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Who Pays For Unemployment

by Anonymous

my friend worked for two years and then was laid off in february of 09 collected unemployment for two months then offered a job which he quit as it did not work out after a month. He then took a position which he loved but unfortunately was let go do to no work.

Does he number one qualify for unemployment benefits and who pays for it?

Is it a continued claim paid for by his previous employer when he was laid off in February or his last employer. Really confused in California.

Hi Anonymous,

There really is no way to explain this with a short answer .. so here I go again.

When your friend was laid off in February 09 the state first established his base period .. which is different from the "benefit year".

The benefits year is basically a period of one year going forward from the date the file was claimed, but the date you file also is relevant in determining the period of time that your wages are "looked at" to determine the "weekly benefit amount you are entitled to .. or how much unemployment will pay you. It's a continued claim until a new benefit year needs to be established.

"Most" states look at the first 4 of the last 5 COMPLETED quarters. In your friends case this was 10/1/07 through 9/30/08. This is because when your friend filed in Feb .. the first quarter of 09 had not been "completed". Most states also require that their be wages in at least two quarters of the base period to be found "monetarily" eligible for unemployment. The monetary chartbook on this page has the formulas and minimum wages needed on a state by state basis.

But here's the kicker to unemployment benefits .. and from what you've said .. I could take a
stab in the dark and say your friend may be having some trouble getting his benefits back .. Whether you get unemployment benefits back to which you were once entitled is dependent upon your separation from the "last employment".

When your friend took that first job after the layoff .. the one that didn't work out .. that became the last employment .. and they voluntarily quit. This raises an issue for the EDD, they need to investigate whether it was with good cause. If it wasn't they will impose the disqualification for a voluntary quit .. which by the way anyone can see what their states VQ disqualification is by going to the same page linked to above and clicking Nonmonetary and going to Table 5-4. California requires you to return to work and earn 5 times your WBA to purge the disqualification and of course you would also need to be found eligible on the merits of the separation too.

It's a mistake for anyone to think that benefits, once allowed are yours for the asking. With each new employment your rights to benefits are "reassessed" because if you do need to file another claim in a year, you will also have a new "base period" and the wages from those jobs that didn't work out will become part of the new base period and those employers will be liable for any benefits paid.

It's a way to protect the liable employer from paying benefits to those who might take advantage of the system.

Any determination can be appealed, but you should apply the principles found in the Benefit Determination Guide for best results.

And to answer the question about who would be paying .. it's still the employer that laid off .. until this benefit year expires and possibly even when a new benefit year is established.

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Feb 03, 2011
Opposite situation: Quit part time job BEFORE being laid off
by: Anonymous

Worked at full time at Metlife for 9 years. While still working there I took a part time job from Sept - Oct 31 2010. Quit part time job because Supervisor was a jerk. Continued to work at Metlife until I was laid off on Dec 31 2010.

Benefits are being held up in investigation because of part time job, even though that wasn't my last job. Your answer helped me understand base periods. So, I think my base period runs from Oct 1, 2009 to Sept 30, 2010.

Since I started the part time job on Sept 6, maybe unemployment thinks that was my last job, though I clearly listed on the application when each job began and ended.

I only made $2000 total in the part time job, which I don't believe qualifies me monetarily, but I did make more than enough on my full time job to qualify.

Now I'm thinking they cannot ultimately deny my claim, or do you think they still can?


No, I agree with you. They cannot deny you unemployment benefits for the layoff.

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