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Do You Qualify for Unemployment?

 

You can get unemployment if you can answer "Yes" to all three of these questions:

EXPLANATION: The amount of benefits you get depends on how much money you made in the 12 months before losing your job. This is called your base period.

EXPLANATION: If you were laid off, fired, or left the company for a good reason (like an illness), you could qualify. You will not qualify if you quit your job.

EXPLANATION: You must be ready, willing, and able to work. You can’t be too sick, injured, or disabled to work.

The company I have been with for 20 yrs was bought out by another company. Consequesntly they have too many employees per area. We were given the option to take a buy-out of a yr pay and whatever vacation we had left or to stay on and possibly have to move or have a different position. I took the buy-out. Will I be eligible for unemployment? Thank you, Fred2010
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I voluntarily quit job in Mar'10 after 5 yrs of verbal harrassment from 2 supervisors. During my employment I did not show up late ever, and did not call off unless it was truly warranted, and that happened one time when my daughter was involved in MVA out of state. After much ridicule and being forced to work OT at different times, I could no longer take the stress. Last fall I consulted with my PCP and was urged to seek another job or possibly face early health problems. Finally, after more issues and a coworker calling me a filthy name, I gave 2 week notice and exited. Over the last 5 mos I have applied w/o success. I am trying to gain licensure (LCSW and LCAC), but I am now growing concerned, as savings are dwindling and I am w/o financial support. Can I apply for unemployment? I did leave voluntarily but under duress. Deeply Stressed.
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There are conditions under which you can resign, or refuse to accept a substantial change in pay or working conditions (including job responsibilities), and still receive unemployment benefits. See the link below for the Colorado government page that includes the statutes and real case examples.

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=CDLE-UnempBene...

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I work for a corporation owned by my husband for the last 5 years. I am being laid off. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

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My position is being eliminated and I have been offered a different position that I do not legally qualify for based on state regulations. If I turn down the offer will I still qualify for unemployment?

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Hi, my wife has worked at a 501C3 non-profit private school in Indiana for ten years. She was recently fired for written reasons that are HIGHLY dubious. We spoke with a faculty member who was a member of the finance committee at this school for many years. He informed us that the school DOES NOT PAY into the "unemployment tax" fund, so their M.O. is that they "cannot" lay someone off. They in fact HAVE to drum up charges and FIRE that person in order to avoid having anything to do with unemployment insurance for former employees. They even OFFERED to lay my wife off last September, and they TOLD us that they would not oppose her applying for unemployment. At that time, they told her that they were "eliminating her position and creating a new position with the exact same responsibilities", but at a 43% lower pay grade, bringing her salary down to $17,500. Well, on July 29 we received a letter from unemployment that we have until July 29 to fax them materials to refute the school's claim that my wife "endangered the well being" of children. That's all we have to go on. I called the State unemployment contact person who is initially handling her case, and I told him that we just got the letter today, and it is telling us that we have to fax them something TODAY to refute a claim that we have not even read!! I also told him about what we heard about the school not paying into the unemployment tax. He told me that every business has to pay into the "unemployment tax". They have to file quarterly employee reports, and they are billed by the state, and they HAVE to pay into the unemployment tax otherwise they have to pay fines and can lose their license to operate in Indiana. I guess that my question for now is two-fold. First, is there a way for a 501C3 school to "opt out" of the unemployment insurance program?" Secondly, how to I request records and the appearance of witnesses for our upcoming appeal. I want to see all state receipts showing that the does indeed pay into the unemployment fund, and I want to call witnesses, request that the appeal process be held in person rather than on the phone, among other things... Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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I have worked for my husband, who is self-employed, for 12 years. He has always paid unemployment tax. He recently sold his business effective September 1. The new company is hiring their own staff and my position will no longer be available. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

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I have been on reduced hours and unemployment since July, 2009. When I filed for my most recent extension last month, my benefit rate was calculated on my reduced hours and my benefit rate was dropped by $200.00 a week. Do the new unemployment laws just passed restore my original benefit rate? I feel like I have been punished for working reduced hours and would still be receiving my full rate if I hadn't worked the reduced hours for the past year. I live in Massachusetts.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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My employer is proposing, after 8 years, to cut my pay by a whopping 33%!! Can I refuse to accept the pay cut and receiver unemployment benefits?

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I had a question about the money that is taken out for unemployment. Is there another name for this?

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am currently a full time employee at a non-profit organization. Starting September i will be starting a graduate program. I will be going to classes at night however; an internship is required twice a week. I am willing to work 3 days a week and nights. However, they are closed at night and I might get fired if I cannot work full time. Will be able to qualify for unemployment if I get fired due to reducing my days?

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NJtop, if you leave your job willingly, you will probably not qualify for unemployment benefits, if you are fired, you probably will qualify for benefits. You may be turned down because you refused work from your employer which led to your termination and since you are going to school, your state may find that you are not "ready and willing" to work. If you lose your job, you should still definitely apply for benefits, that is the only way to know for sure. If you are turned down, make sure that you have looked into all of the financial aid available to you. You may also want to consider student loans. Even though most people dislike the idea of taking out loans, it is always better to get a degree and go into debt than to not get a degree. Take a look at our "Pay for College" section (http://www.thebeehive.org/school/going-college/pay-college) for some great information about paying for school.

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I am currently a full time employee at a non-profit organization. Starting September i will be starting a graduate program. I will be going to classes at night however; an internship is required twice a week. I am willing to work 3 days a week and nights. However, they are closed at night and I might get fired if I cannot work full time. Will be able to qualify for unemployment if I get fired due to reducing my days?

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Hello,
My wife applied to grad schools on the east coast and was accepted to the U. of south carolina. She wants to get her masters to better our family and have more oppourtunities. We don't have the money to stay in 2 different states! I asked my employer if I could work from the Carolinas and they said no but agreed i needed to make this move and stand behind my family. I have many applications out down here and will continue to look for a job. We moved from PA and wanted to know if I qualify for following me spouse? She applied to schools close to us in pa and didn't get in so the closest school that accepted her was South Carolina. Thank you for your time.

Michael Kish

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Kishy, Each state handles each of these cases differently. The best advice I could give you would be to contact the state of South Carolina's unemployment agency directly and ask them. You can find their contact info by choosing that state from the list on our "Getting Unemployment" page.

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great website!!!!

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I own 51% of a business that has been open for over three years. We have ONE employee, two owners. Owners have not received paycheck (payroll) since FEB 2010, but have received a couple of small draws, before that payroll was fairly regular. Employee is paid regularly. We are probably going to have to close. Do we as owners qualify for unemployment benefits? And can we lay ourselves and the employee off for a time hoping business will pick up? Appreciate your help :)

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Karasines, If you have been paying the appropriate taxes in your area, you will probably qualify for unemployment benefits. If you "lay yourself off" but are still putting time and effort into the business you need to be honest about that while you are certifying for benefits each week. You may still be able to receive partial benefits. It is important to be honest when dealing with your state's unemployment agency. You can get into serious legal trouble otherwise. Each application is decided on a case by case basis so it is impossible to say exactly what your state will decide. The only way you will know for sure is to apply and let your state make the final determination.

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Hi there,

I work for a retail office (open 7 day/week and with late hours). I recently had a baby. I was instructed by my doctor to go on bedrest. My daughter was born via c-section and I used my 8 weeks of STD. I then used 4 weeks of FMLA. I am due to go back to work in a few weeks. My manager's are not being very flexible with my schedule (as they previously stated they would be). If I were to get fired, or to quit, would either of these permit me to get unemployment?

Thank you.

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fotogrinic, if you are fired, you may qualify for benefits. If you leave willingly you will most likely not qualify for unemployment benefits.

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Thank you for your response. What are the parameters to qualify? If I am fired, I MAY qualify? How is one to know for sure?

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I would like to know (more specifically), if a) I decide to "get fired" if I would be eligible for unemployment? b) would my having been on FMLA/STD affect this?

Thanks.

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The company I work for is asking us for a large pay cut or be fired. I can't afford a pay cut due to the distance I travel to work. If I decline the pay cut, and get fired, do I qualify for unemployment. The company says I won't qualify.

The other possible scenario is another company taking over our work. If they offer me a job at a reduced rate of pay, do I have to take it, or can I collect unemployment if I don't.

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JDB515, you are required to accept a position that pays you a certain percentage of your current pay. How much depends on where you live. Contact your state's unemployment agency to find out what that percentage is in your area.

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I currently work for a very large national non-profit and due to restructuring my job description is changing to something completely different. Instead of running the show (my main function), I will be the chief fundraiser and will no longer be incharge of 2/3 of my employees who will report to a position that is now considered my supervisor over 200 miles away. I am not happy with the changes and it is not what I was hired to do, while I am involved in fundraising currently, it is not my primary focus, providing services and management is. In the new model, I will not have control over the services provided in my community. I feel we are going against our mission statement and think I would like to resign, but would need unemployment to subsidize my living until finding suitable employment elsewhere.

I have worked there for over 18 months, paid in to unemployment, and have accrued vacation that would be paid out to me upon separation. The vacation payment would be around $3,000, so I have 2 questions.

1. Would I qualify for unemployment based on resigning?
2. Would my unemployment be affected because of the payout of vacation?

I hate to leave my job, but I don't think my heart is in it with the new mission of raising more money and cutting service. Any help would ba greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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To all of our users that have asked if they resign, will they be eligible for unemployment. If you leave a job voluntarily you will most likely not qualify for unemployment benefits.

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Yes I haven't worked since 2007 and its hard to find a job to support my family

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A few of my co-workers got laid-off recently and my boss told me that the laid-off-co-workers' work duties will be assigned to me temporary. Now, they made it my responsible without trying to move the workload. It's take about 1.5+ hours a day to get it done. If I was to quit due to more work load, would I be qualify unemployment? I'm an accountant and they want me to do data entry for 1.5+ hours everyday. Please advise

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I am a dancer and I work on a ten month contract. When my contract is up at the end of May, I collect unemployment for the summer 2 months. If I chose to NOT sign my contract for next season, do I lose my 2 months of unemployment? I am not signing the contract for future work., not starting until September.. but I do not know whether or not my not signing will leave me without July & August benefits. Thanks. I live in PA if that helps

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I resigned witha notice from my employer because I was unable to work the hours expected of me because my husband has to travel a lot for work, therfore i need to be home at nights with the kids. I have heard there are some good cause rules. Will this be elligble? I was a General manager for a fast food establishment and was expected to have an open availibility.

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We live in TN & my husband works for a company that requires him to travel 100% of the time & only home on week-ends. He's been diagnosed with stage 2 espophageal cancer & will be starting chemo & radiation treatments next week, which will be followed up with surgery within 2-3 months. He has no short or long term disability - in fact no health benefits through his company at all. Thank God, we have good private health ins. However, the problem is, he can no longer travel. His company won't block his getting unemployment and have already replaced him knowing he can't travel due to treatments. Does he qualify for unemployment in TN? I understand that disability requires you to be unable to work for 5-6 months before granting benefits, if approving at all. We're desperate for short term, maybe long term, financial help.

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I worked and lived in MA all my life. I owned a home that I had to sell, when my husband, who is active duty military, was transferred to Louisianna. We could not afford to have two seperate households on our incomes, so I had no choice but to move. I filed for unemployment under the military spouse relief, and was told I was denied because I did not live in Military Housing. I was told that it was a law, that I had to be in housing in order to qualify for the military spouse unemployment. I know other spouses that collected that were not in housing, and when I asked for the law, I was quoted MGL 151A. I asked for the specific section that said I had to be in Military Housing, and that person could NOT give me the section.

I am currently appealing the decision, but have been told the appeal people are 5 - 6 months behind..

Does it make sense that you have to live in military housing to be a military spouse????

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I have been employed in Pennsylvania since December 2009. My contract will not be renewed after June 30, 2010. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

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I was working for a company as production manager for 2 years. We had become slow and I was cut to a 4 day week. I then was arrested for a probation violation. When I was released I contacted my employer that I was willing and able to work and he notified me I was fired. Am I eligible for unemployment?

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I have worked in payroll 10+ years. I signed an Employment Agreement/ Non-Compete Clause upon hiring. I left my current employer to work at another payroll company. The first company found out and sent me a legal letter telling me to quit the company immediately otherwise an injuction, etc would be put against me. I seeked legal advice and was told that this is valid. I terminated my employment with my new company based on this letter and due to signing non-compete clause. My hands are now tied. I can no longer work in my qualified field. Am I entitled to UC benefits?

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Kat516, you should apply for unemployment, fill out the application honestly and accurately. Only your local unemployment agency make that determination.

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Hi there! I'm very concerned; every place I go to see if I will be eligible for unemployment benefits, I see the question: "Was money taken out of your paycheck for unemployment". Well, yes. Easy. But no one ever says anything about qualifying if you weren't employed for 12 or 18 months (whichever it is). I worked for a terrible law firm for 3-4 months as an independant contractor before finally getting hired (so no money was taken out for anything - that was up to me). I got hired, and then 9 months later, finally got fired. Before that I was putting myself through school, so really no other proper employment from which to draw my base period. My fear is that, since I only have 9 months "on the books" I won't qualify. Is this so? I'm sweatin this because a lot rides on it...

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Wan23, your best bet is to apply for unemployment, fill out the application honestly and accurately and see what your state says. It sounds to me like you will probably qualify but I cannot say for sure. Only your local unemployment agency can make that determination.

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My brother-in-law was laid off in December because the company that he worked for closed. He has been collecting unemployment and now wants to attend a community college, part-time. Will he lose or jeopardize his unemployment in the state of Illinois? I can't seem to find this answer anywhere. I know that it could be thought of prohibiting his job search, but his school attendance is only part-time.

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scommike1, as long as he is willing and able to work, his unemployment benefits are most likely safe. If he were to turn down a job offer in favor of school, that might be problematic. If your brother in law chooses school over work there are all sorts of financial assistance available for students. I would recommend taking a look at our "Paying for College" section.

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I have a question. If an employee was laid off permanently from their company, then was receiving unemployment for 4 months, if the same person then gets a new job, out of desperation, but for a significantly less pay, let's say $20,000 a year less, are they entitled to unemployment still to help make up the difference from what they were making to what they are making now? Is there any type of compensation out there for situations like this? The new pay is more than unemployment but still not paying the bills.
Thanks.

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Beckele, if you are not working full time, you may be eligible for partial unemployment depending on what the requirements are in your state. Contact the unemployment agency in your area, explain your situation to them and see what they say.

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I was employed with a company that overlooked the use of drugs and drama to extend that it interfered with normal working conditions. I took another job with less pay but was offered a commision scale that would compensate for the differnce in pay. This new company has changed the promised the work hours, they are not an established company and have little traffice to make the promised commision. They stated their web-site was up and running and I would be getting tons of calls. Each call I receive(maybe three to four calls a day) for the reservations that I make I would make a 50 cent commision, this company is a bus company that goes to the Grand Canyon. If the bus breaks down which it has twice in two weeks,they take our little commission away. I feel they have led me down a road of lies just to get employees. I want to quit for I need to find another job that pays at least near what I made hourly at the other job. I am at the state of not being able to pay my bills. Will I be able to collect unemploymet if I quit this bogus job?? I have been with them less than a month. Please advise. I live in Nevada.

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Paula, you should contact your local unemployment office and find out how much less of a position you are required to take. For example, you may be required to take a job that pays 75% of your current wages but not 50%. Take a look at our article "Getting Unemployment" and click on Nevada to find the contact information of the unemployment agency in your area.

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I am very close to resigning my part-time position of 7 years. The circumstances leading to this are as follows: Last September my job duties were changed from those which I was hired to perform. I was told at that time there was not enough work in my original area so that if I wanted to continue to work I needed to have my responsibilities temporarily changed. (In hindsight, if I had not agreed to this change, I would have been laid off and, I assume, been eligible for unemployment compensation.) Since that time, the situation in our office has become very chaotic. We are short staffed and everyone is trying to do the work of more than one person. This has caused me to make errors that I would not otherwise have made, resulting in an extremely high stress level which I find has become intolerable. Do you think there is any chance of receiving UC benefits if I resign?

P.S. I am 72 years of age.

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Gray Lady, It is unlikely that you would qualify for unemployment benefits after quitting a job, but you should probably speak with an attorney about your specific situation. Since you are of retirement age there may be benefits out there for you other than unemployment.

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I have been employed by my in-laws for over 2 years. My (soon to be ex) husband has been an employee off and on in these 2 years and we have been having marital troubles. Recently, he physically assaulted me and I did not press charges, just wanting to move on with my life and divorce him. I quit my job (he works there and they would not fire him) and now am wanting to file for unemployment. Would i qualify under these circumstances?

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Meggidawn, you should put in an application for unemployment and then contact an attorney for legal advice regarding your specific situation. If you don't have an attorney, take a look at our article "Get Help Getting Unemployment" which has a list of agencies that may be able to help you find someone in your area to give you free legal advice.

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I have been working in Michigan for 3 years for the same employer. I've been paid as 1099 - not to my preference. I believe I am what is considered "misclassified." I am paid hourly (I invoice my hours). I do not work for and have not worked for anyone else during the entire time I have worked for this employer. I do not advertise my services as my own business even though I have been approached by my employer's customers and asked to work for them. I have never even been represented by my employer as anything but their employee - and I am referred to by my title.

Despite my inquiries to be placed on payroll, my employer continues to pay me as a subcontractor. I did not sign a contract with them. I was hired originally to work on a temporary basis as the plan was to close the business within 6-9 months of when I was hired. I was asked to sign a W-9 after working for several months so that my first 1099 could be issued. My employer canceled the workman's compensation policy and stopped the payroll services shortly before my hire and decided that restarting these expenses was not what they wanted to do. They justify their actions by paying me a "higher" hourly rate for the savings of these expenses and not having to pay for the benefits as they were with the former employee. I pay my quarterly self-employment taxes and they have been killing me. About half way through the second tax year (about 1 year after my hire), I completed a W-4 and turned it in to them. My tax burden was too great and with the prospect of the office closing, I was becoming concerned about the fact they were not with holding for unemployment. The "temporary" status and justification of the subcontractor pay was no longer applicable.

My hourly rate was reduced last summer which was approximately a 15%. Then about a month ago, my hours were reduced - another pay cut of approximately 20% more. Now I found out that the business is closing within the next 2-3 months. I am looking for another job, but with the current job market the prospects are not good. Given these circumstances, do I stand a chance of drawing unemployment if I can't find work - or a job that pays even close to what I'm making now?

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OGO5, If you have not been paying into the unemployment system you may not qualify for benefits but the only way to know is to put in an application and let your state make the determination.

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