Category: 

How Do I Become Eligible for Unemployment?

People are required to seek employment in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Quitting before one is fired is not likely to help an unemployment claim.
Laid-off workers should follow all of the state unemployment department's requirements in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.
Applying for unemployment benefits usually require a lot of paperwork to prove eligibility.
Unemployment benefits are typically only available to people who are laid off for certain reasons.
Job harassment can make one eligible for unemployment benefits.
To collect unemployment insurance, a person might need to demonstrate they are actively seeking a new job.
Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A fortune cookie company was investigated for providing the winning lottery numbers on a fortune cookie message.  more...

November 28 ,  1943 :  The key leaders of the Allied forces during World War II met for the first time in Tehran, Iran.  more...

The only requirement for unemployment is to be out of work, but in order to be eligible for unemployment compensation, a worker must meet certain criteria mandated by the state in which he or she resides. Many employers pay unemployment insurance for each employee while they are employed, so in essence, a laid-off worker is applying for unemployment compensation already collected under that fund. To become eligible for benefits, however, a worker must become unemployed through no fault of his or her own.

One way to become eligible for unemployment compensation is to be laid off through lack of work. If an employer decides to let go of an employee during an economic downturn, that employee can get compensation immediately after his or her last day on the job. The employee did not lose his or her job because of any personal misconduct, nor did he or she quit voluntarily. These conditions of job separation become very significant when the state unemployment department determines eligibility for benefits.

Ad

Some employees may assume they can voluntarily quit or resign from a job and still get unemployment benefits, but under most circumstances, this is not the case. When an unemployment claim is filed with the state, the application is reviewed to determine the circumstances surrounding the separation. If an employee voluntarily quit his or her job for strictly personal reasons, he or she would not qualify for benefits. If the conditions of the job would make a reasonable person quit, or if the employer asks an employee to commit an unethical or illegal act, however, then the employee could get compensation.

People who are self-employed or working in a part-time position may be eligible for unemployment if their available work hours fall below 40 hours through no fault of their own. This eligibility would be determined after the worker has filed for benefits. Some workers may feel pressured to retire involuntarily from their jobs, especially those who have reached their maximum salaries. Such employees can still apply for unemployment benefits, but they must prove they had no intention of retiring from the workforce at the time they were dismissed.

Workers who were terminated for violating reasonable policies or unexcused absenteeism generally cannot get unemployment compensation. This condition sometimes triggers a "quit before you get fired" mentality among disgruntled workers, but in reality, neither decision is more beneficial when it comes to filing for unemployment compensation. Arguably, a worker who can prove definitively that employment conditions were inhumane or illegal might have a better claim for unemployment than a worker who lost his or her position through willful misconduct, but it can be very difficult to justify a voluntary quit without documentation.

It is important for laid-off or discharged workers to follow all of the state unemployment department's requirements in order to remain eligible for compensation. Unless the applicant is physically or mentally unable to perform regular work, he or she will be expected to apply for suitable employment every week and to accept reasonable work offers whenever possible. Under regular economic conditions, unemployment benefits generally last up to 26 weeks, but they can be extended during periods of high unemployment.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon940467
Post 20

I was forced to quit my laundry aid job because of all the hours they were cutting back and the layoffs they were making in 2010. But, since our service was contracted through another company working for the place, I wasn't eligible for unemployment benefits when I quit due to the fact that my paycheck was only enough to cover gas to get back in forth to work.

It took me a while to realize I was unable to get benefits because we have to go through a state website and submit all the info first, then wait on the response. I had to submit it twice before calling and having someone explain to me that quitting on account of a 'low paycheck' is not enough reason to leave a job, although I'd like to ask how often can an employer cut your hours/pay before an employee eventually cannot afford to work there?

anon347717
Post 19

I was terminated due to injury and I cannot do my job of 30 years. I could work in a sedentary or desk type job. They want me to apply for jobs I cannot physically do. I have been denied disability. I don't know what to do.

anon342608
Post 18

I have medical problems and can no longer do my job. I have worked all my life and always paid my taxes. I was told I cannot get unemployment because I had to resign. I cannot get disability yet because I can still work. My question is why was my tax money going to take care of those who just don't want to work and now that I need it and really can't support my family? Everyone is laughing in my face.

anon331328
Post 17

I lost my job of 12 years and found another one, but only lasted a month. I didn't make over 3.453 dollars so why do they go back to my last employer? What's the reason for that?

anon322031
Post 16

Several years ago, the company I worked for for 19 years downsized and moved out of state. I was denied unemployment as I found myself the sole caregiver for my mother, who had Alzheimer's. I was honest and paid the price.

I have looked for work since she passed but the economy was declining by then. Is there any way I can get the unemployment I was denied? After working 25 years and never receiving anything from the government, it doesn't seem right I cannot get help now.

anon321355
Post 15

My company is talking about layoffs. If I get laid off, I would qualify for unemployment, but I would have to sell my house. When my house sells, would that be considered income? Would I not be eligible for unemployment after the house is sold?

anon318286
Post 14

For those of you posting questions about your personal situation, sit down with an attorney who practices labor law. No one is going to answer your questions here, and even if they did, you need professional guidance specific to your situation, not the comments of random people on the internet.

fool426624
Post 13

I accepted a "management" job and have worked one day. The pay is too low to qualify as "exempt". During that one day, I found out that I will not be paid at all for required job duties which I am not permitted to perform during the regular forty hour work schedule. I am required to engage in racial discrimination of certain customers; I am required to engage in illegal price-fixing and sales activities. I am required to violate DoL/ICE requirements and to enforce violation of NLRB rules. These are not details which I could reasonably have known prior to accepting the job. I was on unemployment prior to this. Can I quit as a "constructive discharge" and continue to collect?

anon274299
Post 12

I quit my job today after being told for the past two years they wanted to provide me with training to do another job. I have been a kitchen porter for the past four years at the same restaurant. Recently, my manager took me into her office and told me again they want to train me up on salad bar and prep duties and I was very excited because I am really stressed about my job and really need a change, but to my disappointment, they went behind my back and gave the job to someone who only been working for them for five months. So I asked again, and was told I would be trained up after the schools went back from holiday. Still no training.

So the guy who got my job left and I thought I would get my chance but again, they brought someone new in to do the job I was promised training for. Bear in mind this has happened over and over again. So when I went in to inquire about why I have not been trained, I was told I don't have any experience and no qualifications and recently have had bad attendance levels due to stress at work but bottom line is I am not getting training due to lack of experience and qualifications. I mean, does that not defeat the purpose of training someone so they can obtain the experience? And after a shouting match with the boss, I walked out. Someone mentioned constructive or disruptive dismissal, I'm and just wondering if anyone had any info on that or any advice.

anon138380
Post 11

i recently quit my job where i was employed for over 2 years. i am four months pregnant and felt it best due to the high stress environment. i was put on medical leave for four weeks due to nausea and vomiting.

On my first day back to work, my boss had began taking pictures of the quantity of my work. i wrote an email to her boss, our director and HR. the next day i was in trouble. that's when i decided to quit. everyone keeps telling me to try and qualify for unemployment but i don't think i qualify.

Rixxy6
Post 10

I'm due to be made redundant next year, and if I start my own business will I be able to claim my mortgage protection insurance from the bank and extra redundancy cover I took out if self employed? Obviously i would need a loan to start would this count in my favour? thanks for any help, Rick

anon120012
Post 8

I have a prejudiced supervisor and she is always telling people that I am crazy! She does a lot of lying and she is friends with human resources. If you go and complain they say well, there's nothing we can do about it. Can I file for unemployment and get benefits?

anon109850
Post 7

I have been on the job, would be four months in a couple of weeks. I am very distressed, and due to that, I have been working very hard at keeping my job. But almost from the very beginning, I have been disrespected and ignored and not being given proper training at the proper time.

The last incident happened a few days ago, and gave me the worst migraine. I called in for two days. Called to make sure that I was due to come back to work on the day that I was supposed to. Was suspended for two days accused of, "No call, No show", It is a call center, we are all in the same room. That was after I spent several days with a horrific migraine due to my manager, who would not stop screaming and snatched the headset off my head.

What I have noticed, is that my co-workers also get mistreated really badly. I guess they do not notice it anymore. The pay is very little. Can't take it. That manager really put me down on front of my co-workers. These are the last two incidents. Simply too much abuse going on in there. I cannot take anymore of the mistreatment and put downs. I am supposed to go back today. I don't think I can.

If I don't and apply for benefits, would I be eligible?

anon106553
Post 6

I recently started a new job which is not in any way what I was promised. The position and job duties are not in my job description and what I am doing is in no way of interest to me. Essentially, I was lied to when I accepted the position and I feel as though they are taken advantage of my time. Would I be eligible to collect unemployment if I quit in between finding a job that better suits me?

anon91878
Post 5

I was researcher at a college. The school claims I was self-employed because I brought in my own funding to pay my salary, benefits and supplies. When the grant ran out, I was out of a job. Will this count as being discharged?

cmiller
Post 4

I no longer have a baby sitter as of the end of the week. Can I get unemployment if I quit my job to take care of my children?

anon49466
Post 3

I am currently in the car business and strictly commission, due to the downfall in business. if I was to walk away would I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

anon40667
Post 2

my employer relocated me to another location. it is 5 miles further than the current location, and I am getting demoted, but I am keeping my salary. am I elgible for unemployment?

arkady6619
Post 1

I am full-time employee working from 5:00AM to 2:00PM. To get it, I have to wake-up at 3:00AM. Accordance with my age (65.5) and health conditions, my doctor gave me note with recommendation to change my schedule, but HR is saying that they do not have another schedule for my position. Could they in this situation fire or give me laid-off?

Sincerely,

Arkady Kamenetsky

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email