Although you may have heard that being fired means an automatic denial of unemployment benefits, that is actually not true. You may have to work for these benefits a little more as you go through more processes, but there are situations where being fired from The Salvation Army may result in benefits. As procedures and eligibility vary per state, you may want to contact local council regarding your case.
Several of the criteria that you must meet in order to receive unemployment benefits are financial and work-related. You must earn a set amount of income within the base period to qualify for benefits. Once this can be shown, the next step is that you must be physically able to work, actively seeking work and able to accept work if it is offered. Another requirement to receive unemployment benefits is that severance from your position is through no fault of your own. These requirements tend to be applicable to most states.
The Salvation Army may terminate an employee for several reasons. A few reasons may include misconduct, excessive absenteeism, excessive tardiness or inability to perform. If a terminated employee files for unemployment benefits after termination, the unemployment insurance code may provide for a rebuttable presumption that the discharge was not for misconduct and that an employee did not voluntarily leave his employment without good cause. This leads to a case-by-case analysis of a benefit determination by the department based on each state's unemployment insurance code.
However, the case analysis does not begin until the employer notifies the unemployment department with written notice setting forth facts sufficient to overcome the presumption. There is normally a time limit imposed for the response. Upon receipt, the department will investigate the claim and issue a decision regarding the receipt of benefits. The decision is appealable by either party. If either side files an appeal, there will be a hearing scheduled before an administrative law judge.
The hearing involves the presentation of evidence and testimony from both parties. The administrative judge will ask questions about the events leading up to the firing by The Salvation Army and the process of the termination. The judge will also review the current physical ability of the claimant to work and whether the claimant was willing and able to work at the time of termination. The judge will issue a written decision as to whether the termination was voluntary or involved misconduct and then either award unemployment benefits or deny the benefits.