administrative law agency, it's burden of having good cause, to sever an employment relationship.   The burden to prove matters to you, whether the severing was done by you when you quit your job, or by the employer when you ended up fired from your job.

Relying on luck to receive, or keep unemployment benefits, when benefits depend on meeting, or rebutting a quasi-legal burden of proof is simply put, the worst of  all bad strategies.  

Without a doubt, many  unemployment claim will initially, but erroneously, allow, or deny unemployment benefits and you need to figure out if that happened to you.

But because I know employers often fight unemployment benefits tooth and nail, whether that be right, wrong, or indifferent to good cause for appealing, I hope you will find it in yourself to dig in and learn more about how to use the unemployment process to your own advantage.

If you've been initially denied unemployment, you have the right to file an unemployment appeal letter.   

Conversely, if you are initially allowed to receive unemployment benefits, your employer may likely appeal and you need to get ready to win the resulting hearing.

If it's sounds like getting unemployment benefits may have a learning curve to it, I'd be the last one to disagree.   

So in the interest of learning what you need to know, here is the free state unemployment law resources.   I don't keep up well with changing links, except the ones I use on a regular to help me answer questions about unemployment benefits, supplemented by my experience with unemployment insurance.

If you're looking for the free unemployment advice, here's the FAQs&As

Please don't ignore the FAQ's.  I answered thousands of questions over the years, for the  Unemployment Benefits Blog. 

Unemployment Benefits Q&As

  1. Can you still get unemployment after 6 weeks even if denied?

    Nov 12, 18 10:53 AM

    I have a fact finding hearing coming up. I was fired by my employer, and there is a chance I will be denied benefits. Even if I am denied after the hearing,

    Read More

  2. True Human Compassion

    Nov 06, 18 09:45 PM

    Amazing. Chris really caught me off guard with her willingness to discuss my case, offer support and advice, and explain areas of confusion with detail,

    Read More

  3. 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

  4. 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

Unemployment Appeal Hearing Services

In case you didn't read about me, I worked at a company where I knew the basic problem for many unemployed people, was the expertise they faced at unemployment appeals hearings, working on behalf of their employers.   I coordinated hearings, but I always contracted a professional hearing rep, because who better to have working for you at a hearing than someone who knows when and which right to due process or procedural rope to grab onto .. before, or during a lower level unemployment hearing .. to potentially allow for merits to base a written argument on when appealing a tribunal hearing decision to the higher authority of an Unemployment Insurance Board of Review.

I myself do not claim to possess more than a working knowledge of how unemployment works as a hearing coordinator who protected rights to due process before a hearing.   However, hen I finally quit my job in 2009 and wound up at a tribunal hearing (employer appellant) and they decided to appeal the hearing decision to the Board of Review .. based on no merits, I decided why not try to do something for claimants similar, if not quite the same as I once did, for each and every hearing I coordinated  for employers.

Well, I knew I couldn't go out an contract a professional unemployment hearing rep for you in all fifty states like I once did,  but I did manage to find professional, qualified, and most importantly, experienced UI hearing reps to refer your case to in 28 states.

Click here to learn more about which states I can refer an unemployment appeal hearing case, to a real Unemployment Hearing Representative ..

Should You Quit Your Job For Good Cause or Let'em Fire You For Something Other Than Misconduct?

I'm troubled by what employees tell me they chose to ignore, for the sake of protecting their job from a questionable reason to be terminated.  And all because an employer needs to the burden of proving work misconduct as cause,. when you're fired while you just need to think about how/if/ you can rebut (undermine) their ability to meet the standard of law of that burden.

I'm not suggesting I want to discourage an employee from quitting for good cause, but if you must quit your job .. know it's you who will need to meet the burden to prove the fault for you leaving your job .. was attributable to your employer.

You should try using the search bar, if your question relates to who has the burden in a voluntary quit, in lieu of being discharged case.

Unemployment Eligibility Rules

Ask questions abour your ability to collect unemployment insurance benefits, and it's me who ends up asking questions, just to explain what I may think about your chances of collecting, or keeping unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, sometimes the answer is due to those variances found in unemployment laws and/or regulations state to state.   

I'd show you a sample unemployment law comparison now, but all you need to do is click that link to find them all .. for you to review objectively .. depending on the state controlling your unemployment claim.

How You Can Safely Write an Unemployment Appeal Letter

If you have been denied unemployment benefits with the initial non-monetary claim determination, (findings usually state, "based upon the available information"), you can appeal this determination easily, whether you know if you can win, or not, by simply avoiding any argument that is made untenable by a state's unemployment law.

Many states acknowledge receipt of an appeal letter by sending the letter attached to the acknowledgement to both you and the employer.   Then they docket a lower level, aka tribunal unemployment hearing and a  notice of hearing is sent to all "interested parties" to the appeal.

I suggest  a simple stupid unemployment appeal letter  format to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits, because it's not wise to start arguing fact .. before a hearing .. which is meant to do just that .. argue to prove, or rebut what is, or isn't a fact .. relevant to cause for the separation.

Or, you can also read the Unemployment Appeal Q&As to find more on the subject. 

The Burden of Quitting a Job With Good Cause

If you voluntarily quit your job, know it's your right to do so, because you're an at-will employee. 

But when you apply for unemployment benefits, good cause to quit your job isn't easily proven by just saying so. but by supporting what you say with documentation to prove what you did as an employee, to first preserve your job and later, prove the good cause was fault .. reasonably attributable to being that of the employer..

To be honest, getting to the point of having evidence, sufficient to support your story of good cause to quit .. can be a challenge for employees.  Frequently, they are simply uncomfortable dealing with authorities at work, if good cause begins by confronting an employer in a professional manner .. to begin the process of documenting actions, or non-actions .. to establish facts .. that can go to good cause. 

Here's some Q&As About Good Cause to Quit a Job, including why it's important to find your nerve to at least attempt to correct some situation at work.

The Burden of Rebutting Why You Weren't Fired From a Job For Misconduct

Ever wonder why your boss may of tried to get you to quit, before firing you?  Let just call it what it is .. a strategy, whether by design or not, that helps employers avoid the burden of proving what made you guilty of work related misconduct.

Here's some Q&A About Being Fired and Rebutting The Burden 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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