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Can I collect unemployment after graduating Grad School and not finding a job?

by Jasper

I am interested in finding out if I can apply for unemployment since I just graduated from Graduate School with an MBA and can't find a job.

I quit my job in Florida over two years ago to go back to school because I had started a new job on commission but the money was not enough to get by. I had been working for over 10 years and my last salary job was about $70,000. I have not been able to find a job in over 2 years. My wife had been working so we were able to get by on her salary alone but she was just laid off.

We now live in NJ, in the NYC area and are both looking for work. Would I be able to collect for unemployment?

Thank you

Hi Jasper,

No, you would not.

First because you wouldn't have qualifying wages in the base period (first four of the last five "completed quarters) and secondly, even if you had qualifying wages your last separation from work is disqualifying.

Quitting to attend school is generally considered a personal and non-compelling reason to quit .. even under the most generous of unemployment laws.


Comments for Can I collect unemployment after graduating Grad School and not finding a job?

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Jun 18, 2010
Do wages earned in graduate school count as base pay?
by: Anonymous

I just finished graduate school, but got paid by the school for teaching. However, I was told I did not qualify, even though I had been getting paid. I have a W-2 for the right base period, should I contest the decision?


Congratulations. Thought I'd say something pleasant first because the rest of this post is not going to be what you want to hear.

I doubt it will do any good.

Students who work for a learning institution while going to school is "employment" excluded from "covered employment" by the FUTA.

DOLETA's "coverage chartbook"

"Service of Students And Spouses of Students ? FUTA excludes service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university by a student enrolled and regularly attending classes at such school. FUTA excludes service performed by a student's spouse for the school, college, or university at which the student is enrolled and
regularly attending classes, provided the spouse's employment is under a program designed to give financial assistance to the student, and the spouse is advised that the employment is under such student-assistance program and is not covered by any UI program. Also excluded is service by a full-time student in a work-study
program provided that the service is an integral part of the program. The following table provides additional information about states? legal provisions with respect to student employment.

That table would be 1-6 in the above linked chartbook.


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