Fight For Your Right (To Benefits)

Although the laws vary from state to state, if you have been laid-off you are in all likelihood eligible for unemployment benefits. What you may or may not know if that you have been fired, you can’t collect unemployment from the state. While even this law varies from state to state, there are also many instances where if you have been laid-off your employer can challenge your right to receive unemployment benefits! It has been done by profit driven companies for years and will likely continue well into the future.

It can be difficult to comprehend for those who have lost their jobs as to why their former employer would challenge them on their unemployment benefits. After all, the money comes from the Government right? Well, technically yes, but the money you are receiving comes from unemployment insurance fees that employers pay into. Whenever an employer fires an individual or a group of people, and those people go to file for unemployment benefits, the former company’s unemployment insurance rates go up. What it comes down to basically, is greed and heartlessness that the company is showing. Many employers will do anything they can to fight back against any rising insurance rates of any kind!

Some employers challenge a laid-off workers’ rights to seek unemployment benefits by claiming that the employee was fired for false reasons like poor performance, showing up late, negligence or other falsities. By doing so, when a worker is let go for performance-based reasons, employers can avoid paying additional unemployment insurance for them. Further unfortunate news is that, with a struggling economy, employer disputes of unemployment benefits claims are up in a big way. However, despite this increase, there is no empirical data showing that this rise has led to an increase in success rates for the employers. Since the nineteen eighties, employers have won roughly one third of their unemployment benefits challenges, a number which has remained virtually unchanged despite the increase in claims. Although, you can’t stop your company from trying to deny you your unemployment benefits, there are ways for you to fight back and win what is rightfully yours, by doing things such as:

  • Collect and save all examples of management and coworkers praising the job you have done and/or the efforts you have been putting in. Anything that shows you were a valuable asset to the company will strengthen your case with the state unemployment agency.
  • Take your being laid-off with a sense of calm and understanding, as leaving your job in good standing will definitely increase the likelihood that you will not be a person the company chooses to pick a fight with over unemployment benefits
  • Be quick and know that the sooner you file for unemployment benefits the better. By being quick and getting your paperwork filed with the state you can possibly get ahead of the proverbial pack and get approved for benefits before your former company has even decided on what course of action to take regarding your unemployment benefits
  • Honesty is always the best policy and that applies to your unemployment claims as well. It is never a good idea to lie about your position within the company, the compensation you received or your work history as any inconsistencies will only hurt your chances
  • Always remember that while the unemployment benefits surely will help you to weather the storm that is unemployment, yet still keep in mind that it is not that much money! If you are offered another job, albeit with a smaller compensation package than your previous job, take it! You can always keep looking but having a job and looking for a new one is better than being unemployed and frantically searching for anything you can find.



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