Who Can Collect Unemployment Compensation?

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Unemployment compensation, also known simply as unemployment, provides those who quit or lost their jobs with a way to get money until they find a new job. Depending on where you live, you can usually only draw on unemployment for a few months. The area may require that you submit proof of your job searches to continue compensating you too. You should look at who can seek compensation and other factors relating to unemployment before you file your own claim.

Why You Lost Your Job

The biggest factor that determines whether you qualify for unemployment compensation is how you lost your job. You generally need to show that you lost your job for a specific reason that is not related to your own performance. If your employer can show that you messed up a major project, frequently came in late or left early or that you had physical fights with another employee, the Department of Labor can deny your claim. If you lost your job because of department cut backs or budget cuts, you shouldn’t have a problem filing. Your employer can fight your claim for unemployment.

Do You Meet Your State’s Requirements?

Before you file, you need to make sure that your claim meets the requirements put in place by your state. In addition to showing proof of why you lost your job, the state may require that you worked for the same employer for six months up to a year or more. If you worked in the same job for less time, you usually cannot file. Some states will also prevent temporary and seasonal workers from filing unemployment claims. These individuals take jobs every few months, file for unemployment for a few months and then go back to work before repeating the cycle.

What If You Quit?

Though you might think that you cannot file for unemployment after quitting a job, there are some circumstances where you can file. To file for unemployment compensation after quitting, you must show that your working conditions were so bad that you no longer felt comfortable, that the workplace was not safe, that your employer tried to force you to move for work or that you left because your spouse moved to a new state for work. You can also file for unemployment if you quit a job because you needed to take time off to care for a spouse, dependent or parent.

How Much Can You Get?

The amount that you can get depends on how long you worked there and the amount that you made. If you made $1,000 a week in a full-time job, you shouldn’t expect unemployment to pay you that same amount. The Department of Labor will often give you an amount that you can live on based on how much you worked in the past. Someone who made $400 a week might receive weekly checks of $250. When you file your claim, you can ask about how much you’ll get.

Unemployment allows those who lost or quit their jobs to file claims and get financial help until they find new jobs and get back on their feet. Though many assume that only those who were laid off from their employers can file for unemployment compensation, if you meet certain requirements, you can also file after quitting a job.

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