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How do I Become Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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When a person becomes unemployed, it can become a financial hardship if the individual is not eligible for unemployment benefits. In the United States, the US Department of Labor determines eligibility for unemployment compensation. Most countries with large labor forces have the same basic guidelines as the US for unemployment benefits.

In the US, in order to become eligible for unemployment benefits, the worker has to be able to show proof of employment for the job worked and prove that the reason he or she became unemployed was not the worker’s fault. Some examples of qualified unemployment would be a situation where the employee was terminated for a reason other than misconduct or that the employee voluntarily resigned from the company due to “good cause.” When an employee leaves a company for a good cause, this includes a work environment that is harmful to the worker, such as sexual harassment or abusive behavior from co-workers. Other good cause reasons would be job conditions that are dangerous or mentally stressful to the worker.

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Universally, the length of time that the person was with the company also determines how much a person is eligible for unemployment benefits. For example, in the US, a worker's unemployment benefits are calculated using a one-year base period. In the United Kingdom, the system uses a two-year base period to calculate how much compensation a worker may get. If the person has worked less than the designated base period or part-time hours, the individual may not be legible for unemployment benefits or only receive a partial amount.

Each country requires extensive documentation to confirm individuals are eligible for unemployment benefits. Several things needed to complete the unemployment application are proof of identity, which may be a Social Security card, alien registration card or passport. The agency also has to have employer information for the past two years including contact person, address and company telephone number. If any of these records are missing, it could delay approval of the person’s application.

Most jurisdictions also have other basic considerations for a person to get compensation. The applicant must be physically able to work, available immediately to return to work and actively looking for work. If a person’s application is approved for unemployment benefits, he or she will have to routinely look for a new job and submit documentation regarding the number of job inquires performed each month. In the event that the person fails to do, the individual may no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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anon180011
Post 6

I quit my job last year to enter rehab. I have desperately been looking and applying for work. I applied for unemployment and was denied benefits because i quit my job. What can be done? --disgusted

anon122569
Post 5

Can you file unemployment if moving to another state?

GreenWeaver
Post 4

Oasis1- In order to apply for unemployment benefits he or she has to file a claim with the state unemployment office. This is how to apply for unemployment benefits.

Once you file the claim, your former employer who received the notice and can either file an objection or agree to pay. The state ultimately decides if the employee is eligible for filing unemployment benefits.

Once the state decides, the employer or the employee can appeal to a hearing. While the employee and the employer are allowed to have legal representation and again if the results are unfavorable to either party they can appeal it further.

oasis11
Post 3

Comfyshoes- I think I can answer that for you. You may be eligible depending on the reason for your termination.

If a company is letting you go because they are reducing expenses or because you just were not the right person for the job, then you are eligible for unemployment benefits.

The eligibility for unemployment benefits really hinges on misconduct. Misconduct is the legal threshold that you have to meet in order to not be able to receive unemployment benefits.

Misconduct in the eyes of the law involve stealing, insubordination, excessive lateness, revealing company secrets, and sexual-harassment to name a few.

If you are terminated for any of those reasons most likely you will not receive unemployment.

comfyshoes
Post 2

Sunshine31- If I am asked to resign or face being terminated, am I still eligible for unemployment benefits?

sunshine31
Post 1

Understanding who is eligible for unemployment benefits is key to claiming unemployment. Employees that resign due to family emergency or having to relocate because of the spouses’ employment are usually eligible to receive unemployment.

Also, if the employee is leaving for health reasons they can also claim unemployment. This can involve the stress that the job is giving the employee, or a personal health condition that is not related to the job.

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