Getting laid off is something that obviously no one wants to happen but, unfortunately, it is a reality in today’s employment environment. If you’ve been laid off and are considering applying for unemployment, there are some things you should consider.
First of all, your eligibility will need to be determined and you will have to meet the following conditions:
- You must be out of work through no fault of your own. You cannot have been fired or quit.
- You must be actively seeking a job.
- You must be physically able to work.
If you meet those requirements, you may be eligible for unemployment. Note: If you are or were self-employed or working as an independent contractor, you will most likely not be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you are unemployed due to a job related injury, you should most likely try filing a claim for worker’s compensation benefits through your former employer before applying for unemployment. Your state’s unemployment commission may require that you apply for worker’s comp before filing with the government.
To apply, you will need to follow the rules set by your state. Go online, if you are able, to your state’s official website and search for unemployment application information. There may be an actual application available online but some may require you to visit the nearest unemployment office to apply.
When you are filling out the application, be absolutely straightforward and honest with your information. There will be an investigation to see if you are eligible for unemployment benefits and you need to make sure that the information you give matches what this investigation will discover.
If you believe you have been wrongfully fired from your job, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits, but your process will be more complicated than those who were laid-off. You will need to file paperwork with your state’s unemployment office detailing the reasons why you believe your employer wrongfully terminated your job. If the unemployment office believes that your case is worth pursuing, you will need to provide as much documentation as possible to support your claim. You may be asked to provide witnesses and your former employer may be interviewed.
If your unemployment benefits claim is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision. Check with your state’s unemployment office to determine what your rights and options are. This literature may have been provided to you with your notice of denial of benefits.