Ms. Clark has managed the administrative duties of several small businesses and has collected unemployment on occasion herself.
Having run the administrative end of several small businesses, I learned how to navigate the requirements for unemployment insurance for our employees. It seems to me there are a lot of people who do not understand how unemployment insurance works, and some people even want to equate unemployment benefits with welfare of some sort that is paid to recipients by the government with tax dollars. Hopefully this article will help clear up some misunderstandings.
How Unemployment Is Determined For Employers
Employers are required to pay into their state’s unemployment program for each of their employees according to the number of hours each employee works and the amount of wages or salary each of their employees earns. Some employers may be exempt from paying into unemployment insurance because of the type of business they operate or because they have very few employees. This varies from one state to another.
It is generally accepted that the wages and salaries of employees will be somewhat lower to offset this expense that is incurred by their employer for their benefit. If unemployment insurance were not paid by their employer, presumably their salaries/wages would be higher. For that reason, unemployment benefits are considered part of an employee’s wages.
Just as some employers pay into health insurance programs so that their employees will have access to healthcare when needed, they also pay into the unemployment insurance program to help their employees get through periods of unemployment. The difference is mainly that employers are required to pay into the unemployment insurance program, where they may have a choice of whether or not to provide health insurance benefits to their employees.
When employers pay into the unemployment program, they never get their money back even if none of their employees ever collects a penny from the program. Generally, large employers like Verizon or Wal-Mart pay more into unemployment insurance than small companies for the obvious reason that they employ more people.
Generally, there are no tax dollars going into the unemployment insurance program. The market crash of 2008 changed that temporarily. Normally a person cannot collect unemployment benefits for more than 6 months, but because the economy was, and is so horrible, the federal government (and some state governments) subsidized the unemployment programs of various states so that people who could not find jobs within 6 months would receive benefits for longer than usual. The usual period for collecting benefits for 26 weeks was extended for some people for as many as 99 weeks. Again, this is a temporary measure and is not the case in every single state.
How Does a Person Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?
There are different conditions under which a person can collect unemployment benefits. Not everyone qualifies for unemployment benefits, and some people will receive no benefits even if they lose their job through no fault of their own.
First of all, there must be benefits available to the employee that is laid off. Here in Texas, a laid off employee’s benefits are determined by how many hours and how much pay they earned during the quarter 13 to 15 months prior to the time they are filing to collect benefits.
A quarter, in this situation is a three-month period. There are 12 months in the year, and the year is divided into quarters, or three-month periods. Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept., and Oct.-Dec.
If you were to apply for unemployment benefits on April 3, 2012, the unemployment commission here in Texas would look back at your work record one year and one quarter back in time, or Jan-March of 2011. Your benefits would be based on your wages/salary in that quarter from 2011. If you did not work during that quarter, you would receive no benefits. If you were earning only $7.50 an hour for 20 hours a week, your benefit would be based on those earnings even though the job you have just been laid off from was 40+ hours a week at $15.00 an hour.
The benefit an unemployed person usually gets will be approximately one third of what their weekly check was during the quarter in which their benefits are based. In the above example, one third of the pay earned in the quarter Jan-March in 2011 would be the person’s benefit if s/he applied for and qualified for unemployment benefits on April 3, 2012.
Just as there is a minimum wage, so there is usually a minimum unemployment benefit in most states. The minimum unemployment benefit in Texas for qualified recipients is $243.00 a week. It may be more or less in other states.
If you live in a state other than Texas, check with your unemployment, or state employment agency, to see how benefits are determined in your state. There may be some differences.
More Qualifications for Unemployment Benefits
People who are terminated for cause cannot collect unemployment benefits in most states. People who quit their jobs cannot collect unemployment benefits in many states.
Here are the exceptions to those rules:
- If an employee becomes physically disabled for some reason, and that prevents them from doing their job, and their employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for their disability (give them a different job within the company that does not have the same impossible physical requirements, etc.), they may be able to collect unemployment benefits even though they have quit their job.
- If an employee is terminated and the state workforce commission determines they were wrongfully terminated, they may be able to collect unemployment benefits.
- Every unemployment claim is investigated to determine if an applicant is entitled to collect benefits or not. If it is determined that a person does not qualify for benefits, s/he can file an appeal. That process is explained in the booklet you should receive from your state unemployment commission in the event you file for unemployment benefits and you are denied.
Requirements For Continuing to Receive Unemployment Benefits Once You Qualify
Most states have requirements that a person receiving benefits must meet in order to get those benefits and keep those benefits. In order to know what your requirements are, you should check with your state unemployment commission or agency. This information should be included in the booklet you should receive if you apply for unemployment benefits, and should also be available on your unemployment commission’s website. Requirements may vary somewhat from one applicant to another, so you should receive a letter from your unemployment commission specifying exactly what your requirements are.
Here in Texas, a person receiving unemployment benefits may not turn down any job referral or any job offer unless that referral or job offer is for a job they cannot physically do, or are not qualified for. Also, if the pay is considerably less than they would normally earn, they may turn the job offer, or job referral down.
Here in Texas, after a certain amount of time has passed during which an unemployed person receiving unemployment benefits has not found another job, that unemployment benefit recipient is required to lower his/her wage/salary requirements based on their most recent job, by 20-25%. That means they can lose their benefits if they turn down a job because it does not pay as well as their most previous job. They must reduce their wage/salary expectations or requirements by 20-25% (exactly how much will be specified by their unemployment commission), but not lower than the state minimum wage.
Also, an unemployment beneficiary must make a minimum number of job searches every week. It is important to keep good records on the job searches because the unemployment commission will randomly request proof that these job searches or applications were done. Unemployment benefits can be lost because a person either did not do the job searches, or did not keep satisfactory records to prove they did the job searches. At some point you will be asked for proof of your job searches. It is not a question of if, but when. Be prepared with good records of your job searches.
There is one exception to these requirements. If an employee is laid off temporarily, often times their employer does not want them to search for another job. They want that employee to be available to return to work as soon as there is enough work to keep them busy. If their laid off employees were to search for a job during this slow time for some employers, they just might find a better job and then they would not return to their original employer. In a case like this an employer will inform the unemployment commission that no work searches are desired or required. They want their employees to collect unemployment benefits while work is slow, and they want to assure as much as possible that their employee will return to work when needed.
I have personally experienced this situation when I had a job that was seasonal and that required some special training. My employer was happy to provide unemployment benefits to help me get through those periods when there was no work, and even directly stated to me that they preferred I not search for interim work. They wanted assurance I would return when work resumed.
Remember, employers do not get any money back from the program even if none of their employees ever collect benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits both the employee when they lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and it benefits employers who do not want to lose good skilled employees because of a work slowdown.
Tax dollars do not usually contribute to unemployment insurance. The current situation is unusual and burdensome for many small employers, and that is the reason why the federal government, and in some cases state governments, have stepped in to pick up the slack in keeping unemployment benefits available to people who cannot find jobs.
Mistakes People Make Regarding Unemployment Benefits
The biggest mistakes laid off employees usually make:
- Not applying for benefits in the first place, even if they quit, or have been fired.
- Not following scrupulously, the requirements for keeping those benefits flowing, i.e., doing required job searches, or following through on job referrals from the unemployment commission, etc.
The biggest mistakes employers make:
- Not understanding how the unemployment program works and thinking it is not worth their while to educate themselves about it. Most large employers know their responsibilities and how to make the program work for them. A lot of medium sized and small employers do not.
- Not returning the inquiry forms their unemployment commission requests from them stipulating the reason for laying off, or terminating an employee, etc.
- Not showing up for the hearing that may be set regarding a former employee who has filed for unemployment benefits. Just like many lawsuits, if you don’t show, you lose by default.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: If an employee left and didn’t communicate or contact his/her employer to give a reason why s/he was absent, is this quitting? Written company policy states that three days of no show and no calls, will end in termination, but HR wanted to check on the employee after day two. So contact was made then, and the employee is now claiming s/he was out on medical leave. This is a small company, not held to FMLA.
Answer: If the employer is willing to continue to employ the person after this behavior, that is their choice. If the company doesn't pay for unemployment, then their employees can't collect it either. In any case, if you are the person you are speaking of who irresponsibly missed work without letting them know you were going to be out, and why you were going to be out, then you should contact your local state unemployment office to see what if any benefits you may qualify for.
Question: What happens if the unemployment office calls my work and they never answer? Will I receive benefits until they talk to them?
Answer: Your unemployment office will contact your last place of work in the course of their investigation to determine if you qualify for benefits. I have addressed this issue in the text of this article. If your place of employment does not respond to the request for information from the unemployment office, it will not prevent you from receiving benefits if you are otherwise qualified to receive them.
Question: When you draw unemployment, will it affect only my previous employer or will it affect the one before that?
Answer: As I explained in this article, unemployment benefits are based on the employer you worked for one year and three months previous to when you filed your request for benefits. Whoever was your employer at that time will be effected regardless of where they are located.
Question: What if an employer calls you a bitch and then you walk out, should you apply for unemployment insurance benefits?
Answer: As I have said many times in the body of this article, as well as in answers to questions posed to me, you should ALWAYS file for unemployment benefits when you lose a job for any reason. Your unemployment office will determine if you qualify for benefits. There are many requirements one must meet to qualify for benefits. You should always ask for an explanation if one is not given in the event you do not qualify.
One question you should ask yourself is whether or not you were working 1 year and 3 months prior to this event you describe with your recent employer. If you were, for how long were you working at that time? If you were not working at that time you will not likely qualify for benefits because that time a year and 3 months ago is what your benefit is based on. If you weren't working at that time there will be no money in your account. While unpleasantries would seem to be sufficient in order to collect benefits, they aren't always the determining factor. You may have to prove that was the reason you left your job and if there were no witnesses that could be difficult. Even if you do have proof, you will have to have been working long enough one year and three months prior to the time you quit your job (or were fired, as the case may be) in order to be able to receive benefits. File for benefits in any case. One reason people who qualify for benefits fail to get them is because they think they won't qualify and so they never apply for them.
Question: I was getting $115 a week in unemployment benefits, but today they only gave me 28$. What does that mean?
Answer: That most likely means that you have drained all the money available from your unemployment account.
Your unemployment benefit is based on your earnings from one year and one quarter (3-month period) ago. If you only worked part-time, or if you only worked for a few weeks during that period, you would not have accumulated very much money in your unemployment account. Or maybe you've been collecting for several weeks already, and you've simply used up all of the available money in your account as a result.
Question: What happens to unemployment benefits if they're not used? Is it as though they no longer exist and never existed? Will my state government get it?
Answer: If you file for unemployment benefits and qualify for them, you will receive those benefits based on your earned income from one year and one quarter back (a quarter is a 3-month period). There is a limit to how many benefits are available or accumulated in your account; they are also based on these same earnings. Depending on your earnings there may be benefits left over in your unemployment account after you stop receiving benefits, even if you continue receiving benefits for as long as the law allows, usually 26 weeks. The leftover benefits will remain in your account if you do not collect them. If you become unemployed again, they will be available to you so long as they are not older than the one year and one-quarter period that a new claim is based on.
Employers who pay in but whose employees never collect unemployment do not get the money they paid in back. Employers pay a percentage of their total payroll into the unemployment insurance program.
The best answers to any questions you may have about unemployment insurance come from your local state unemployment office. Unemployment benefits are administered through each state and vary in policies and regulations from one state to another.
Question: Once I find a job, will the balance of unclaimed unemployment money be lost?
Answer: The money your employer paid into the unemployment program was never the property of any specific employee. It is a small percentage of your actual wages. I can tell you I would not turn down a good job paying $15 or more per hour to get a couple of hundred dollars of unemployment benefits. Generally, actual wages/earnings are considerably more than unemployment benefits.
Question: If I don't claim unemployment and my former employer has not paid that money back, where does my money go? Does it go to my SSI? Does it come back to me in taxes? Does in go into Medicare under my name? I mean, it's been paid under MY name, shouldn't it go to me?
Answer: The money your employer pays in, as required of all employers, to the unemployment insurance program, doesn't belong to you or any other specific employee. Employers pay in according to how many employees they have and how big their payroll is. There are no employees names on any of the payments or the information the payments are based on.
Question: What happens if I have money left over in my unemployment insurance account from the pervious year? What happens to that money?
Answer: The money that shows in 'your account,' is not actually your money. It is money the unemployment agency has made available if needed, based on your employment history. If you don't draw it all out before your claim expires, either because you found another job or because the number of weeks you could collect has ended, it will go back to zero. Each time you file a new claim the amount of money made available will be refigured based on your employment history.
Question: What happens to the money if you never filed for unemployment benefits?
Answer: Any money not collected by employees goes into the general fund to help pay people who qualify for benefits. Every employer must pay into the unemployment fund based on how many employees the company has and how much each employee earns. If all the money is used to pay unemployment for that company's laid off employees, the company may have to pay in even more if none is used the initial money paid in goes into the general fund to be used for other, other people who qualify for unemployment. Employers never get money back that was paid in as required by all employers.
Question: Can I get benefits if I was terminated for a new job, but did not get the job at all? I am now unemployed.
Answer: Whenever a person is terminated by their employer for any reason, that person should file for unemployment benefits. Let the professionals who work in your local state unemployment office decide if you qualify for benefits. That's their job. Sometimes the answer is no, but sometimes the answer is yes, and you may miss out on benefits due you if you do not apply. Whether or not you will qualify to receive unemployment benefits depends on your specific situation. I do not know your specific situation, but by applying for benefits, the professionals in your local office will be able to determine whether or not you qualify for benefits.
Question: Can a person collect UI benefits if they weren't sure if they were fired or laid off? In my case, all they said to me was "We're letting you go."
Answer: Always apply for unemployment benefits regardless of why you have separated from your employer and regardless of whether or not you believe you will qualify.
When anyone applies for benefits, an investigation is made of why that person is no longer working for the particular company listed as their most recent employer. Our tax dollars pay these people to do the investigation and to make a determination. Let them do their job. It's better to apply and get rejected than not to apply and miss out on receiving benefits. It costs nothing to apply.
There are reasons why people receive benefits even when they might normally not qualify. Sometimes employers mess up, and that can benefit the applicant. Even if you are fired, your employer may have failed to follow guidelines by the state unemployment office. I know of several people who received benefits because their employer failed to respond to requests for information and in another case, failed to follow the guidelines for terminating employees.
Just apply for the benefits and be patient. The worst thing that will happen is that you will be told you don't qualify. Never fail to apply for benefits whenever you leave a job temporarily or permanently, for any reason.
Question: I filed for unemployed back in October. I was working for Walmart and was fired for using a 50¢ coupon. I was denied benefits, so I filed an appeal and won the appeal. Now, 2 months later, Walmart is again trying to block my unemployment benefits. How can this be? Is this how it will be until my benefits expire? Will Walmart file an appeal every 2 months?
Answer: Walmart is known for being aggressive in asserting their rights, so they may very well file an appeal every 2 months if they are allowed to do so and believe they can prevail. That's often part of being employed and later terminated by a huge company/corporation.
Question: My unemployment payments are less than what I usually got paid. What does that mean?
Answer: It most likely means you have been paid all of the money that was in your unemployment account.
Question: I reside in Louisiana, but work in Massachusetts and Texas for a company that is headquartered in Virginia. They paid in Louisiana. I tried to file in Massachusetts, and was told they have no record of me receiving wages in the state of Massachusetts. Can the company legally do that?
Answer: It sounds to me like a good question for the state unemployment office in MA. Also for the other state unemployment offices where you have worked. I wouldn't want to attempt to straighten out what sounds to me like a real mess involving four different states. Contact the state unemployment offices in those states applicable if you aren't able to get the funds you believe you are entitled to.
Question: Can a company pay unemployment insurance to the state you reside in, and not the states you actually worked in?
Answer: Probably. It would be expected that if you were fired or laid off that you would return to your listed "physical home address." Contact your local state unemployment office to find the answers to questions of this sort. Every state has its own way of doing things so get in touch with the applicable state unemployment offices and good luck getting it all straightened out.
Question: I was laid off, but offered a commission only job after being laid off. If I do not make any money on a commission only job, can I qualify for unemployment benefits?
Answer: Even though you were offered a commission only sales job, you should apply for unemployment benefits. One need not accept any old job that is offered just because one is unemployed. Would you accept a job offer as a crane operator on a construction site? Say a tower crane with a 1000 meter reach? If you have never done a particular job before and you don't have the skill set to do a particular job, you certainly wouldn't be expected to accept any job you are not qualified to do even if it were offered.
Have you previously done the type of sales required for the job you've been offered? If you are receiving unemployment benefits, you will be asked if you have turned down any job leads or offers. If you have, you will be asked why. In the case of tower crane operator, you would probably say because you are not qualified for that particular job.
In general, you are not expected to accept a job for which you are not qualified, or that will not pay as well as your most previous job. Once you have been looking for a job for a period, say a couple of months, then you will be expected to consider jobs that pay 10% less than your most recent job.
There are many reasons why you might turn a job offer down. Maybe it's too far to travel; you may not be qualified, it may pay far less than your most recent job, you may not have the necessary skills. Leads for jobs that fall into the categories I just listed can also be ignored. However, if there's a chance a job may suit you, then you should at least inquire about it, but inquiring is not accepting. By inquiring about the job, you demonstrate that you are making an effort.
Absolutely apply for unemployment benefits even if you do accept the sales job. Until you have a decent income from the sales job, it really doesn't qualify as having a job like the one you just lost. Every time you register for payment of benefits, you will be asked how much money you have made in the two weeks being questioned. If you took a job that was just for the day or a couple of days the money you report having made will be subtracted from your usual unemployment benefit., but it will not end your benefits, and you should receive the balance of your benefit minus whatever money you reported earning for the few hours, day, or a couple of days, etc.
From the way you describe it, the sales job isn't your cup of tea. If you decide to give it a try and you actually make some money at it, just report what you did make and assuming it isn't a lot more than you're expecting, the commission will just be subtracted from your usual unemployment benefit.
Personally, if it were me, I wouldn't even accept a commission only job that I wasn't certain would quickly build into a decent paying endeavor, and I've done sales many times over the years.
Apply for unemployment benefits.
Question: Is it the employer's responsibility to notify employee about unemployment benefits?
Answer: It's been my experience that most employers only inform an employee if there are no benefits available because they do not pay for the program. As I have said dozens of times both in the text of this article and in answers to the many questions posed both in comments and in this forum, one should ALWAYS apply for unemployment benefits regardless of why they have separated from their employer. Our tax dollars go to pay people who work at the state unemployment office, so let them do their job that your money and mine are going to pay for. Apply for benefits and let the people at the unemployment determine through their investigation whether or not you qualify for benefits or whether benefits are available. Most companies do pay for the program, so don't waste time trying to second guess whether yours does or not. Apply.
Question: What happens to my claim if my previous employer does not respond to the paperwork that the Unemployment office has sent to them?
Answer: Your claim will be processed without information that would have been provided by your previous employer. As I said in the text of this article, one of the biggest mistakes employers make is ignoring information requests from the state unemployment office. When they ignore the request, they usually end up paying unemployment even when they might otherwise have avoided it.
© 2012 C E Clark
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 27, 2020:
Curt Brown, thank you for consulting this article. You should contact your local state unemployment office and let them know what is going on.
I cannot fathom that what your employer is doing is legal. Discuss this with your local unemployment office, and it might not be a bad idea to discuss it also with an attorney. Make sure the attorney you consult handles a lot of employment cases. Attorneys who mainly handle divorces, for example, often have no idea regarding employment law. It is humanly impossible to know every law pertaining to everything, so consult an attorney who primarily handles employment issues.
Curt Brown on February 24, 2020:
What should you do if you are collecting unemployment and a company has you working hours on the side but they are keeping the money and putting it into the unemployment what should you do
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 12, 2019:
JulieQ, thank you for your inquiry, and your patience. Sorry it's taken me a while to respond. You should always contact your local state unemployment agency when you have any questions as they will have up-to-date answers pertinent to where you live.
Your unemployment benefit is determined by your earnings from 5 quarters back from the date you file. You should have filed for unemployment benefits as soon as you were put on unpaid leave. Whether you can still do so (assuming you are still unemployed) is a question for your local unemployment office.
Best wishes for a good result for you.
JulieQ on October 26, 2019:
Due to cost-cutting measures, I was put on unpaid leave for 2 months. A job is not promised, but a possibility after that, depending on their financial situation. Can I file for unemployment? If I don't and apply in 2 months, will my payout be less, since I did not work in the last 2 months?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 01, 2019:
Rusty, when you file an unemployment claim an investigation of your situation is done. Based on the results of this investigation, your claim is given a value. That value, expressed in monetary terms, states the maximum amount of benefits you can receive from your current claim. Most claims are allowed to continue for up to 26 weeks, but there may be extenuating circumstances that would shorten or lengthen that time period. The job market in general, the job market where you live, the job market in the area of your stated previous employment, the state of the economy, and other relevant information.
No actual money is placed in an account with your name on it. Rather, an amount of money is stated and that amount of money is the maximum benefit you can receive for your current claim. It is money available if needed. It is based on how long you worked, what grade of pay you received, why you separated from your most recent employer, etc. The actual amount of your weekly benefit is based on your pay and the employer you worked for one year and one quarter (3 months) back from when you filed your claim. If you filed your claim on January 5, 2019, your benefit would be based on your income on October 5, 2017, not your income on January 5, 2019.
So the maximum amount of money set aside for your current claim is stated and made available if necessary. If you do not collect it all and find employment before the 26 weeks are up, or your claim is ended for some other reason (not meeting your qualifications to continue receiving benefits, for example) your file is closed and the money that was made available to you goes back to zero. The money that was made available to you. and that was not needed, goes back into the general unemployment fund and is made available to someone else. If your new job doesn’t pay as much as your previous job, you may be able to continue collecting benefits to make up the difference in pay between your previous job and your current job.
There was never any actual money placed in an account that belongs to you. Only a stated amount of money the government made available, if necessary, to pay your benefits for up to 26 weeks. Once you no longer qualify for that money, your account is closed. Any money that was not paid out to you is then no longer available for your benefit, because you either have a new job, your 26 weeks may have passed, or because you have been found not to have followed requirements for continuing to receive benefits. You may have failed to make the required number of job searches every week, or turned down jobs without acceptable reasons, or failed to meet some other requirement. Whatever the reason your account is closed, once you no longer qualify for benefits. Any unused money set aside for your claim is made available to another qualifying applicant.
Rusty on September 30, 2019:
where does the money that is left over from your unemployment account go when it is closed
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 06, 2018:
Oleatha, I'm so sorry for all the troubles you're having with your unemployment office. I have no idea why they would be giving you so much trouble. I hope you called them to find out why they sent you 2 letters denying your claims again after telling you they would pay.
Once you qualify for benefits you should receive benefits back to when you first applied if you didn't work during hat time.
I hope things get straightened out for you soon and that things get better.
Oleatha on June 05, 2018:
I just went threw a waiting period for two months of fighting with unemployment I finally qualified under the alternate base period do they back paid me two months on June 4 and on June 4 when the mail came I got not one but two letters saying I don't qualify for unemployment all over again!! I'm so tired and disappointed with the system ive worked the last 21 years of my life and when I need the system I can't get it!! Why are they doing this to me?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 24, 2018:
Steven G., thank you for sharing your situation. I wish I could offer you more solutions, but I hope the ones listed here will be of some help.
Some businesses are exempt from paying unemployment taxes. This varies somewhat from one state to another. Generally if a business is exempt it is because they have very few employees, just a handful, or most of their employees are family members, and sometimes 501c3 nonprofits are exempt from paying into unemployment taxes.
Sadly, this can leave someone like yourself in a bad situation. The best I can tell you is to visit your local Health and Human Services office and see what benefits, such as food stamps and medicaid, that you may qualify for. .Also, call 2-1-1 to see what organizations, if any in your community, offer assistance with rent/house payments, utility bills, etc.
Of course you will want to be listed with your local state unemployment office if you aren't already. Being registered there is usually a prerequisite to qualifying for any kind of government public assistance. Be sure to register with private employment agencies too. There are several online and they will send you job alerts when jobs in your line of work are listed, or when any new listings in areas that interest you are listed. Don't rule out starting a small business of your own. Take stock of your skills and think about how you might market them.
This is not a time to let pride stand in your way especially if you have children. Children should not be made to suffer going to bed hungry or without necessary health care or housing because a parent is unemployed or underemployed.
Well I know that wages and salaries have not kept up with rising rent and food prices. You may end up taking a job that pays less than your previous one. I know reports say how well the economy is doing, but I think most people will realize before much time passes that the wonderful economy is benefitting the well off far more than middle or working class people/families.
I sympathize with your situation and wish you the best possible solution. Finding a new job will likely be a job in itself. Stay positive (often easier said than done), and good luck!
Steven G on May 23, 2018:
I've worked for a business for 22 years and I was recently let go. They said it was a business decision and they could no longer retain me. I filed for unemployment only to be denied because they failed to pay the unemployment taxes. It's been 8 weeks now, I still don't have a job and absolutely no income. What can I do ?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 09, 2018:
Jeffrey R., thank you for your inquiry regarding your unfortunate situation I hope things improve for you soon. You should contact your local state unemployment office ASAP and bring these issues to their attention. While I would expect you to be able to collect unemployment benefits given your situation, as usual I I must tell you laws vary somewhat from one state to another. Please contact your local state unemployment office immediately as they will have the best answers to your questions. I hope your situation will improve soon. Good luck!
Jeffrey R on April 04, 2018:
I have been working for the company for a year now. recently the company hasn't been doing well, every one is getting partially paid while I haven't gotten paid since Feb 23rd and today is April 4. I stop showing up to work for the pass 2 days due to no money for transportation and no money to pay for my monthly bills. My Boss Owes me over a month of pay and I feel like a have work for free this whole entire time. my question to this is if I would be eligible for unemployment, and if I could file a claim without giving my job a notice?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 02, 2018:
Jesus, thank you for your inquiry. If you are laid off through no wrong doing on your own part, then your employer who lays you off is usually responsible for paying you unemployment benefits. Contact your local unemployment office if you have been laid off and apply for unemployment.
Every application is investigated to determine if the applicant ia qualified to receive benefits. Always apply for benefits if you lose a job for any reason. The investigation will determine if you are eligible for benefits. Lots of people lose out on benefits because they determined by themselves that they would not qualify. Don't make that mistake. Always apply if you are laid off and let those people who best understand the system determine whether or not you qualify for benefits.
Jesus on April 01, 2018:
So if a employer decides to lay you off are they responsible for paying for your unemployment
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 28, 2018:
Heather, thank you for your inquiry. When you have specific questions about unemployment and how it effects you and your specific situation, the best thing to do is to call or visit your local state unemployment office. They have the ability to look at your case and view your specific personal information. Your local unemployment office can answer your questions. If you have several, make a list of them before you call or visit so you don't forget anything. Good luck!
Heather on March 27, 2018:
I'm trying to wrap my head around how this works i applied for unemployment in Texas and the granted me wages from a company i didnt apply unemployment for. How do i get unemployment from the company i applied from
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 14, 2018:
NikkiJolene, thank you for your inquiry. I'm so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. As always, I recommend you lose no time in contacting your local state unemployment office and ask them what their advice is. States vary so much in some things. Frankly, given the huge differences in the job you were offered and accepted initially, I would think you could qualify for benefits given the vast differences between the job you accepted over the job now being offered. I would talk with your local unemployment office ASAP. I really hope you will have an outcome that is satisfactory to you.
NikkiJoLene on February 09, 2018:
My new boss “fired” me from a managerial position saying I am not a good fit but when I asked if I am being terminated, she skipped my question and said there are other positions in the company I can take (non-salaried, and completely different shift, working weekends now as previously had weekends and holidays off). I am an RN and we have a nursing shortage of floor nurses, and that’s the position offered. I’m afraid if I don’t take the offered position, I will not qualify for unemployment, and by turning down the offer they could say I didn’t give notice and I’d lose my accrued 40 hrs PTO, which would normally be paid out if you give 4weeks notice. I can’t take the other position due to the shift hrs, my minor kids would not be supervised at home, that was the whole reason I took this position in the first place. I’ve seen this company do this before, am I wrong in assuming they can do this? Can I turn down the offer and be eligible for unemployment (state of WI)? What tips do you have so I can protect myself?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 05, 2018:
Wilson Sofjan, thank you for your inquiry. If you are in Minnesota to stay, then that is where you should file. However, I wouldn't get my hopes up since you did leave your previous job voluntarily. Be sure to mention the OT issue since it may make it more likely that you will receive benefits. Call the local unemployment office where you are and tell them about your situation and ask them how it may effect you given that you are no longer in CA. There are some variables from what you tell me, and people at your local unemployment office are the best people to give you difinitive answera to your questions. Good luck!
Wilson Sofjan on February 01, 2018:
Hello, I just moved from California and willingly left a company that refused to pay my overtime wages (small company but still illegal because they made over $500,000) and to help my parents out as my father doesn't have a job. I didn't want to file unemployment even though I've been looking for a job but I am now low on money. Should I file MN or CA?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 29, 2018:
Donna, thank you for your inquiry. I would be surprised if you could receive unemployment benefits since one of the requirements for qualifying for benefits is that you must be available for work and physically able to work.
I'm sorry your in such a difficult situation and I wish I could give you a more optimistic possibility where unemployment benefits are concerned.
As I always do, I recommend that you call your local unemployment office and discuss this situation with them. There may be extenuating circumstances in your situation that would make a difference. Every state has somewhat different requirements, so check with your local unemployment office to assure that you get everything you are entitled to. Always do that even if you're convinced you won't qualify. Let them do the job you're paying them to do, which is investigating your situation and determining if you qualify for benefits. The worst that will happen is that they will say no, but there's always a possibility they will say yes, and you don't want to miss receiving benefits that you qualify for. Good luck!
Donna on January 27, 2018:
Hi ,I have a question I was hurt at my job in January 2017 , I returned back to work on light duty and received partial unemployment for 6 weeks then I was taking out of work again to have surgery done on my right shoulder,now I’m back out of work because of my job restrictions my employer can’t accommodate me right now ,can I receive unemployment again ?I applied for disability but being that I Been out of work since April my disability payments are only gonna be 135$ a week .can I just claim the differences through Unemployment ?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 19, 2018:
Ronichole, thank you for your enquiry. As explained in this text, your state unemployment agency will go back 1 year and one quarter and base a qualified unemployment recipient's benefit on what s/he was earning at that time.
While there are exceptions, generally people who quit their jobs, or who are terminated by their employer for cause, will not receive unemployment benefits. If you lay your employee off and s/he has worked for at least 10 weeks for you or for you and another previous employer, that employee may qualify for benefits.
One must have been working 15 months prior to when they make a claim, and they must have worked the minimum number of weeks just prior to their lay-off to receive benefits. The minimum number of current/recent weeks varies from one state to another. I mention 10 weeks above, but that can vary from one state to another.
The best way to find out exactly how an employee will be effected by a lay-off regarding unemployment benefits, and the way that lay-off and possible pay out of benefits will effect you as the employer, is to call your local state unemployment office and ask them. Since there is variation from one state to another, it's best to get accurate information from the state unemployment office in your own jurisdiction.
Your tax dollars go to pay the people who work at your local state unemployment office, so take advantage of them. Call them when you have a question or a concern. They are employed by your state for the purpose of answering your questions and keeping you informed about your state's laws regarding unemployment -- among other duties.
The one thing I would urge you to do besides talking directly to someone at your local unemployment office in order to get relevant answers to your concerns is to be sure and respond to any and all inquiries made to you by that office either by phone or through the mail regarding an employee's work record and lay-off circumstances, etc. Employers who do not respond usually end up paying unemployment regardless of the details of the situation. This is one instance where employees terminated for cause can still receive benefits -- when the employer ignores inquiries from the state unemployment office.
For the best answers to any questions you have regarding unemployment as an employer or as an employee, call your local unemployment office. I cannot emphasize this enough.
ronichole on January 15, 2018:
I own a tree care company in the state of Illinois. We are considering laying off an employee from mid Jan-mid March. He's been employed with us since May 2017 and was employed full time with a company before that. My questions are:
1) Are his benefits based off of his entire work history in the state for the past 15 months, or just his history with our company? Would he qualify?
2) What are the consequences for us? Will our rate go up?
3) What is the process? Is there anything we, as an employer, need to fill out or do we just advise him he's laid off and respond to IDES when he makes a claim?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 28, 2017:
Connie, thank you for your inquiry. As I stated in this article, former employers are sent requests for information when you file for unemployment. They have a deadline by which they must return that information. If they don't return it on time or at all, chances are that you will receive unemployment benefits simply because your previous employer didn't respond. One of the most frequent reasons employers end up paying unemployment is because they ignore information requests from their state unemployment office.
Your former employer's having closed down doesn't mean they don't have to provide requested information to the state unemployment office in a timely manner.
Never be afraid to contact your local state unemployment office. Tax dollars pay their wages/salaries, so essentially they work for all tax payers including you. If you have questions about unemployment, the best answers come from your local unemployment office. They know what's going on with your specific case and if there are any issues that differ from the norm they can give you answers specific to your case. Also, there are sometimes differences between states regarding requirements, etc., and your local unemployment office is best suited to answer questions that relate specifically your state's requirements, and to you.
Thank you again, and good luck!
Connie on October 23, 2017:
I was told I am waiting on my last job to fill out my paper work for unemployment but they closed down what will happen
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 09, 2017:
M Oswald, thank you for your inquiry. I have known many people who feared filing unemployment claims for fear of offending their employers, but I have always done so even when coworkers feared retribution.
Your employer should realize that losing your paycheck will be a hardship and expect you to file as a result. Even so, I have known employers who would not call workers back if they filed and who would refuse to hire in the first place if they knew a person had ever in their lives collected unemployment or received food stamps or any other type of public assistance.
Unemployment is not public assistance. It is insurance to help you get through periods of unemployment through no fault of your own.
Employers must pay into the unemployment fund and never receive a refund even if none of their employees ever file. Presumably your wages/salary would have been a little higher if your employer didn't have to pay into the unemployment program on your behalf. So in a manner of speaking, the money your employer paid for unemployment insurance came at the expense of what might have been higher wages for you.
I can't tell you what to do. I understand you may face repercussions if you file and they may add to your hardship. I have always filed anyway and taken my chances, and been lucky that none of my employers held grudges. Or if they did, I never suffered as a result.
By law, you are entitled to file and your state unemployment office will determine if you qualify for benefits. I'm sure there's probably a law that forbids employers from seeking retribution, but I also know how hard it would be, and how expensive it would be to prove an employer had done so.
You might want to consult with one of the advisors at your unemployment office about your fears before filing in order to learn exactly what your recourse options would be if your employer decides to get even somehow. You might want to look at working for a different dental office as well, once you're able to resume that kind of work.
Frankly, I have not concerned myself about whether my former employers would be offended if I filed for unemployment. I consider an attitude of that sort unethical and really don't want to work for an employer who would punish, or attempt to punish me, for taking advantage of my legal rights, or from keeping my bills paid.
At the same time, I understand you may not want to take that risk, even though there is no guarantee you will be called back to work by this particular employer when the 4 or more months have passed. You might also want to look into jobs you can make do with while you're waiting for your wrist to heal.
I'm sorry I can't be more helpful on this issue. Consult with the people at your unemployment office as I suggested and then you will have your best information to help you decide what you want to do. You have my best wishes for a good outcome whatever you decide to do.
M Oswald on October 08, 2017:
I was let go due to an injury that did not occur at work. I am a hygienist and I have torn a tendon in my wrist. My doctor gave me a note stating I needed 4+ months off to heal; my employer felt he couldn't hold my position. I want to file a claim, but I am afraid he will be upset with me.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 11, 2017:
llyn Vargas, thank you for your inquiry. The insurance claim is intended to pay the cost of medical treatment/expenses. Whoever is obligated to pay that expense is the entity that should receive the insurance payment. Very often the insurance company pays the medical services provider directly and furnishes the insured with proof that it was paid.
Ilyn Vargas on August 10, 2017:
My cousin had an accident during work,and he was treated, after he went out to hospital,his sick leave and insurance was been file.
The management told him that the insurance claim will go to the company not to him.Is it right?
Robert Sacchi on January 14, 2017:
Thank you. I appreciate you kind words. While I would have prefered to keep things as they were it worked out alright for me. The week after I got word I applied for and got a job offer with the company that canceled my contract. I started working at my new job, better pay and closer to home. I found it miraculous. May everyone who gets a pink slip this year do at least as well.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2017:
Uriah Lendsey, thank you for stopping by and making an inquiry. My best advice here is to call your local state unemployment office and ask them this question.
I'm just guessing here, but you have to have worked a certain number of weeks in the year (usually 18) before you can qualify for benefits and you have to have made at least $116 a week during those weeks. Possibly you haven't done that? Call you local office and get some definite answers. That's what our tax dollars are paying them for -- to answer your questions among other things.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2017:
Robert Sacchi, I'm sorry to hear you're out of work. Hope you find something you will like soon. Seems like the economy is better for the time being and there are more jobs available. Not sure it will stay that way with the change of the guard, but I certainly wish you the best of luck in finding something you'll like and that will meet your requirements.
Uriah Lendsey on January 11, 2017:
What does it mean when they say I have to go back to work and earmarks at least 163 dollars or more in order to continue my claim?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 11, 2016:
LouiseKristie, thank you for sharing your situation with me and my readers. You should not be required to take work that is vastly different from or that has a lower pay rate than what you were doing for this company before. Physical field labor sounds very different from office work for a variety of reason. I hope you let the people at your meeting know that when they questioned you. It is physically difficult compared to what you applied for and accepted from this company and you should not be required to accept this type of work. Definitely fight any effort to intimidate you into accepting the field work.
You should not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for turning down physical field work because it is extremely different from the kind of work you agreed to do and did do before. If you are turned down for unemployment you should seriously consider consulting with an employment lawyer. If you and your lawyer agree it’s worth fighting be sure to ask for attorney’s fees along with reinstatement of your unemployment benefits. You should not have to resort to hiring an attorney to get what is rightfully yours and if it comes to that, your employer should pay for that attorney as well as your unemployment benefits.
If this issue has been settled I hope it was in your favor. If it wasn’t in your favor you should still consider consulting an employment attorney to make sure you can’t get a negative ruling reversed. If you consult an attorney, be sure to consult one that does a lot of employment law or who is certified in this area. A lot of people do not realize all lawyers do not know everything about every legal issue, it isn’t humanly possible and so most attorneys specialize in a few areas of law. An employment attorney should know employment law thoroughly and if s/he doesn’t, look for a different one.
Best of luck to you!
Robert Sacchi on December 08, 2016:
This Hub is more important to me now. I got word on Monday I'll be out of a job on January 1.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 08, 2016:
Lori, I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond to your inquiry, but I very much appreciate your taking the time to explain your situation.
Did the employee you refer to work for you for a long time? A year or 2 or more? It's likely that the way unemployment benefits are determined may be playing a part in this. I explained in this article how benefits are determined by going back a year and a quarter (referring to a 3-month period here such as Jan., Feb., Mar. as a quarter).
When your former employee left her most recent job it's possible that when 'they' went back a year and a quarter, that you were still her employer and so benefits will be determined by how many hours and how much pay she received from you as her employer.
For example, if she filed for unemployment in September 2016 'they' will go back to September 2015 plus the quarter Before the one that includes Sept. (April, May, June 2015). If this employee was working for you during the 2nd quarter of 2015 (in this scenario), her record as your employee at that time would be the one they base her benefits on.
Even though her benefits are based on earnings when she was working for you (if that is the case), her most recent employer should be the one paying them — and that depends on whether she even qualifies for benefits. Whether she qualifies for benefits is a different investigation that will involve her most recent employer. If she qualifies for benefits it is possible they will be based on earnings when she still worked for you.
Since I don’t know if this is the case, but it’s the only thing I can think of without more information, I would tell you to take advantage of what you are paying for. You have paid into the unemployment program as required by law, and so call your local state employment agency and ask them what is going on. Don’t be afraid to question what is happening or to ask them for an explanation. It may seem like a lot of red tape and very complicated, but I think you will find it much easier to get the information you want than you imagine.
If you plan to continue to be an employer I recommend you take every opportunity to learn all about unemployment benefits and the insurance program generally. Learn how to make it work for you. Always respond to inquiries fro the unemployment office and never be afraid to pick up the phone and ask questions. Like anything else, the more you learn about it the easier it becomes. Believe me, understanding unemployment will be a great relief to you and it will give you a new confidence.
Another way to avoid paying unemployment is to have a plan for improving the behavior and performance of problem employees. When they exhibit that they are going to be a problem, have a talk with them and tell them you are going to put them on a program to help them improve their performance. Tell them this is for their own benefit (it’s really a benefit to both of you) because it will give them an opportunity to improve their productivity and performance because if they can’t bring it up to your requirements you will have no choice but to replace them.
Before you talk to them make a plan with definite points of achievement that will show how well they are improving. Make sure they know you will be giving them a performance review and ask them to sign an agreement after you’ve explained it saying that you have explained what is required and that they understand what you said. They understand if they do not meet your requirements that they will be terminated.
So make a plan of various things they can do to improve their performance. Make sure they know you’ll be monitoring their progress. If necessary put another employee in charge of helping them modify their behavior or learn how to do whatever part of their job they aren’t performing well at.
Give them a reasonable time to make improvements and make sure they know that when the program is completed satisfactorily they will still be terminated if they go back to their old undesirable habits. Reasonable can be anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months depending on what the problem is and how severe the necessary change will be. Make sure to be reasonable in the time allowed and the steps they must follow as well as what you will accept as improvement.
State unemployment offices like to see that you have taken reasonable steps to help your employee improve his/her performance, and if you do this in a fair minded way, you may end up with an exceptional employee — but if you must still terminate them, you can show that you made every effort to help them improve. When employees are severed for cause they rarely get benefits. One way they can get benefits is if you have no plan in place to help them improve their performance/behavior and that you have given them no warnings as they got closer to termination through undesirable performance/behavior.
This is another subject you can discuss with an agent at your state unemployment office. Ask for their advice on creating such a plan and by doing so make sure it meets with their requirements/approval.
I hope this has given you some food for thought and been at least a little bit of help. Please do call your state unemployment office, get to know them better, and ask them to explain what is happening so you will know exactly as it pertains to you and your business. Best wishes!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 03, 2016:
Mike, thank you for sharing your experience with me and my readers. I think anytime a person is qualified to collect unemployment benefits they should do so. Unemployment insurance is part of the cost an employer bears for having employees and if it weren't required they might raise your wages/salary a little higher. It's part of the benefits package your employer provides you as their employee.
Most people don't think twice about collecting on their health insurance if they incur medical bills, and there's no reason not to collect unemployment benefits if you qualify for them. After all, you pay for unemployment insurance just the same as you do medical insurance.
Telling perspective employers that you planned to retire after a certain amount of time was certainly the considerate thing to do, but if the tables were turned it's unlikely they would have told you the position they were seeking to hold would be a temporary one. Some employers are up front about that, but not all. Of course there are never any guarantees a position will last or that a person will hold a job for any particular period of time. Things happen to employers and employees alike that can cut a job short. Accidents, family situations, company bankruptcies and the list goes on. Even if both you and your employer expected your job to last for 5 years or more, there are no guarantees that would happen under the best of circumstances. I think you were considerate to inform your possible employers of your intentions, but I'm not sure it was truly necessary.
Thanks again for sharing your situation and your thoughts.
LouiseKristie on November 19, 2016:
I was laid off full time work due to lack of work, but offered possible 8-16 hours of work out in the field physical labor, not guaranteed or hit the streets. Im a 54 year old woman who's done office work for 30 years. I said I needed to go find work and filed for unemployment. At adjudication I'm being questioned why I didn't take the work. Will I be disqualified.
Lori on November 07, 2016:
I'm an employer who has been paying on a claim, that in my opinion should not have qualified since the employee was terminated due to the disruptive behavior she demonstrated towards coworkers and all levels of management, including myself. She was actually going to be fired 2 months prior, but I gave her 1 last chance because I'm a freaking softy sometimes. I want to know why the employee has starting receiving benefits again after a few months of not (she is working and earning more now). I thought I was done with this situation a few months ago, until I just got another employer questionnaire for UC.
Mike on October 31, 2016:
Hi. I live in California and my position with a large international employer was eliminated when I was 63. I took retirement with a pension, and a severance package. I was eligible for and took Unemployment Insurance after 6 months (at 63 1/2).
I did look for work and applied for similar positions on the internet every week, but did not WANT to get another job because I had planned on retiring at age 64 or at the very maximum at 66. In addition, I felt that I should not have taken another job with a new employer for only a year or two (and then resigned to retire) without being honest with them upfront--which obviously would have tampered their interest in me. If I did, this would have been dishonest and costly to the new employer. I flet I was due the unemployment insurance paid by my employer as partial replacement income because they eliminated my position.
I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2016:
Thank you for your enquiry. I’m sorry to hear about all the problems you are having with your current employer. I would recommend you contact your local state unemployment office and explain your situation to them and pose all of your questions to them. They will be able to give you absolute answers and those are the kind of answers you need so that you know what you must do to resolve this situation of slow paychecks and unsatisfactory employment.
Mondays, especially mornings, are extremely busy at the unemployment office. The wait, whether in person or on the phone, can be very lengthy. Generally afternoons are best for contacting them, and the closer to Friday the better, as everyone has the idea to contact that office first thing Monday morning, or as near to it as possible.
If your paychecks are regularly a week or more late, I would also contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. That attorney specializing in employment law will know if you have a cause of actin against your employer for any reason, and may be able to work out any issues with your employer without court action.
A surprising number of employers, usually small businesses, are uninformed about laws that effect different facets of their business, such as employment law. They make mistakes as a result. Of course it is the responsibility of new business owners to learn what laws effect their businesses so to avoid breaking them.
It is very difficult to provide a stable environment for oneself or children if a paycheck is undependable, and if one has earned that paycheck then it should be delivered on time. I hope you will contact your unemployment office this afternoon if you can find the time, and get the answers you need asap. I really hope you will be able to resolve these issues soon and improve your situation. Best of luck!
3angelz on August 02, 2016:
I have a difficult sitiation, i work for a franchise in tx. I am a stylist who gets commission. I was injured in 2013 and did not return to work until 2015. I worked for one year left and was rehired at the same company but a new franchise owner making at least three times what I made before. My Workers comp claim has just ended with the previous franchisee (in case that matters). I started working with a new owner Feb this yr. We are supposed to be paid the 1st and 15th of every month however over half of my paychecks have been paid late to me by 2 days or more. I only work 8 days a pay period and hours vary, If it's slow I can leave early, all my wages are commissions and tips. I work about 24 hrs/wk. However this job pays my bills. I know the laws regarding Fair Labor and wages and employment, so my question is this, does Texas consider it fair ground to quit a job due to the constant lack of on-time payments?
There's more, I am also currently part-time employed. Scheduled 30 hours a week at a new job I just started 3 weeks ago however this job will pay 2 - 3 times LESS then what I make at the other job. (I have not received my first check, but it will not be a "normal paycheck" as it provided paid training)
Can I recieve unemployment from the first job while I search for another job? With equal pay? (There is at least one complaint filed against him for this, I plan on filing and a coworker quit today and said she would, even if she doesn't) if there's proof could this change things?
There's still more... I have actually now worked for three franchise owners. The first owner was in a class action lawsuit for non-payment of overtime wages, which I was a part of (circa 2012). I thought nothing of it. But now this franchise owner is doing the same thing.
Is there any way to hold the company/corporation as a whole responsible and not just the individual franchise owners? It appears they are careless in the way they treat employees and corporate doesn't seem to mind them doing business this way.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 19, 2016:
Robert Sacchi, thank you for your insight. I agree!
Robert Sacchi on July 16, 2016:
Thank you. Yes, the easiest way to avoid flack or discrimination trouble is to use the "need not apply" phrase. This doesn't stop an employer from throwing away a resume with an employment gap or other information that has things they don't like.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 16, 2016:
Robert Sacchi, thank you for your inquiry. I'm sorry to be so long getting back to you. For a while many employers said right in their job listings that if you were not currently employed they would not even consider your application. Others said if you had been unemployed for 6 months or longer they would not consider your application. I personally was told by a recruiter who called me that I would not be considered (2008) since I was not currently employed. Employers no longer put these things in their listings because some of them experienced some flack as a result. Not placing it in their listings doesn't prevent them from having a policy not to consider applications from unemployed people.
Homeless people have little chance of digging themselves out of the situation they're in because most employers won't even consider them for work. Yet everyone feels obligated to spit on them and sneer at them because they are without a job and homeless.
I'm sure every employer has their own attitude about unemployed applicants. Some may be willing to consider them while others do not. Those who will consider an unemployed applicant may punish them in other ways such as you mention, by offering lower compensation, etc.
Robert Sacchi on July 08, 2016:
Good points. Does a longer period of unemployment make you more unemployable? When I got a permanent job it paid 60% less than what my previous job paid, and the benefits were much less also.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 08, 2016:
Robert Sacchi, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! You should have been able to collect unemployment benefits while you were working your first part-time job. Generally unemployment will make up the difference between your actual earnings from a PT job and your usual earnings from a full-time job.
Generally people who quit their jobs or who are fired (especially for cause) will not get benefits, however every claim is investigated and you may be one of the exceptions. Always file for benefits so that the reason you don't get them won't be because you didn't file.
Unemployment is an insurance program run by the government and employers must pay into it for every employee whether they like it or not. They will not get a penny back even if none of their employees ever collect.
If employers weren't required to pay into this program they would be able to pay employees higher wages/salaries. Therefore this benny is part of your compensation and should be utilized when needed just like you utilize your health insurance when needed.
It really makes no sense to accept a job that won't begin to pay the bills just so the neighbors and other busybodies will be happy you accepted a job over unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that most heroes are dead. Is it worth it to undermine your own best interests and those of your family just to impress the neighbors who don't have to live on the limited income or any results of your decision? Does that pat on the back from them really mean that much? Can you eat it?
The quickest way to lose burdensome weight is to stop caring what other people think. People who don't have to walk in your shoes, live in your skin, or deal with your experiences, and who really don't know even half of the details of your situation always have an opinion about what you should do and often like to share that opinion. People who are overly concerned with your character and your lifestyle don't have enough to do and should get a life of their own. Why do you care about impressing them? And if you're honest, are they ever truly satisfied with your decisions?
Never be afraid to collect unemployment benefits that you are entitled to. They are there to help you and your family get through a difficult jobless period. Always file for them when applicable -- and that is when you have lost your job for any reason, or quit your job for any reason..
Make job decisions based on yours and your family's needs, not on what people who don't have to live with the decision think. Collect on your health and life insurance the same way. :)
Robert Sacchi on July 07, 2016:
Very informative. I made a big mistaske the last time I was unemployed. After a couple of months unemployed I got a part time job as a product demonstrator. Invariably I would make less money than unemployment was giving me. From a practical standpoint I was working for nothing. In desparation I took a job as a car salesman, which meant I had to quit the part time job. A couple of weeks into the car salesman job I got terminated, I wasn't able to sell any cars. Since I had previously quit the part time job I was ineligible to collect unemployment.
Au fait on June 07, 2016:
Sammy, thank you for coming by! If your hours have been cut back considerably you can collect unemployment without quitting. Unemployment will make up the difference between what you earned before your hours were shortened and the present time.
There's a possibility you could collect unemployment if you quit, but if cutting your hours is causing financial difficulty, cutting them out completely is bound to cause even more distress. Better to stay put at your job, collect unemployment for the lost hours, and look for another job.
Sammy on June 04, 2016:
If I'm working full time and the company restructure and they make me part time can I quit and get unemployment?
Au fait on May 27, 2016:
DavidT9343, thank you for reading, and for your inquiry. All employers are required to pay into their state's unemployment fund according to how many employees they have, the number of hours generally worked by their employees, and the wages earned for that time period. They begin paying in when they begin employing people.
Employers do not get a refund if no employee ever receives benefits. On the other hand, if an employee or employees draw out benefits that exceed the amount paid in, an employer will have to pay in more to bring their account up to the maintenance level required by their state.
How many employees does your former company have? If there are several and all are being laid off because the company is closing, then most likely all will qualify to collect benefits. With so many people collecting it is likely your employer's account will be depleted, and your employer will have to pay more in. If there are several employees collecting the account will likely be depleted whether you collect or not.
Every employer is required to pay in for each employee they have in accordance with that employee's wages and hours worked. That is the reason many people advice people to collect if they can because it's part of your wages. If your employer didn't have to pay in as a protection for you in case you lose your job, s/he would be able to pay you a higher wage/salary and might very well do so. Unemployment insurance is one of the bennies you get for working.
If you do not apply for unemployment you will not get any. It's not like vacation pay that accumulates and is sometimes handed to you when you separate from the company without your asking for it. I have explained in this text how your benefits are determined.
You have my best wishes. I hope all comes out well for you and your employer.
DavidT9343 on May 23, 2016:
Hi, new here. I live in NY and work in NJ. Me and my boss are pretty close kinda like a father son thing, but he has been forced to retire and close doors. I would hate to burn such a important bridge by applying for unemployment if he has to pay out of pocket.....I am wondering does unemployment force him to pay after i'm laid-off or is it accumulated overtime and given to me by the state via their own account for employees ?
Au fait, the author of this timely article. on May 18, 2016:
Chad, thank you for coming by. Since your benefits must be used up by August of this year, and there are still benefits available, I would call your local unemployment office and ask them why you have not heard from them. Normally you should hear something within 2 weeks of filing a claim. Usually later in the week is a better time to call them (right now) as the waiting/on hold time can be very, very long earlier in the week when everyone is calling. Best wishes!
Chad on May 17, 2016:
I was getting unemployment benefits from company A off and on for 8 mths. My claim says stays effective until August 2016 but I've been laid off twice. I got benefits in august went back to work then laid off again in March then went back to work in April for same company but was for only 5 days to rig down then laid off again so I'm getting worried it's taking so long to get an answer on my newest claim.. There's still money left I didn't collect
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 24, 2015:
Kristy, thank you for reading this article and for your inquiry as well. I hope you found answers to some of your questions in the text and are now more informed about how unemployment insurance works.
It would depend on how long you worked for Company B. If it was only for a week or maybe a month or so the answer is yes, you could file for unemployment again (depending on why you left Company B) and receive your unemployment benefits as before.
You may remember that I said benefits are based on what you were making 1 year and 1 quarter back in time, (Jan, Feb. Mar. is a quarter. Oct. Nov. Dec., is another quarter, for example.).
So if you worked for Company B for 6 months or more the amount of money you were making a year and a quarter back may be different. However, if you qualify for unemployment benefits then you should be able to go back to collecting as you were before working for Company B. The benefits may reflect a difference in your wages/salary.
The BIG question is, why aren't you working for Company B anymore? Did you quit or were you fired? Except for rare circumstances, if either of these is the reason you aren't working for Company B anymore, you will probably not qualify for unemployment benefits.
If your unemployment office accepts your reason for quitting a job as a good reason, you will likely get benefits again, or if they believe after an investigation that you were wrongfully fired, again you may get benefits. If you quit because you are tired of the job or any reason not considered responsible or reasonable, you will not get benefits. Likewise if your employer can prove you made glaring mistakes and even with their tutelage and patience made no improvement, you will not qualify for benefits.
Actually, if your prospective employer inquires from your previous employers as to whether or not they would consider hiring you again if an opening you qualified for presented itself, you want them to say YES. If they say no, that is a riddle a new employer doesn't want to have to solve. It could be any reason at all from sloppy work, not getting along with other workers, and really, there's no end as to why a previous employer might not be willing to rehire. A no to that question is often the end of any hopes you might have of getting that new job.
Employers are usually careful about what they say because of possible lawsuits. Lawsuits take up time and money that could be used somewhere else. If the community is aware of it, a lawsuit can affect how they are thought of by the general public including prospective employees and customers. Even when someone wins a lawsuit there are expenses involved.
Clearly lawsuits have been brought against employers for sharing too much about an employees work record and it has cost those employers in some cases dearly. That is the reason they are usually careful about what information they share and limit that information considerably.
I cannot give you a definitive answer to your last question, but unless an employer knows someone personally working at your state unemployment office, it is unlikely they will have access to any information about you that your unemployment office has. I would expect to be illegal to share any information on you with anyone but other government agencies, and often even that is illegal.
If a person working in the state employment office were to share info on you with a friend or anyone, that person would be putting their job in jeopardy if discovered, and I believe you could sue both that person and the unemployment office that s/he represented at the time, whether government or privately operated.
Privacy is a big deal whether it relates to an employer/employee, a health facility or practitioner, school records on anything at all, a private employment office or state employment facility, unemployment insurance, or really, anything at all. Any entity that crosses the line by sharing personal information they have collected in an official capacity takes a big risk.
You may have noticed that for the last several years prospective employers ask job applicants to sign a paper giving them permission to do a background check and to ask questions about an applicant from anyone they wish. They point out that when you sign you agree not to hold anyone legally responsible for anything they say or any information they provide regardless of the source. Of course if you don't sign your application will not be considered.
I haven't heard of any challenges to this common procedure, but I would expect there to be some since a person's livelihood is at risk. Very few people in this world are without any enemies at all. Any person could, according to the disclaimer on the document , say anything at all and not be held responsible however huge and outrageous the lie.
For answers to these questions I always recommend that you defer to your local unemployment office. Laws on unemployment insurance do vary from state to state, so call your local office and ask them these same questions. Very likely you'll end up talking to someone miles away. The information you're talking about will all come out in an investigation anyway, so there's no reason to fear talking to your local unemployment office.
Hope something here is helpful. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
Kristy on May 23, 2015:
1). If I'm on unemployment from Company A, and I accept a part time 1099 job from company B, (which pays more than what I'm collecting, so I report it of course and stop collecting) - and then lose that 1099 job, can I be reinstated and counting to collect on the claim from Company A?
2) something you say about employers giving out "yes" or "no" to hiring again really freaked me out. My employer said they would not share anything about me just when I worked there. I'm now wondering why I'm not getting jobs - I have typically not had an issue and wondering if my employer said yes??? That seems so unfair without knowing the story.
3). Also do potential employers have access to unemployment records, like knowing you are on it, or what your stated reasons for leaving were?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 15, 2015:
esmil, you are very welcome and I wish you the best of luck in receiving benefits and in finding a new job. Your Unemployment office has lots of programs and help available to you to find a new and hopefully better job, so take advantage of it -- your tax dollars at work. :)
esmii on January 15, 2015:
Thank you so much for your advice and I've already applied
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 13, 2015:
esmil, thank you for your interest in my article. Whenever you quit a job or are fired from or laid off fro a job or lose a job for any reason at all, file for unemployment the very next business day. Even if you think you will not receive the benefits ALWAYS file for unemployment. ALWAYS. Let the people at the unemployment do their job -- which is to determine if you qualify for benefits. I know lots of people who received them and had not planned to file for them because they thought they wouldn't get them. FILE ASAP!
esmii on January 13, 2015:
hi I was working at Walmart for 7 months and they laid me off they told me my time was up o don't get but can I apply for unemployment
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 14, 2014:
Thank you Shyron, for coming by and leaving such a great comment. I hope this article will help unemployed people because many people who are unemployed for the first time really don't know what to do or how to do it. As a result a lot of them lose out on benefits they qualify for and which they are entitled to.
Blessings to you too . .
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 13, 2014:
Thank you PegCole17 for reading and commenting on this article and for your high praise. I've spent a lot of time on one side or the other of unemployment. People are often afraid of things they don't understand and as a result don't get the benefits they are entitled to.
Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on June 11, 2014:
This article is really quite comprehensive in itself and the comments and stories of in depth examples of real world experiences are fascinating. Valuable and useful reading. Your knowledge of the subject is quite impressive.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 11, 2014:
Au fait, this is so informative and explains what a person needs to do when they lose their job. Most people will appreciate reading about what to do, they wake the following morning with the question in their minds of what do I do now?
Do wait file for unemployement NOW.
Thank you for helping the unemployed.
Blessings my friend.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 26, 2014:
audeo, thank you for stopping by and letting me know that this article as well as the one on what qualifies as a job search has been helpful to you. I often wonder if anyone is benefitting from them. I'm so glad it made things clearer and ultimately better for you.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 24, 2014:
Thank you Shyron, for commenting and for the votes and share. Yes, finding a job nowadays is a full time job in and of itself. That is largely because there just aren't enough good paying jobs.
A lot of people don't seem to understand that just getting a job is not the goal, but getting a job that will pay a person's bills so they don't have to apply for public assistance because the pay is too low, is the real challenge. Lots of working poor people are homeless.
Hope you're having a good week and that all is well with you and yours.
audeo on April 21, 2014:
Thank you so much for this information, I didn't realize how little I understood of the requirements and your other article helped too. Now I feel like I can do what I need to and not be dishonest in the process.
Thank you also for your good wishes and keep up the good work!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 17, 2014:
This is very good information, I was cleaning today and came across some of my job search information. I can't believe all the hoops you have to jump through.
Voted up UAI and shared
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 17, 2014:
audeo, thank you for stopping by. Yes, you could jeopardize your unemployment benefits by not doing a job search for the week, but whether your benefits would be jeopardized permanently, or just for that week you were unable to search for a job, is the question. I would recommend you call your local unemployment office to get the answer to that question, because it is subjective, and the outcome is likely to be determined by whomever is reviewing your account at the time.
Have you read my article -- Do You Know What Qualifies As a Job Search While Collecting Unemployment Benefits?
You need not actually apply for or interview for a job for your job search activity to count towards a job search. Does your friend have a newspaper, or could you get a newspaper while you're visiting her? Even if your friend lives in a different state, your searches there should count so long as you are truly willing to move if need be, should you find a job you are qualified for and would really be willing to accept if offered. Looking for that job counts as 1 job search every time you make a genuine effort to find it -- even if you don't find it.
Does your friend have a computer you could use? Or could you take your lap top along on your trip and use your friend's wireless connection with your own computer to search for work on your local newspaper's site? Maybe search the online job listings sites like Monster or Simply Hired?
In Texas, every time you genuinely search for a job on one of these sites, in the newspaper, or by calling a perspective employer to find out what jobs they may have available, it counts as a job search. You can also search a particular employer's website for new listings and that is a job search.
Monster and Simply Hired make it possible, as does Texas WorkForce Commission, to search for, and even apply for their listed jobs online from their site. There are a lot of possibilities that will allow you to do job searches while you're visiting your friend and they need not take a lot of time. Just 30-60 minutes everyday can be enough time to search for and possibly find a great job.
Think about ways you can maintain your job search and spend time with your friend too. Read my other article for ideas that will fit in with your visit.
Very sorry to hear your friend's husband is not well. My best wishes to you in your job search, and to your friend for the best possible outcome to her situation as well.
audeo on April 16, 2014:
Great article and good information. Here is my question.
If you are collecting UI in Texas and cannot search or be available for a week, will that jeopardize being able to continue to receive benefits?
I have a good out of town friend whose husband is very ill. If he passes, I would like to go to the funeral, but am concerned that if I am honest when I request benefits, I might lose them. Is there a good way to handle this?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 12, 2014:
Mike, thanks for stopping in. If your wages are considerably lower for the same job or for any job offer than what you have been paid, then you should be able to turn that offer down.
I always, always recommend that you file for unemployment benefits by the very next business day after you have been laid off, whether you think you will qualify for benefits or not. Don't take a chance on losing those important benefits because you failed to file or filed to late.
Your state unemployment office will inform you of whether or not you qualify for benefits and there is no punishment for filing and being told no. I would expect you to qualify if, as I said, the pay for doing the same job is considerably lower than before. File for benefits and begin seeking other employment so you can show good faith in trying to find another job. Good luck!
mike on April 12, 2014:
If the company you work for is bought out and you declined the new offer can you collect your unemployment benefits because your wages lower
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 12, 2014:
Lori, the trouble is (from what you've said) that you never contacted them and told them you had not received the cards until a year or more had passed. Most people, including myself, would have been on the phone within 2 weeks at most, to find out what was holding up the cards. The cards could have been tracked and replaced if need be at that time. It looks strange that so much time passed and you made no complaint about not having received the cards. I'm sure that's the problem.
Even so, since the funds were never transferred from those cards to anybody, that should make it obvious that you never received the cards. I don't know of anyone who would just forget about the money that was on those cards.
If you get no satisfaction from TX Workforce regarding this issue, I suggest you contact your state and federal representatives. If you don't already know what district you live in, find out, and contact your state legislator for that district and your federal legislator for that district. There's no guarantee they will be willing or able to help, but they do help people with various bureaucratic problems from time to time and you may get lucky.
Go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Zip.aspx and put your TX zip code into the box and submit it. That will tell you who your federal and state representatives are. Contact their offices for help with this situation. With any luck, this being an election year, someone there will be willing to help with this issue. Good luck!
Lor on March 12, 2014:
I wrote three weeks back regarding unemployment not wanting to reissue my funds they took back. They claim because I did not activate the several cards they sent me after a year, they take back the funds. This is coming from the top and they do not want to reissue. I don't understand why they have such code and how it would apply to me, if i never received the cards.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 04, 2014:
Christina, thank you for your inquiry. I've never heard of unemployment benefits rolling over. I explain in this article how unemployment benefits are determined, so be sure to read that section.
I'm not familiar with CA unemployment laws, so I would strongly suggest you contact your local state unemployment office in addition to filing for benefits.
Always file for benefits when you lose your job even if you think you won't qualify. Lots of people lose benefits because they don't even file for them.
If you held a full-time job previously and are now working only part-time, you can file for benefits that will help make up the difference between the money you are earning now and what you would earn if your job was full-time.
For a definitive answer to your questions regarding the loss of benefits, contact your local state unemployment office.
christina on March 03, 2014:
so even tho i have found a job parttime i should still collect those benefits that are owed to me through this opened case than? or does it roll over to the next lay off claim i apply for when this job ends cause i am working through a temp agency? Or will i lose those benefits if i dont collect them now, cause the open claim i have will end in July?? Please help me and clarify.. I live here in California
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 17, 2014:
David, thank you for stopping by. Since it is the employer who laid you off that is requesting you work one day a week -- it is the same employer, same job, etc., yes, you have to accept that work if you want to claim unemployment benefits.
Working one day a week will not prevent you from getting unemployment benefits. The money you make will be subtracted from the total you would normally receive if you didn't work at all. So you can still get a partial check for unemployment benefits.
In most states your employer would have to put you back to work for the same or more hours as before he laid you off in order to prevent you from collecting unemployment benefits.
It is possible you can still get paid for the 3 weeks you have been laid off without any work. Every state is different and I'm not familiar with S.C. laws. S.C. may have some law that won't allow you to collect if you work 1 day a week, but in most states you can collect so long as you aren't working full time or at least the same number of hours you worked before your layoff.
Always file for unemployment benefits right away when you are laid off from work, whether you think you will qualify or not. The very next business day, or that night online, file for unemployment benefits, don't wait.
Many people lose benefits because they didn't file quickly enough or because they think they won't qualify and don't even try. Let your unemployment office decide if you qualify. Don't try to second guess them. Don't take a chance of losing out on benefits that are rightfully yours.
I suggest you discuss this with someone in your unemployment office. It's possible that your employer can get away with what s/he is doing, working you just one day a week, not telling you which day it will be, but that sounds like harassment to me. Your employer may not think you will check up on him/her regarding this strategy, but I would just to make sure it's legal. A lot of illegal activity occurs simply because no one questions it or turns it in.
File for benefits and talk with an unemployment counselor at your state unemployment office about your situation. Your tax dollars are paying for that office and everything in it, so take advantage of the services there.
David on February 17, 2014:
I have been layer off from a full time job. I waited three weeks before I file for hi.then when I filed my employer started calling me back for one day a week. Really messing me up just one because I end up making g lease money. Do I have to work that one day a week? Or will I cause me to lose power my hi.? I need at least three days to bring home enough and more my unemployment check cause they go by gross.I live in s.c. so what are my rights on being called in like that. I'd rather work cause I don'tmake as much as on unemoyment. Why would a employer do this. Just one day a week from five or six days I worked. As long as I didn't make a claim he didn't care if he worked me or not but soon as he got the papers he started this. And you never no which day it will be.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 13, 2014:
Sorry Lori, I have never been in a situation like you describe. If it were me, I would be calling them at least once a week about when my debit card would arrive and I would be asking on each occasion when I should expect it to arrive so that I know when I need to call them the next time.
I hope you are dealing with someone above the bottom level at both your unemployment office and the comptroller's office. You'd be surprised how many people on the lower rungs of an agency or business do not know what they are talking about and rather than ask someone or admit they do not have the answers, they will tell you whatever it takes to make your and your call go away.
If you haven't been dealing with supervisors or managers in this situation at both of these gov. agencies I suggest you do so and at least get a definitive answer as to whether your unemployment benefits are lost permanently.
Never let much time pass before you check on something the government or any other entity has told you will happen and it hasn't happened within a reasonable time. That is why you should always keep a record of who you talked to, when you talked to them, what was discussed, and be sure to ask when you can expect whatever they are sending to arrive. If it hasn't arrived by the day after they said it would, call them again.
I hope this issue will be resolved for you and that you will get your benefits even if considerably delayed. Good luck!
lori on February 12, 2014:
I never received my debit bank card where my unemployment benefits were deposited. After calling several times, which they assured me they would be sending another debit card and that my funds were still there and would be there until I withdrew them. I did not press the issue and now after a year has passed the TX Unemployment Office has told me that after a year with no activity the funds go back to the state. They have not assured me that I have lost the funds. When checking with the State Controller the want a "due diligent" letter from the TX Unemployment Office in order to research any funds they currently don't see. Are you familiar with this?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 02, 2014:
Thank you for stopping by Shyron. Just send your friend the URL for this article and maybe it can help her understand the system better and the others that are linked to this one can help her find another job. I wish her luck.
Thanks for the vote and share too!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 01, 2014:
Au fait, this is such an important article for anyone who has lost a job or expect to lose one.
I had to come back and refresh this info for a friend who just lost her job.
Voted up and shared
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 31, 2014:
Thank you for your inquiry Ashlee.
First of all I always recommend you check with your local state unemployment office regarding these issues because there is some variation in unemployment benefits laws from one state to another.
Generally, your employer cannot expect you to take lower pay, a job that might interfere with your health, a job vastly different from the one you've been doing, nor can s/he expect you to travel extremely long distances to get to a job or move in order to accept a job. If a move would be required for you to accept your previous employer's job offer, you should not be expected to accept it or put your unemployment benefits at risk by turning it down.
Again, check with your local unemployment office and make sure they understand that to accept your previous employer's offer you would have to relocate a considerable distance from where you are now. You should not be expected to do that as a condition of receiving benefits.
Good luck to you!
Ashlee on January 31, 2014:
I am have a question. My previous employer laid me off and closed down the office I worked in. They have a home office 5 hours away and they are now offering me my job but at that office. It has been 2 months of being on unemployment but I cannot make the move. If I turn the job offer down will I lose my unemployment benefits?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 08, 2014:
Robin, thank you for your Inquiry. I honestly do not know the answer to that. I would expect that it would end your unemployment benefits if you refuse the job since you are not allowed to turn down any reasonable job offer. However, since you are now moved out of the state, that could make a difference.
Did you expect to be called back to work when you were laid off? If you expected to be called back at some point, then not returning to go back to work would almost certainly end your benefits.
My recommendation is that you call the unemployment office in the state you are receiving benefits from and explain your dilemma and get their advice. The sooner the better.
Your previous employer will be reporting to the office in his/her state that a job has been offered to you and that you have not responded or you have turned it down. If you collected benefits between the time the job was offered and when the unemployment office discovered you had either rejected the the job offer or ignored it, you could be asked to repay the benefits you received during that time.
Rather than complicating your situation, call your state unemployment office and get their advice about how to handle your situation. Wednesdays through Fridays are the best time to call during the week because Mondays are usually so busy it takes a miracle to get through.
Robin on January 06, 2014:
If I got laid off moved out of state and now there offering my job back will my unemployment stop if I don't go back to that state?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 13, 2013:
Leah, thank you for updating your status on your situation. So glad things are going to work out for you!
Leah on December 12, 2013:
Thank you for your quick response :)
I should have clarified in my previous post, but the way my payment request dates fell and the time I accepted and was laid off from that full-time job, I was able to continue submitting payment requests as to not stop my benefits.
I was able to call & get through to the unemployment office here rather easily yesterday (thank goodness!) because I was up and called right at 8am. After communicating with the woman at the office, she asked if I was still currently employed with the company, and then took a statement regarding the forced resign. She stepped away from her phone for a few minutes at one point, and came back and stated that her manager deemed this instance a fire due to pregnancy, and that it was not my fault as I was still in orientation at the time.
She informed me that it could take up to six weeks after my statement was given because it then had to go into investigation. She said that I should continue to submit payment requests and what not. To my surprise; however, I logged onto my UI benefits account last night and it said the payment had been processed. I was amazed that it had all happened in one day, and super happy at that :)
Thank you so much for your tips and help!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 09, 2013:
Thank you Leah, for reading this article and posing a concern. I would recommend you try different phone numbers for TWC and later in the week is better -- Monday is all but impossible. Try Wed. thru Fri. Also, afternoons tend to be better because they are less busy then.
Be aware that if you live in a right to work state, your employer can by law let you go at any time for any reason or no reason, and does not even have to tell you what that reason is. It looks like you are in Texas, which is a right to work state.
To qualify for unemployment once you have stopped receiving benefits because of accepting new employment, you must work for your new employer for at least 8 weeks to qualify for benefits again, and you must not have quit, or been fired for cause.
I recommend that if you are now laid off, file for unemployment benefits. Always do that when you lose a job for any reason because sometimes miracles happen. Sometimes in rare situations where the former employer doesn't respond to requests for information from the state unemployment agency, unemployment benefits are paid simply for that reason -- no response for a request for info.
Try harder to get through to TWC and find out how your new status is going to affect unemployment benefits. If you officially accepted the job and stopped your unemployment benefits, likely you will not qualify for benefits again until you have worked at least 8 weeks full time for a new employer. Last I knew, that was the situation, but CHECK with TWC to be sure no matter how long you have to wait on the line or how many times you have to dial the number. There is more than one number so find them. They should be on the site where you filed for benefits.
Time is important in regard to filing any claim, and if you are depending entirely on unemployment benefits, then dealing with this situation is urgent.
You may want to check with a lawyer who specializes in employment law to make sure all of your rights are being protected. Because this is an employment issue in a right to work state you may have no cause of action, but again, it pays to make sure by overturning ever stone.
My best wishes to you. I hope there will be a good ending to your situation.
Leah on December 07, 2013:
Hello Au Fait,
I read your article and found it very informative. To me, unemployment benefits and what not can be really confusing, and this article seemed to set things out in a very easy-to-read manner.
My situation right now is that I had been employed with a hospital as a registered nurse for 9 months, became pregnant, contracted scabies from a patient, and was subsequently laid off for this due to absences that were accrued. I had a doctor's note and everything, but was taken off the schedule, and did not receive much feedback from both my manager and HR. With that being said, we went back and forth with appeals with TWC, but I ultimately won the case and started receiving unemployment benefits.
I have been applying to jobs nonstop, anything at this point because I am desperate for some form of income in order to provide for both my baby and I. I was offered the opportunity to interview with another hospital, accepted it, and was ultimately offered a job. I was truly elated and decided to accept it. When I was offered the job, I disclosed with them that I was 13 weeks pregnant at the time, and the manager insisted that it was no problem. Once the opportunity for a weeklong orientation rolled around, I began work again. On the third day of orientation, I informed both the education leaders and my manager that I had an obygn appointment on the fifth day and they said it would be absolutely no problem that I missed. I had only worked 4 days before the manager decided to call me the day I had the appointment to tell me she wanted me to resign because she did not feel I was fully capable of working, and that they would not be able to get me in to make up the day of orientation I missed until some time next year. She was suggesting I quit and apply again next year. In my eyes, this appears to be a forced resignation because she was having second thoughts about hiring someone pregnant.
In my current situation, I have no other options. I have applied for literally everything, and am in dire need of some form of income to pay for medical bills, food, rent, and what not.
My question for you is, since I did not work for this second hospital for more than 4 days (I did not end up resigning in hopes of not harming the unemployment benefits I had been receiving - they laid me off), should I submit a new application or continue with the benefits in my account from my previous job in which I was employed for 9 months? I have tried several times to get into contact with the TWC customer service line with no avail. I plan on going at the start of this week to the actual office in order to talk with someone in person.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 06, 2013:
If you filed for benefits right away after being laid off while your company was closed, you should have already received some benefits for the first week or two. I don't know what excuse your employer could have for not paying for those weeks. I would expect you to receive benefits for them and for you to continue to get benefits until you either go back to work or refuse the job offer your employer has made.
I don't know of any form your employer needs to sign for you to get benefits. S/he only has to respond to a request for info from your unemployment office -- how many hours you worked each week, rate of pay, reason for layoff, etc. From what you have told me, you should qualify and if you haven't heard anything after 2 weeks of making application then you should contact the unemployment office to see what's going on.
You should receive notice in the mail regarding their decision. If you didn't file for unemployment right away, within a couple of days of your layoff, that could slow things way down and possibly cause you not to qualify at all.
If you find yourself in a situation where you no longer have a job in future, be sure to file ASAP. Since you can file online, you can do it at home the very day you are laid off. Never wait. File immediately.
Hope things turn out well for you Val.
Val on November 06, 2013:
Thank you for fast response! I phrased it wrong. My company was closed for 1,5 weeks. I did file for UI within this period. If the employeer will not sign the form i wont get paid at all for these 1,5 weeks at home?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 05, 2013:
Val, thank you for your inquiry.
One of the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits is that you cannot turn down any job offer. Also, you cannot turn down any job interview or lead. If you turn a job down you will need a really good reason, such as health issues or your employer will require you to drive a hundred miles to work and a hundred miles back home again, where you didn't have to do that previously, etc.
You can continue to look for a better job, but that is not what unemployment benefits are designed to promote. Unemployment benefits are solely for the purpose of helping you get through a tough time when there is no paycheck as usual through no fault of your own.
If you refuse to go back to work for your previous employer -- or refuse any reasonable job offer, you will very likely lose your unemployment benefits.
You should always file for unemployment benefits the very next working day after you have been laid off. If you failed to do that at the beginning of the 1-5 week period you mention in your question, you may not get benefits for that time period.
Never wait before filing for UI benefits. No matter what your employer or anyone else tells you, ALWAYS file the very next work day at the latest. Even if you go back to work a day or 2 after being laid off, at least you filed in case you weren't called back.
Your employer will receive a request for information about your lay-off situation and when s/he tells your unemployment office that a job is available and waiting for you, you will not receive benefits.
You cannot simply quit your job or refuse to work and expect to receive UI benefits. If that were possible we would all do it.
Unless you can afford to be without any income for a while, I recommend you go back to work as soon as your previous employer will allow and begin a search for a job more to your liking on your own time. Go ahead and file for unemployment benefits, but don't expect too much.
A person should always file for unemployment benefits when they have been laid off, fired, or quit a job. The unemployment office in your area will investigate your claim and decide if you qualify. If you fail to file for benefits you definitely will not get them. Always file just in case you might get them even when it seems like you will not. File right away, do not wait.
Val on November 05, 2013:
Hello, i have a question, i am in CA. Out company has been closed down , everybody was laid off. I filed for UI. A week and a half ago company went back in business. Am i required to come back? I dont want to, i want to look for another job.
I was out of the job for 1,5 weeks, who will pay for that? I dont feel that the company is stable , i dont want to come back. My employer answered that there is no more lay off and i have to resign to leave and that i wont qualify for UI. Can he not sign the UI form? Can he force me to come back?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 30, 2013:
Thank you for keeping us all up to date on what has been happening in regard to your issues with your previous employer.
Yours is a good example of why a person should file for unemployment the same day or the very next day after they are separated from their employer by any means -- lay off, suspension, termination, or for any other reason. No matter what your employer may say, alway, ALWAYS file for unemployment. Your state unemployment office will investigate your claim and determine if you qualify for benefits.
You may not qualify for some reason, but let the unemployment office in your state make that determination. You lose nothing by filing and letting the unemployment office investigate. No matter what an employer 'says,' file your claim.
Best wishes for a good outcome for you. I hope everything gets ironed out in time. Take care . . .
jmray69 on October 29, 2013:
Hi Au Fait! I typed in a long explanation yesterday, then must have pressed delete, and Arrghhghghgh LOL. Guess I'll type a shorter story: The hospital threatened to fire me, and I asked them why I would be fired over when one of my co-workers had only been written up for the same thing? So long story short, they ended up giving me a "Final writeup" and telling me that I couldn't return to the respiratory depeartment. I told them that I'd already been told I couldn't return to the respiratory dept because of my medical limitations! So, my required "assisted 4 week job search" began on August 28th and ended on September 28th. "Assisted" meant that I looked online at the hospital's job site every day. If I found something that I wanted to apply for, then I would have to go through the application process the same as anyone else. There wasn't anything in my field or that I had the required licensure, credentials, etc for and so I was "terminated " on September 28th. I didn't know how to fill out the unemployment form=== was I fired, or quit or laid off? The hospital called it a "separation". I got my IDES letter in the mail, and it said that I needed to do an interview over the phone because I had been terminated for "misconduct" . So, I paid $38 to an online lawyer to find out how I should fight it, I was sooo confused. She said I'd been terminated, but not for misconduct. She also said that I could have gone to the unemployment office MONTHS ago, that I could not be forced to go through that 4 week job search. They told me that I had to do the 4 weeks before I could go down to unemployment! Anyhow, I prepared massively for the IDES phone call, which was so short... basically, she asked for all the dates, I gave them, I didn't even get to the whole "writeup" thing, (which is good, because it doesn't really have anything to do with anything). At the end, she asked me- "So, when do you think you were terminated?" And I said, "Well, technically, back in February when I was let go of the Respiratory Department, there was no longer a job for me in that hospital." and she said, "Right. So get that paperwork faxed to me, and that's that." (She wanted my medical release paperwork). I asked her if there was any way that my pay could go back before I applied, since they'd forced me to work that 4 weeks, and she asked if I had it IN WRITING that I couldn't go to unemployment? Of course I don't, I only have it in writing that the hospital was "giving me a 4 week job search". But they said over the phone, multiple times, that I had to go through the job search AND then I could go to unemployment. She said that was hearsay, and so, no...
I'm so upset that I've continued to be on the brink of eviction, bankruptcy, and unable to pay my bills because of this EVIL game that my employer has forced on me. And apparently, they'll continue to get away with it... If I had been able to apply for unemployment back in August, there would not have been these financial problems!!! Now, I probably won't even get a check from IDES for another month, and by then, I'll surely be evicted. It was truly one month's difference. (Having a home vs. not having a home). I'll keep my fingers crossed in the meantime, maybe something will come through quicker.
Au Fait, you've been amazing on here, and if this site doesn't appreciate you, I hope you find somewhere else immediately that values you for your talents. Im not really clear on what a Hubberscore is, but is there some way you can reach out to the people you've helped on here in the past, and get them to increase your score? The problem with this particular page is that often, we need your advice immediately (and you're amazing at answering so quickly), and then a month later, we've gotten benefits from unemployment, or have a new job or have moved on. And it's forgotten. But we wouldn't be where we were without that advice at that TIME.
Anyhow, again, I thank you, I'll be on the lookout either way, Jen
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 28, 2013:
Hey Jen, what's happening with you? How are things working out so far? Hope they're better than you were expecting.
Thank you for your loyalty. I'll probably be here until they throw me out, but it is discouraging the way they treat us here sometimes. Hope everything is working for you and your family's best interests . . .
jmray69 on October 28, 2013:
Well, I for one will be continuing to follow you where ever you are, you have been such a great help to me, Thank you so much! I know what it is like to work where you're not appreciated, and it really just hurts the soul... no human can continue to grow and be whole when you're being abused. Good luck to you, and thanks again, Jen
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 12, 2013:
Thank you, Shyron, for coming back and sharing this article again. A lot of people are confused about exactly what unemployment benefits are for it would seem, and how they work. The tiers that were added shortly after the crash are now being removed again, so that long term unemployed people are about to have a very difficult time because we still do not have the jobs programs some politicians promised would be their #1 priority before the last election.
As for how I am . . . I was looking forward to finally having some time to spend here on HP, and then for no apparent reason my hubber score was lowered into the basement again. That totally zapped my energy. I appreciate all the time and effort other hubbers like yourself have made to support and encourage my work on here, and if not for that I would simply never come back to this place where I am clearly not appreciated. Having a person's hubber score dropped in what appears to be a random manner from time to time is like coming into work all smiles and full of energy and getting an unexpected big hard fist in the face just for the heck of it. No explanation as to why, just that random fist to look forward to out of the blue every now and again, apparently for the entertainment of the HP crew. I've had about enough of that and I'm tired of being plummeted into depression for no apparent reason.
Other sites may pay less, but not having to drown in despair and depression has a value too. When the pay is so low, an organization really needs to make up for it with other benefits, and a random fist in the face is only appreciated by sadists and masochists -- I am neither.
I did a lot of research Thursday night planning to write a new hub, but now if I write it, I may just publish it on Wikinut. If not for all the good people here who have been loyal supporters, you could color me gone.