(United States of America)
Hi, this is Chris .. the webmaster around here and I have presented a lot of bad news to people who have quit to move, asked if they could receive partial unemployment, or even receive unemployment if they were a part-time worker, but things .. they are a changing.
The main resource I use to answer questions has always been the USDOL’s comparison of state unemployment laws.
But I’m always researching my answers to your questions and I came across this recently published article by Pro Publica.
Obama’s Stimulus package gave an option to states to get some free money if they would only take measures to modernize elements of their unemployment laws which limit the usefulness of the program to those who need benefits the most.
Pro Publica has a chart which details the states that have taken action .. and more importantly, the states that have refused thus far to change anything and left the money on the table.
I answer a lot of Florida unemployment questions. My biggest gripe with a state is when they fail to provide any kind of “guide” to enable an unemployed person to actually research whether they can get unemployment for their reason or need to collect unemployment.
I believe strongly that the lack of information is an intentional ploy to keep us stupid about UI benefits so a state can protect their fund or avoid raising their wage base (the amount of your wages an employer must pay UI taxes on for every employee they have).
Considering that most unemployment claimants represent themselves at unemployment hearing I believe that the federal government should do some amending to the portion of the act that created “unemployment benefits”.
What if every state were required to present to us something along the lines of California’s Unemployment Benefits Determination Guide or the Illinois Unemployment Law Handbook .. and make it readily visible. Would it have an effect on how many people received benefits, kept benefits, successfully appealed for benefits, or sustained their ability to receive benefits when an employer appeals.
I think so.
Instead many states present nothing at all except for a a pitiful FAQ page.
I believe we are herded like cattle once we enter an unemployment program and the herding is to keep us passive and uninformed enough to keep our claims unsuccessful.
If you take a look at the chart I linked to above .. and your state has left money on the table .. blame your ELECTED legislators and let them know you are a concerned VOTER. Threaten unemployment. Maybe it will get their attention.