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I am currently deployed to Iraq. I live in ohio, i wont have a job when i return and am looking for unemployment until i find one.

by Anonymous
(Any US State)

I am coming back off of a deployment and am wondering what my options were. I heard that you can get unemployment while going to school, im suppose to get home in aug and start school in december. I was looking to finish up college the year i get back is that true? I was actually told you get a great amount if you are in school? How long after the application online does it take to process and what can the maximum benefit get. I heard it was 50% but is that of what i made on active duty? Thanks

Hi Anonymous,

The one thing you've been told, that I agree with is you will receive about 50% of what you're receiving now.

Beyond that, I feel compelled to give you some information which I think is relevant to returning ex-service members and anyone else considering returning to school who thinks they will also be able to collect unemployment while in school .. so here goes.

1. Basically, your benefits are paid for by the branch of military to which you belong, but when you come back, I think you need to understand that it is the statutes in the state you file for the benefits that controls those benefits.

2. Since you want to return to school (college), you should know that states only pay unemployment if you
are in "state approved training". How a state treats "students" in other types of "training" differs with regard to whether you will be able to collect benefits. (See Nonmonetary Eligibility Table 5-12) This is significant information for anyone collecting unemployment that decides to go to school while collecting benefits.

I cannot speak comprehensively about any special privileges you may have as an ex-servicemember, but I think you might also want to check into government grants.

Pell Grant These do not need to be paid back, but all grants do require something from you in return. There are some grants which pay for your education, but require a certain length of service utilizing that education .. typically some type of "government service".

FAFSA - Free application for federal student aid This is student aid loans for which a living allowance may be part of the loan.

And here is the front door to those free government grants everyone wants.

It's important to understand that regular unemployment benefits are for those able and available for work .. and seeking work. Some states consider a person not able and available by pure virtue of being a student .. others do not disqualify you if you still make yourself available for full-time work. Take special note of "full-time". If you limit yourself to part-time work you will raise an issue of being able and available.

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