I live in Indiana and after 13 years my position was eliminated due to downsizing. My former employer told me I would receive unemployment so I applied. Today I received a letter stating I will not get unemployment because I received a severance and the deductible income exceeds my weekly benefit amount. I used that lump sum severance to pay off all my credit card debt because I will no longer be bring home xxxx and with unemployment would only be bringing home xxx so I wanted to pay off as much as I could so I could make it until I found another job – without losing my home or car because I couldn’t make the payments. SO – my question is I have read all the pages on Indiana and understand that they consider severance as income and therefore can deny the unemployment benefits because they think I should have divided out my severance and made it last for the next 28 weeks versus paying off debt. Do I have any way of wining an appeals or is it really just wasting my time and theirs? I am actively looking for a new job/career and where I live the market stinks so it is not easy. I need the unemployment money because some money is better than no money but if I have no chance in hell of winning than why bother. Just wanted your opinion or thoughts?!?!
Very frustrating day because I thought I would have started receiving a weekly check by now but no such luck – according to them I am not eligible until Jan 2011.
I could not find a thing that makes me think an appeal might do any good, but I’m not a lawyer and this isn’t legal advice .. just information.
This is what DOLETA includes in the 2010 Nonmonetary chartbook (page 35)http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/uilawcompar/2010/nonmonetary.pdf
Wages in Lieu of Notice and Dismissal Paymentsâ A considerable number of states consider wages in lieu of notice to be deductible income. Many states have the same provision for receipt of dismissal payments as for receipt of wages in lieu of notice. The state laws use a variety of terms such as dismissal allowance, dismissal payments, dismissal wages, separation allowances, termination allowances, severance payments, or some combination of these terms. In many states, all dismissal payments are included as wages for contribution purposes, as they are under the FUTA. Other states exclude dismissal payments which the employer is not legally required to make. To the extent that dismissal payments are included in taxable wages for contribution purposes, workers receiving such payments may be considered not unemployed, or not totally unemployed, for the weeks concerned. Some states have so ruled in general counsel opinions and benefit decisions. However, under rulings in some states, workers who received dismissal payments have been held to be unemployed because the payments were not made for the period following their separation from work but, instead, with respect to their prior service.
That last line makes me believe there must be some states with decisions floating around that held a dismissal payment based on years of service might not be “wages”, but you only need to be concerned with Indiana. You could check on this by signing up for fastcase.com’s free 24 hour trial.
Nor did I find anything in Indiana’s unemployment code that appears to be helpful.
But then again, I did not cross reference all those codes the statute references.