When you file a claim for unemployment insurance, the unemployment department will evaluate your claim for eligibility to receive the benefits. Among these criteria are non-separation issues, which can send your claim into a pending status until the investigation reveals enough information to either approve or deny the claim.
The purpose of unemployment insurance is to provide monetary claims to workers who are no longer working through no fault of their own. All unemployment offices have a two-prong test to determine eligibility of an applicant. A financial test evaluates whether the claimant earned income within the base period, while the eligibility requirement looks to the method of separation from employment to determine whether the employee was responsible for leaving the position.
Once these two issues are addressed, the applicant begins receiving his benefits via a bi-weekly check with an attached form. The unemployment claim is a continuing claim that requires the form completed and returned to the unemployment office before a new check will be issued. The claimant must include on the form that he has looked for work and accepted any work that was offered. All work within the two-week period must be reported. If the form is not sent or not filled out, the claim can move to pending status.
A pending status means the claim is neither open nor closed, but is in a waiting mode. This can be because the unemployment office is waiting for the return of the claim form, or for an explanation of why the form was not sent; or there can be other issues with your claim. No checks will issue until the reason for the pending status is resolved. Other issues which could send your claim to pending status include non-attendance at a training seminar, or non-separation issues.
Non-separation issues normally occur after a claim starts. These issues include not being able or available to work; not actively seeking work; refusing suitable work; failing to apply or accept referral; failing to report to a job; failing to register with the employment service, or not reporting earned income. The unemployment office will contact you to request more information about the reason. Once you supply the reason, a determination will be made as to continuing eligibility. There is an appeal process in place if the claim is denied, which will be described in the denial letter.
Some new claims can go into a pending status for non-separation issues. These claims include those filed by professional athletes, school employees, seasonal employees or illegal aliens. Other issues can include a situation in which a person who works two part-time jobs and loses one, as he is only partially unemployed, or when a worker who receives a pension or annuity. These claims will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis prior to approval or denial. Contact a local attorney for a consultation about your claim.