Posted by: Wisdoh | March 14, 2013

Unemployment Basics

Day 1- 9:00am. Something is wrong. You’re supposed to be drinking your coffee in your cozy little cubicle, rolling around in your swively chair, sticking post it notes on things. But no, you’re sitting on your couch drinking your morning coffee trying not to look at the obnoxiously bright pink letter sitting on the table. Who made those slips pink anyways?! This isn’t an invite to a 5-year-old ballerina’s birthday party!!

First things first, take a deep breath. Find your inner zen, yen, or whatever it’s called today. It is scary to lose your job, but you don’t have to go through it alone. I’ve compiled a list of some of the helpful hints to get you through your panic.


  • The first and most important tip for unemployment is to file your claim immediately. Don’t wait for the notice from your employer!
  • You will most likely have to have a hearing. Don’t be scared! A worker from the Department of Labor will call you. You will not speak directly to your employer.The only time you won’t need a hearing is lack of work or job elimination.
  • Keep a written record of every job you apply for. Their requirement is 3 job searches per week.
  • If your employer threatens you with “you can either quit or we’re terminating your employment”, you can do either. Quitting under that circumstance is called resigning under threat of termination.
  • You can QUIT your job under other circumstances & still file for unemployment! Provide a job related reason for leaving, or if you’re quitting to care for a spouse, child, or parent with an illness or disability, and quitting because of a loss of transportation other than your own personally owned vehicle.
  • A job related reason for quitting must relate to the wages, hours, or working conditions of the job. If your employer changes your working conditions or breaches your employment agreement substantially and it negatively affects you may be good cause to quit. Also, if the job itself worsens your health or aggravates or worsens a medical condition, it could be good cause to quit.
  • Quitting due to ‘intolerable working conditions’  is called Constructive Discharge. You must prove two things: 1) the “deliberateness” of the employer’s actions; and 2) the “intolerability” of the working conditions.
  • If you RETIRE from your job, you can still file! During your hearing, show that the retirement was not voluntary, or if it was, that you didn’t intend to stop working when you left the job. This includes retiring under fear of termination.
  • If you were DISCHARGED from your job, you can file. The only exceptions are for theft of over $25, ‘felony’ conduct, deliberate misconduct, or violation of a reasonable rule which everyone has to follow.
  • You could be eligible for a dependency increase of $15 weekly for each child (including step-child or child for whom you act as guardian). Only one parent may collect this allowance each week. You must be the whole or main support, and the child must fall into one of the following categories:
    • Under 18 years of age.
    • Under 21 years of age and a full-time student.
    • Mentally or physically handicapped child of any age.
  • You can collect for your spouse if at the beginning of your benefit year, your spouse is unemployed, lives in the same household with you, and:
    • Has not worked during the past three months; or
    • Is pregnant; or
    • Has a mental or physical disability expected to last for a long or indefinite time.


Here are some other helpful links:


  • You can file your initial claim & your weekly claim online or over the phone. File here!
  • If you are denied unemployment benefits, you only have 21 days to file an APPEAL. This website, Filing an Unemployment Appeal, provides a ton of great information on how to prepare for an appeal, what to expect, and what your rights are.
  • Here are some frequently asked questions answered by the Department of Labor. There’s a lot of info to sort through, so take your time.
  • The standard amount of time you can collect for is 26 weeks. You do have an option to extend your benefits federally in 2013. Here’s some great info on EXTENSIONS.


Remember, you’re not alone!

If you have any questions about the information here, or just in general, email us at

Feel free to share this information with others & leave your helpful hints in the comments below.

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