Trouble Knowing How to Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Reasonable employees, often feel they are forced to make decisions their job they'd rather not have to make.  But it's those choices if emotionally driven, instead of objectively considering how a choice may impact later, their ability to collect unemployment benefits if quitting, or being fired from a job, they are forced into viewing a problem with the employment from hindsight, from the perspective of how unemployment eligibility rules work .. if eligibility becomes an issue at an unemployment appeal hearing.

In 2006 before I was laid off, I already knew I needed to think about my ability to meet, or rebut the burden of proof, just in case.  But then my job had been coordinating unemployment hearings for employers, and that was a good experience to have for anyone  who still may need to know how to avoid being denied unemployment benefits ... erroneously .. or correctly.

I hope you'll find at least one free unemployment tip to help you understand your own unemployment eligibility issue whether you're still employed, or in the aftermath of losing a job a job through no fault of your own.

And of course I'd also like to draw your attention to one of two ways I support the continued existence of this website full of free tips.

It's a limited (by state) referral service, for those of you who can afford coaching, or professional representation at a first level unemployment appeal hearing  It exists because I know the first hearing is generally speaking .. the last chance to set the record straight about who was really at fault  whether you quit, or you were fired.  


Why Unemployment Eligibility Rules Matter to Your Claim's End Results

The burden is assigned to either an employer, or an unemployed person, because they were the party that chose to end an employment relationship through a voluntary quit for good cause, or a discharge for misconduct. 

This can be important to know while you're still an employee, because when you know what the burden must prove, that fault was that of the non-moving party, it gets easier to discern if, when and how one will/should try to satisfy unemployment benefits eligibility rules.

And focusing only on what may be relevant to proving, or rebutting the burden to quit, or fire an employee, throughout the unemployment process . which generally speaking, ends for more unemployed than you might expect when they lose the first unemployment hearing.  

To summarize the typical state unemployment process.

  • You apply to open an unemployment claim
  • Shortly after you get the claimant handbook explaining some of the more important terms and conditions to collect unemployment.
  • And the initial monetary determination, which explains how they calculated your weekly benefit amount (this may also be appealed)
  • Then here comes the initial non-monetary determination (fault for the cause of separation, or it may cite a conditional issue that prevents payment of benefits, if you are found otherwise eligible to collect) determination.

Because Non-Monetary Eligibility Determinations are supposed to be based on only the available information gathered by a claim rep (adjudicator), you should know this includes your's and your employer's answers, since the claim eligibility interview includes talking to your employer.  (Usually an adjudicator will make the first call to the moving party assigned the burden of proof.)

And if you're asking .. I think you may want to request your claim file, first thing .. should you need to appeal this determination .. because sometimes the adjudicator's notes can be interesting to read.

Unemployment determinations are easily appealed by either party. 

However, job experience taught me also it's important you have a valid argument to work with .. if you're going to appeal because you're  aggrieved by an initial claim determination.   

I also understand the initial adjudication process acts as a gatekeeper process, but it's this initial claim process, that more than anything else,  I believe grinds potentially eligible claimants into submission, when I wouldn't give up  and not appeal.. because I saw merits for appealing.

Believe me when I say, I know what correctly aggrieves employers, but I also know through first hand knowledge and experience, about the sort of things employers do that should bother more than just an unemployed claimant, but all employees who work at will... if only they knew when not to give up .. and submit their right to also protect their own best interests .. while an employee.

Questioning How Unemployment Works to Learn How to Make it Work For You

Welcome.  My name is Chris.  To be clear, any tips are not intended as legal advice

However, my experience, which was just coordinating unemployment appeals (and hiring an independent hearing representative) for employers in every state in this country, offered, offered the sound reasoning behind why my tips here should be for employees, instead of employers I knew often only got started fighting benefits, after an appeal was filed for them by the unemployment claim management company I worked for.

Let's discuss the concepts surrounding good cause.

And here's some  Q&As to reinforce some basic ideas that make unemployment benefits work for you .. or against the details surrounding the cause for a separation from an otherwise at-will employment relationship .. 


  1. Will my unemployment be denied due to leave of absence used during my time of employment?

    Aug 12, 19 04:42 PM

    Hello, I was fired for absenteeism due to a medical issue my mom is dealing with. I did need to have a stint placed, but I was granted a leave of absence

    Read More

  2. Convient store sale out

    Aug 12, 19 10:36 AM

    I live in NC and the convenient store I have worked for, for about 5 years is selling out. Do I have to accept the job offer by the other company, or

    Read More

Winning an Unemployment Appeal Hearing

Who in their right mind thinks about winning an unemployment appeal before ending a job, or applying for benefits, or participating in an initial unemployment eligibility interview, clueless as to what they're after, or writing an unemployment appeal letter that reads like a saga?

Anyone I come in contact with, and they asks me about their chances to collect .. that's who.

So, let me explain how to write an unemployment appeal letter because it can be really easy to screw that simple hearing request letter up, with something I'll just say now .. is an untenable argument, to appeal an initial unemployment claim determination about what cause your separation from an otherwise at-will employment relationship.

And if you think you might benefit .. here's some Q&As about unemployment appeals, hearings and second level Unemployment Insurance Board Appeals .. which are not second chances to redo what you got wrong at the first hearing.

Or, you may also want to request a free unemployment case evaluation with a professional Unemployment Appeal Hearing Representative (free at least, until you choose to engage their services, after the free case evaluation.)

Missing the Point  When Proving Why You Quit a Job With Good Cause

It feels unfortunate when I have to explain in an email, why I  think someone may of voluntarily quit their job for good cause, but also, what specifically makes me think they are facing an uphill battle to win an unemployment hearing scheduled because the employer appealed the initial determination.   

The fact is, unemployment eligibility rules and laws are not instructional.  at least not to  my way of thinking, but what would happen if all employees were made aware .. before they quit a job, of what they would be expected to prove to have good cause, after they quit and applied to collect unemployment benefits?  

Well, I have some thoughts about that too, in the  Q&As about Quitting a Job ....with more of what I hope for .. documented proof of the efforts you made .. to preserve your at-will .. employment relationship.


Being Fired for Something Other Than Misconduct

Rebutting why you were fired for something a reasonable person wouldn't consider as being  misconduct connected to the work, isn't necessarily focusing on what a good employee you were prior to the final incident causing an employer to terminate your employment

So  Here's a widely accepted definition of what work misconduct is, and what it is not.  I offer this definition, so you can focus on how you're going to rebut you were at fault in such a way to undermine the credibility of an employer's testimony and/or evidence to support why you were fired for nothing less than willful, intentional, or wanton disregard of the standards and behaviors and employer has the right to expect of an employee, to not harm an employer's best interests.

Here's  some Q&As About Getting Fired

Unemployment Appeal Hearings

Realistically, the first unemployment hearing is usually the last shot you, or an employer has to correct an erroneous claim determination.  I can't stress this enough, even if I might be able to refer you to a professional who will know if something happened at the first hearing, that can be used for a written argument to an Unemployment Insurance Board of Review (second level appeal).

Here's the Q&As About Unemployment Appeals  

Click here for a free initial case evaluation with a professional unemployment hearing rep.


Unemployment Benefits Blog

  1. Will my unemployment be denied due to leave of absence used during my time of employment?

    Aug 12, 19 04:42 PM

    Hello, I was fired for absenteeism due to a medical issue my mom is dealing with. I did need to have a stint placed, but I was granted a leave of absence

    Read More

  2. Convient store sale out

    Aug 12, 19 10:36 AM

    I live in NC and the convenient store I have worked for, for about 5 years is selling out. Do I have to accept the job offer by the other company, or

    Read More

  3. About

    Aug 04, 19 12:08 PM

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

    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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