Generally, unemployment benefits are for those who have been separated from their employers through no fault of their own. Thus, if you have been laid off from your job, you would be entitled to these benefits. If you resigned or were terminated for cause, you still may be entitled to unemployment benefits; however, you will have to undergo an unemployment hearing and answer several questions to determine your eligibility.
Why Were You Terminated or Why Did You Leave?
Under the 1935 Social Security Act that established federal laws regarding unemployment benefits, state governments are responsible for deciding if the employee was at fault in bringing about a termination. As such, a claims examiner -- on the phone or in-person -- must find out if you were terminated for misconduct (theft, insubordination), performance issues or tardiness. Only termination for misconduct definitely precludes your receiving benefits. Even if you resigned, you could be eligible for unemployment if you resigned because of workplace conditions, conscientious objections or to take care of a seriously ill family member, according to Unemployment-tips.com.
What Was Your Job Title/Duties?
If you were fired because of your job performance or your inability to satisfy the demands of your boss, the information you give about your perception of your job title and duties could be important in determining whether you receive benefits. For instance, how you describe your job duties can be completely different from how your employer describes them. The establishment of facts is most important in an unemployment hearing, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.
When Was Your Last Day of Work?
The information you provide about your last day of work should be consistent with the date on which you filed your claim. Also, documenting your last day of work can be crucial to disproving your employer's mention of a different termination or resignation date.In many states, an unemployment claim can be filed during the week in which there was separation from an employer. For example, in Michigan "a claim for unemployment benefits begins the week it is filed."
Leonard Dozier is a freelance writer based in southern New Jersey and New York. His film and sports columns have been published by "Casino Connection Magazine" and Trev Rogers sports respectively. A prolific and extremely versatile writer, he is an ASCAP songwriter and has written screenplays and stage plays registered with the Writer's Guild of America.