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6 Questions about Filing For Unemployment You’re Probably Wondering About Too

The information in this blog post is not legal advice. Consult an attorney if in need of legal advice. 


So, you’ve lost your job due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are in the same boat, now actively seeking any sort of federal help. While it’s expected to file for unemployment benefits after getting laid off, sometimes these claims are denied. While the reasons for this are sometimes unavoidable, there are certainly ways to up your chances of getting the government funding you deserve.



1. First of all, what are unemployment benefits? 

The full fancy term is the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program. If you are an American who has lost their job has an opportunity to qualify for financial help. These government benefits offer stipends that can assist you in managing your finances while you are seeking another job. 


It’s important that you seek out your own eligibility in your state as well as the various benefits that may be offered at this time. 


2. So… do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

One thing to keep in mind is that in the midst of a global crisis with record-breaking numbers of people out of work, the unemployment benefit criteria may differ. This is another good reminder to go over the specific guidelines of your state. That said, the US Department of Labor recently announced guidance on unemployment insurance flexibilities amidst this pandemic. According to them, however, there’s two main boxes you’ll need to check in order to qualify:



  • You lost your employment status for a reason that wasn’t your fault or couldn’t be controlled.

  • You are in alignment with your state’s unemployment insurance criteria (likely to include wages or working hours).



3. I think I qualify. How do I get unemployment benefits?

First of all, let’s take a breath and be sure we understand what is required of you to apply. It’s critical that you know how to present your situation when you finally speak to unemployment, so you’ll have to know what to say. Here’s some advice:


If you’re planning to quit your job and collect unemployment, listen up!

To be completely honest with you, it might be hard to collect that coin if you didn’t unexpectedly lose your employment. That said, if you quit with good reason (ie. unsafe working conditions, for specific medical purposes, any sort of harassment, etc.) , you totally could still qualify. It’s just really important to, again, check in with your state’s guidelines before you choose to quit.




BIG TIP: document everything that is leading you to resign from your job. This will increase your chances of successfully filing for unemployment. Collecting any lack of appropriate action to various complaints and concerns is not only legal, but necessary.


4. I really have to apply for unemployment if I’m pretty sure I’ll be rehired soon?

In our opinion? Heck yeah. A big reason why folks don’t really bother with applying for unemployment is because they think they’ll be getting re-hired soon enough anyway. That could be true, but wouldn’t you want to be getting benefits (that you’re ENTITLED to, by the way) during the process of finding another job opportunity? Free money over no money, always.


Do keep in mind that each state has a different process, but starting at their unemployment insurance website is the first step. Find your state’s info here. [insert link to spreadsheet???]


5.What on Earth is an Unemployment Notice of Determination?

Let’s back up: so once you file to get compensated while unemployed, your case will be reviewed. The adjudicator reviewing your case will be the one to decide whether you qualify for unemployment benefits. Their decision will be enclosed in a Notice of Determination.


This notice will basically say your case is “chargeable” or not. In the event that you get “not chargeable”, the next step for you is to request an appeal. (In other words, it’s not set in stone, but you’ll have to put in a little extra work to fight it. Make sense?)


REMEMBER: make sure you’re absolutely confident you understand this Notice of Determination.


6. For what reason(s) would my unemployment claim get denied?

There’s quite a few, unfortunately. Here are some of the most common.

  • Quitting a job without valid reasoning for doing so

  • Having the reason you lost your job being because you failed a drug test 

  • Any workplace misconduct that was addressed internally 


Bottom line, you deserve to fight for your rights and get any benefits that you might be entitled to! We back you up 100%. 


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