FileUnemployment

If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. These benefits provide temporary financial help to eligible individuals, based on their previous earnings, while they are seeking a new job.

Unemployment Benefits In TX

Unemployment benefits are offered through an insurance program run together by the federal government and the state.

Know About Unemployment Benefits In TX

Filing for unemployment can be a quite confusing task. You should have complete information about unemployment benefits including how to apply, eligibility requirements, weekly benefit amount, important phone numbers and much more. If you presently reside in Texas, and you have worked in the state during the past 18 months prior to applying for unemployment, you must consider filing for benefits anytime online or call the TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) Tele-Center to supplement your income until you find a new job.

Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits?

TWC assesses your unemployment benefits in each of the following areas to qualify for unemployment benefits:

  • Past wages requirements
  • Reason for unemployment
  • Available to work

Past Wages Requirements

Texas requires that you meet a certain minimum income to be eligible for unemployment benefits. You must have documented evidence of wages in at least 2 of the 4 base period (The first 4 of the last 5 complete calendar quarters before the start date of your unemployment claim) quarters. Moreover, your total wages in the base period must be 37 times your weekly benefit amount. If you have previously applied for benefits, you must have made at least 6 times your new weekly benefit amount since that time.

If you were jobless for at least seven weeks during the base period owing to injury, illness, pregnancy or disability, you might be eligible to use an alternate period. If you meet the requirements under both base periods, you choose which base period to use.

Reason for Unemployment

You must be either unemployed or work reduced hours through no fault of your own to be qualified for benefits. If you are out of work in a layoff, being fired for reasons other than misconduct, lost your job because of a reduction-in-force (RIF) and downsizing, or quit a job with good cause related to work, you may still be eligible for benefits.

Examples of quitting for good work-related reasons:

  • Risky working conditions
  • Significant changes in hiring agreement
  • Not getting paid or difficulty getting your agreed-upon pay

You may also be qualified for unemployment benefits if:

  • You left your job due to domestic violence or stalking
  • You were forced to quit your job rather than be fired
  • You chose to move with your military spouse
  • You are caring for a minor child who has a medical illness
  • You are caring for a terminally ill spouse
  • You entered Commission-Approved Training and the job is not considered suitable under Section 20 relating to your availability for work, active search for work or refusal to accept suitable work

Available to Work

Along with the past wages and job separation eligibility requirements, you must also meet other requirements to stay eligible.

This means that you must:

  • Register with Texas Workforce Commission and apply for a certain number of jobs per week.
  • Document your work search activities, which can be asked by TWC at any time.
  • Apply for and accept suitable full-time work.

How to Apply?

  • You can apply online at Unemployment Benefits Services.
  • Call the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631. The office hours are Monday-Friday from 7AM-6PM central time. You can  use the contact numbers available on our website.

Unemployment-in-Texas

You should be prepared with the following information prior to filling out the application:

  • Your previous employer’s business name, address and phone number
  • The first and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer
  • Provide the most recent employment dates, if you worked for your previous employer on more than one occasion
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate you received for the last week of your job (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Alien Registration Number (if not a US citizen)
  • Social Security Number (SSN) (if a US citizen)
  • Information regarding your last payment wages

After completing your application, you must wait for at least 2 business days for the TWC to assess your application prior to checking the status of your unemployment claim. You should register for work online within 3 days of filing for unemployment.

Request your Benefits Payment

Once you have been approved for your benefits, the following step is receiving your payments. Your payments are either directly deposited into your bank account or made by the TWC Visa Card.

By default, your payments will be deposited to the TWC debit card unless you sign up for a direct deposit. You must wait for 1 business day after you apply for unemployment benefits to change your payment options.

You can change your payment option online or by phone.

  • Log on and select Payments Option from the Quick Links menu
  • Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 and select option 5

Note: If you sign up for direct deposit you will have to provide your 9 digit routing number, bank account number and type.

How to Know the Status of Your Application?

Requests for unemployment benefits are processed in about 4 weeks from the date you file for benefits. This time is used to gather information on your past wages, job separation and general eligibility. You can check the status of your claim online or call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 and select option 2.

How Much Will You Get?

Every state in the US has its own rules for computing unemployment benefits.

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount you collect for weeks you are qualified for benefits. In Texas, your WBA is the wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period divided by 25. Presently, the maximum you can collect is $479 and the minimum amount you can receive is $65 per week based on your past wages.

Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the total sum you can collect during your benefit year (the 12 month period that your unemployment claim is in effect). Your MBA is either 26 times your WBA or 27% of all your wages in the base period (whichever is less). You must be partially or totally unemployed and meet the eligibility criteria.

Your benefit year starts on the Sunday of the week in which you applied for benefits and stays for 52 weeks. Your benefit year remains in effect for those dates even though TWC disqualifies you to collect all of your benefits. You may exhaust your unemployment benefits before your benefit year expires.

You can use our free tool to estimate your approximate unemployment benefits before applying. You will require wage information for the past five quarters and the pay period information for the past five quarters.

Working and Receiving Benefits

If you work temporarily, you can earn up to 25% of your weekly benefit amount before TWC reduces your benefit payment. For instance, if your WBA is $160, you may receive $40 without a reduction. If you earn $50, your WBA for the week is reduced to $150. In both the cases your benefits and your earnings equal $200. If you earn more than $200 and working the customary permanent hours for your profession, you are not eligible to collect benefits for that week.

TWC investigates any job separation you have while receiving benefits to decide whether you can continue to collect benefits.

How to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits?

You must be partially or totally unemployed and meet the following requirements to continue to be eligible for benefits.

  • Meet all work search requirements, unless exempted from work search
  • Request payment for weeks of unemployment, when scheduled
  • Be physically and mentally able and available to work
  • Participate in reemployment activities as required
  • Respond to requests from TWC or a Workforce Solutions office as instructed

How Long Will Your Unemployment Benefits Last?

In Texas, you can collect benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. There are two programs that offer additional weeks of benefits in times of high unemployment: extended benefits (EB) and emergency unemployment compensation (EUC).

At this time, there are no extended benefits available in Texas. TWC last paid extended benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which ended on December 28, 2013.

Possibility of a Benefit Extension:

TWC pays federal extended benefits only when the U.S. Congress passes legislation to create a federal benefits extension program. All potential recipients are notified by TWC if an extension is available.

Denied Unemployment Benefits?

If your claim for benefits is denied by the state of Texas, you may choose to appeal. You can submit your written appeal online, fax or mail to the Appeals Department and in person at your nearest Workforce Solutions office. You cannot submit your appeal over the telephone or by email.

Your appeal letter should include:

  • Your name
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your current address
  • The date TWC mailed you the Determination Notice
  • A copy of the Determination Notice, if possible
  • Any dates on which you will not be able to join in a hearing
  • Please keep a copy of your appeal for your records

Mail, fax or deliver your appeal to:

Mail: Appeal Tribunal

Texas Workforce Commission

101 E 15th St, Room 410

Austin, TX 78778-0001

Fax: 512-475-1135

There are 3 levels of appeal-

You can write a notice (within 14 days) to the Appeal Tribunal of the TWC. If you differ from the results of the Appeal Tribunal, you may appeal to the Commission. An attorney is not needed for the appeal process. You may apply for a rehearing and appeal to a civil court if you disagree with the Commission and present the following:

  • Important new information about your case
  • The reason(s) why you did not present this information earlier
  • The reason(s) why you think this information could change the decision

You may appeal to a civil court between 15 and 28 days after the TWC mailed you the Commission Appeal decision.

Unemployment Benefits Fraud is Punishable by Law!

Unemployment insurance fraud can be charged if you illegally file for benefits. In Texas, unemployment benefits fraud is regularly prosecuted at the felony level. Penalties may include fines of up to $4,000 or jail up to one year or both, loss of benefits received, and the right to benefits that remain in your benefit year. Unemployment fraud can happen if you misreport previous income, fail to seek a new job, lie on an application or do not report an income source.

Examples of UI Fraud could include:

  • You start work and do not accurately report your work and work hours
  • You do not report gross earnings accurately
  • You do not report a job separation
  • You do not keep your Tele-Serv Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) password protected and someone requests benefits using your personal information
  • You request payment of unemployment benefits while incarcerated
  • You use another person’s identity to apply for benefits

If convicted of unemployment fraud, you must pay back benefits that you were not eligible to receive and a 15% penalty on benefits you illegally received. The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA) is the legal basis for initiating a civil suit against you for the collection of past due benefit overpayments.

DO NOT contact TWC via email. Instead, you may report any allegations by calling the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.

Unemployed or not, living in today’s job market, it is always indispensable for you to equip yourself with the know-hows of the unemployment benefits offered in your state. Illinois, like other federal states, has its own department which takes care of unemployed populace and seeks to address their financial problems, either you are a part-time worker or a retired veteran.

Get to know UI Benefits in IL

In the hope to provide as much knowledge on the unemployment insurance (UI) and benefit claims offered in Illinois, we have compiled everything that you should know. Browse through our website for more information on Unemployment Benefits in other states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, etc.

Know About Unemployment Insurance In IL

Illinois Unemployment Insurance is a state-operated program designed to address the need for replacement of wages at times of emergency – be it health, accident or unemployment. Illinois Department of Employment Security abbreviated as IDES addresses all kinds of needs to those unemployed, only if you are proactive enough to pass through the various steps involved in the procedure, besides looking for jobs. The state also offers unemployment benefits even if you are residing outside of Illinois. However, all these benefits are given only after the claimant has been duly verified of his/her eligibility. And indeed, because of this reason, it is recommended for one to not remain idle after securing the benefit, but to make a persistent effort in finding a new job, now made easier as the department itself assists people for the same. Furthermore, it is expected of you to regularly state your wages, which encompasses part-time working wages and the telling of the reason for your unemployment to the authorities concerned.

All you need to know about the Unemployment Insurance or Benefits are covered by the Illinois Department of Employment Service and to know the specifics like eligibility, procedure for applying UI, read on.

Are You Eligible?

Ensure you have met the following conditions in order to qualify for Illinois unemployment benefits-

  1. Your earnings mustn’t cross the threshold recommended by the IDES. At the time you apply for the Unemployment Benefits, the above can be determined.
    • You were paid $1,600 or more in wages during your base period* for insured work.
    • You were paid a lease of $440 of your base period wages at any time during the base period outside the calendar quarter in which your wages were highest.
      *Base period – The standard or regular base period consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the beginning of your benefit year. There are four calendar quarters, which are January–March, April–June, July–September and October–December
  2. You must be laid off work for no reason of your own which are a voluntary termination of employment, addiction/substance abuse and inefficiency at work. It is advisable that you ascertain as to the exact reason for being laid off, as the adjudicator will call the employer to verify the same. This is after they have recorded your statement through the personal interview by the adjudicator which is usually fixed two weeks from the date of applying for the unemployment benefit.
  3. You should be available/capable of working and actively searching for work.

It is also important to note that you won’t be eligible for unemployment insurance for more than 26 weeks in a year. If you have crossed this limit within a year, then you will no more be eligible for unemployment insurance or weekly benefit.  

How To File Unemployment Insurance in IL?

Remember to gather all the right information and documents that would be required for the application for unemployment insurance. Be ready to answer all the questions for the interview in person and for the phone call. Do not forget to carry a copy of all the documents every time you’ll have to visit Illinois Department of Employment Security Office.

Unemployment Insurance In IL

 

There are three ways to apply for unemployment insurance which are –

  • Applying online

If you are applying online, make sure you have all the below information ready when you login to your account, which are –

  1. Your Social Security Number (SSN) and your name as appeared on your SSN card.
  2. Your identity proof/ID for the purpose of disclosing your weight. Either your Driver license or State ID will do.
  3. Your Social Security Number (SSN) of your dependents (if any) along with the names as mentioned in the card.
  4. Your employers’ (from past 18 months) name, address, contact number, wage records (W-2 form, check stubs), duration of employment, date of separation and reason for separation.
  5. Your report of all the gross wages earned in the past week, both full-time and part-time, if you worked from the Sunday of the week of application. Gross constitutes the earnings before deductions like lodging, meals, merchandise, etc. Also, the gross wages must be reported the week they were earned and not the week they were received. You will be eligible to weekly benefit or partial benefit even if you’ve secured work but that you earn less than the benefit amount mentioned.
  6. Your Records of pension payments
  7. Your Alien Registration information, if you are not a US citizen.
  8. Your Member 4 copy or the DD form 214/215 if you are a recently separated veteran.
  9. Your Standard form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50 if you are separated as a civilian employee working for the federal government.
  • Applying through phone

  1. To file for unemployment insurance through a phone call, contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) at (312) 793-5280
  2. Furthermore to enquire on Certification and Benefits Deposit speak to a representative of the Claimant services at 1-800-244-5631/ TTY 1-866-322-8357 (for hearing and speech impaired applicants only)
  3. The Employer’s Service Center can be contacted at 1-800-247-4984
  • Applying in person

To apply for Unemployment Insurance in person, you have to visit your nearest Illinois Department of Employment Security Office and to reach the offices in relation to the unemployment benefits over the telephone, you can contact through the numbers available on our website.

Are You Actively Seeking Work?

A make or break kind of prerogative that most people tend to ignore during the process of filing for an unemployment insurance is to actively seek work. Once your bed is warmed it is the general notion that people forget about their responsibilities and seeking work in an increasingly hostile job market is an effortless addition. Meritocratic America is on the brink of letting the privileged take the mantle to dictate the terms for the rest. Individual skill is highly valued and puts you in a higher platform which ups your job prospects. And to address this problem, we have the state and federal departments lending a hand at educating the populace in the skill sets required to make you a better competitor, one the rest will have to reckon with. Also, worth mentioning is the IllinoisJobLink, a major priority in the Illinois State government’s point of view, which is a meeting place for all the job seekers and employers. Delay no further and make sure you frequently visit government sponsored job-seeking portals. After all, ‘actively seeking a job’ is a major prerogative, an eligibility factor that has a say in the benefit amount you will receive.

How Will You Receive Weekly Benefits?

Since the insurance you are claiming is received on a weekly basis, the Illinois Department of Employment Security doles out a debit card for the insurance claimer. Also, the IDES is making improvements to the card being issued which was a ‘blue debit card from Key Bank’ and is now being replaced with the updated red Debit MasterCard issued by the Chase Bank.

Once you have been certified for your benefits either online or in person, you will receive an envelope enclosing the Debit card. Though you can opt to have the benefit amount deposited to your account, this facility is mostly temporary, that is until you receive the debit card, which should not extend more than two weeks to reach your residence. You will have to log in to your IDES account and fill in the required blanks in order to receive the benefit amount.

As mentioned earlier, the new red debit MasterCard will have to be replaced for those already receiving the benefit through a current blue debit card. And replacement process will commence from June and the deposits to the old card will cease from June 30, after which you can use the card till it reaches ‘zero balance’. With the new card, you can now access your payments 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through both retail Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Visit the website of the Chase Bank or read through instructions in the IDES website (however you will receive a letter replete with all the instructions on how to activate the card) to know more about exchanging your old debit card to a new one.  

Are You An Out-Of-State Claimant?

IDES offers opportunities to those shifted to another state temporarily or for reasons of emergency. Even if you were once a resident of Illinois and worked here but shifted to another state after losing a job, you will still be eligible for the benefit. If you are one to find yourself in such a situation, you can always contact the IDES helpline (IDES claimant services) or apply online. Here’s how –

  1. Apply online, for a hassle free, convenient process.
  2. Or you could contact IDES claimant services to help you through the procedures apart from guiding you about the particulars.

Claimant services – (800) 244-5631

Teleservices – (312) 338-4337 (available from 5.30 a.m to 7.30 p.m – Monday to Friday)

You can claim these benefits if you are now residing in any of the states, the district of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Canada.

As to the method of receiving payment or the weekly benefits, you will be given a debit card, which will be mailed to you or sent through direct deposits. Payments are made to eligible individuals within the span two business days from the date of certification.

To certify your claim to unemployment benefits online, you must register yourself and if you are calling teleservices, have your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and Social Security number ready to identify yourself. Also, have your current statement of certification available, more so if it is not the first time you are calling. The Gross amount that you are being paid as holiday pay must also be disclosed during the phone call, and hence make sure you have all the above information ready before making the call. Some of the questions normally asked are –

  1. Have you received or will you receive a holiday pay during the two-week duration?
  2. Did you work during the two week period?
  3. During the weeks of your certification, have any of your dependents/spouse and children found a job and reached the age of 18 respectively?
  4. How free/available are you to work in the working days of the week?
  5. Did you actively look for jobs in the past two weeks or since you lost your job?
  6. Did you receive any pension for temporary/permanent disability?
  7. Did you attend school or receive training?
  8. Have you received or will you receive workers’ compensation for a temporary disability?

How To Challenge Denied Benefit Claims?

If you believe your claim is right and was still denied Unemployment Benefits, you can challenge the claim by writing an appeal to the referee by challenging the decree given by the adjudicator. This form can either be downloaded online or can be procured by visiting the IDES office personally. Once you download the application online, you have to print the same and fill in the respective details. If you believe you have the right to claim benefits and fulfill all the required eligibilities, you can file an appeal. A Veteran retired from active duty who has been denied the claim to Unemployment Benefits can apply too.

  1. As a part of Preparing for your Appeal Hearing, write a letter requesting the reconsideration of your claims at Unemployment Benefits within 30 days.
  2. A prepared draft can be found on the website of which you need to fill up the respective details and mail the same to the nearest IDES office-
    Chicago Office
    IDES Appeals Division
    33 S State St, 8th floor
    Chicago IL 60603-2802Springfield Division
    IDES Appeals Division
    607 East Adams, 9th floor
    Springfield, IL 62701
  3. Or mail the request letter to the Claimant services.
  4. If your notice is denied it is immediately sent to the Appeals Division.
  5. You will receive a notice on the date and time of hearing (phone call) when the decision is made as to you are eligible to the Unemployment Benefits.
  6. If you once again want to challenge the decision made at the hearing you can File an Appeal to the Board of Review by writing another letter or using the prepared draft addressed to the Board of Review. You can send this letter to the above Appeals Division or the below Board of Review address –
    Board of Review
    33 S. State St, 9th floor
    Chicago IL 60603-2802

An out-of-State claimant can appeal for denied benefits too since the letter could be downloaded online and sent through a mail. Also, since the hearing is made through a phone call and not a live one, you only have to be prepared on the date and time of phone call, the details of which will be communicated to you through an email.

What’s New?

Some of the new changes made to the unemployment insurance scheme is the mandatory registration of all residents into IDES who are receiving Unemployment Benefits. Applying from July 17th 2016, its objective is to minimize casualties and provide insurance as soon as possible. This will also increase each person’s access into the Illinois JobLink, thus apart from speeding the process of doling out insurance, also seeks to reach out to the jobless, into getting a job. This new policy centres on giving employment than managing the unemployed which is already in place.

Since it provides free job-searches and links employers with people fit for the job, it is no longer a zero-sum game. Both the parties are benefited contrary to the assumption employers having to put up with policy changes. The key to enforcing it efficiently is uploading your resume online after registration. Hence, after registration it is made compulsory to upload your resumes, thus helping employers easily filter people and find what they are looking for.

Keep From Fraudulent Practices

Although people apply for UI with the sole intention of acquiring Weekly benefit amount or insurance, they can unconsciously commit mistakes which can be classified as fraudulent. Also, it is important to remember that though your intentions weren’t to commit a fraud, it will however, not set you apart on the basis of intentions and you will nevertheless end up facing the consequences.

The Do-Nots

  1. Do not go on collecting weekly benefits without informing the authorities of obtaining a new job, be it full time or part time. Though there is a possibility to claim UI benefits when working part time, you must nevertheless keep the IDES tabbed on the changes in your employment’ status quo.
  2. Do not collect weekly benefits if you have been restored to your earlier job.
  3. Do not collect weekly benefits without reporting odd jobs, however less they earn you.
  4. Do not withhold information on the changes in the position or employment status of dependents if  they are employed while you are still collecting benefits including them as your dependents.
  5. Do not collect benefit amount without informing whether your dependent/child has turned 18.

The If-Nots

If you do not follow the aforementioned conditions before collecting your weekly benefits, you could be guilty of disregarding the Illinois State Law and be faced with the following consequences –

  1. You could be asked to pay a hefty sum as fines and penalties.
  2. You could be sentenced to prison.
  3. You could be offset against State and Federal income tax returns.
  4. You could never avail Unemployment Benefits again.

Go Register NOW!

If you are reading this, there is every chance that you may be in dire need of financial assistance and as the days pass by, it will only get tougher to manage the expenses. All the more reason for you to hurry and register now at the IDES website for unemployment benefits. Given the complete transition of the offline process to an online one, you can practically receive your benefits sitting at home as the debit card too is delivered to your mailing address. However, if you would want to know more on the IDES offices in your locality for applying in person or if you’d like to calculate the amount of benefits you may be eligible for, you can find out from our website. We hope to have addressed all the problems or questions that you may have encountered and if more, please leave it in the comments and we will watch your back!

The destructive effects of an addiction to Tobacco to your health are well-established facts. Now you have more reason to worry as a study published in California, by JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) Internal Medicine finds that Smoking can affect your financial life severely too. Besides, it also determines that smokers, apart from being more likely to not find a job, are twice more likely to stay unemployed. Habitual smokers hence end up smoking more when they are unemployed and consequently, reduce their future job prospects too. This has untold consequences to individuals, families and the economy, which are yet to be computed in a study. 

Smoking Can Affect Your Job Prospects

The aforementioned study conducted by a team of scientists determined that unemployed non-smokers are 30% more likely to be in jobs within the next year as opposed to unemployed chronic smokers. On an average, these groups also earn $5 more per hour than the smokers.

Also to be noted is that, decades of study hasn’t deterred the smoking population to substantially decrease the number of smokers. From 2008, the year the Government banned smoking in public places, there has been little or no difference in the number of smokers. So, the enforcement of the law really has been a liability as we see no decline in the number of smokers. None of these results bode well, neither to your health nor to your job prospects.

The story of employed smokers looks quite bleak too. The study shows a higher percentage of layoffs among smokers than nonsmokers.  

Some of the reasons why the job prospects of smokers reduce, either part time or full time, is the worry among employers of absenteeism and higher health costs that they might have to incur. Many employers forbid the usage of tobacco and conduct urine tests to deter employees from smoking Tobacco. These trends are on the rise and it is less beneficial for every unemployed smoker in the economy. From the point of view of a job-seeker, the job market only gets increasingly hostile to smoking addicts.

1 Out Of Every 6 Who Are Unemployed Abuse Alcohol Or Are Tobacco Addicts

Despite the looming picture in the labor statistics, and the efforts of the government through enforcing laws, there hasn’t been a telling reduction in the number of smokers between the age-group 25-39. This shouldn’t deter you as an individual smoker from quitting the habit as the enforcement is only going to get more effective – the study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine suggestive of one. More number of studies carried out on the relationship between smoking and unemployment also indicate towards the concerted effort between the government and employers to check the menace of tobacco addiction.

In addition to all these, a severe smoking habit can cripple your priorities in terms of financial spending. If you ever had to choose between buying provisions/healthy food and cigarettes, it is evident that smoking has got a vice-like grip on you. This will make a smoker both physically and psychologically less equipped to face the grueling job market in the U.S.

Most of these studies now infer to the notion that smokers don’t just stay unemployed because of smoking but also that they smoke because they are unemployed. This has turned out to be a vicious cycle, one which could be hard to break.

Great Way For You To Quit Smoking

Addiction to any type of drug can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, so much so that a person might think he/she is left more damaged than ever for taking the step to quit smoking at all. This is a common conundrum among addicts which is why most smokers end up in rehabilitation or de-addiction centers. If this is a feasible option for you, we very well recommend it, but at times of unemployment and with meager means for living, it is a step to be reconsidered.

With the way cellphones have found their way into every aspect of our lives, there is little doubt you will find any help, given all the wealth of information that is available through the internet. One particular app that we find worth recommending is the ‘QuitGuide’ app. It is designed by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It keeps a tab on all the instances you craved to smoke, finds the trigger points that induces you to smoke and identifies reasons to quit smoking. It also lets you create journal entries to let you track your improvement apart from monitoring progress.

It is very necessary to feel ‘constantly motivated’ in order to hold back the resurfacing itch to place the roach between your lips! Admitting to your impulsiveness can help you pass through the testing times. To give you a heads up, here is what withdrawal does to your body – nausea, diarrhoea, splitting headache, constipation, anxiety, irritability, and a vague sense of depression.

About 1 in 6 unemployed workers are addicted to tobacco or are alcoholics. This is twice the number for those employed, i.e. while 17% of unemployed had a substance abuse disorder, only 9% of full-time employees had an addiction disorder. All this indicate one thing for sure – if you’re someone staying unemployed and are seeking a job it is prudent to let go of smoking before it sends your job prospects up in smoke!  

We’ve come across many stories of people who once earned six-figure salaries but were then abruptly laid off. Such people often find it difficult to get another job with matching salary. Because of this, some of them opt to make themselves more marketable and pursue higher studies. The end result is that they add student loans to the burden of unemployment and may still fail to find a job that matches their salary expectations.

This brings us to the question. In today’s times where the economy is a little unstable, is it sensible to expect a salary that you once earned, especially after a break in your career?

Reason For Unemployment

Why Can’t Unemployed People Get An Offer With A Salary That Matches Their Previous Pay?

The reason for this, according to many staffing firms, is this – companies prefer to hire people who never got laid off in the first place. Such people come across as survivors and top contenders during interviews. For companies, it is difficult to make out which laid off employees are good enough. Hence, when they have an opening, if the decision comes down to choosing between a candidate who is currently employed vs. someone who was laid off, the employed candidate is given the job.

Also, if for some reason the candidate who faced a layoff is picked, they would be offered a salary that is lesser than what would be offered to a candidate with a job.

This may sound unfair to many but that is the harsh reality.

What Can Unemployed People Do To Get Better Offers?

Increasing your value and skill set is a very effective way. It can also make you look like someone who is not one to waste time. During the period in which you are unemployed, you could attend short term courses to enhance your skill set or add new skills. Going to college may seem like a bright idea but if you take student loans, it could put you in a financial crisis later.

Alternately, you can think about starting something of your own. The Internet is an open marketplace and starting something of your own is not as difficult as it was ten years ago. Small scale business owners are often credited for being the backbone of the economy and you may, in fact, be able to provide employment to a handful of people!

Above all, don’t be dejected. Stay positive, it goes a long way. Job hunting may seem tiring but keep at it constantly. Expand your social circle, interact with the right people and maybe even talk to people in the know about how to increase your market value.

How To Get By Financially?

This is the saddest consequence of being unemployed. Money will be short. Thankfully, the State and Federal Govt. jointly runs several social welfare programs for the unemployed. Applying for Unemployment Insurance or the Dole is a wise move. They are small payments designed to cover your basic necessities. It is any day a better option that having no income.

We recommend that you make use of our eligibility calculator and our benefit amount estimator to get a rough idea of whether you will qualify for UI and what amount you may receive. UI payments are given out weekly and will cease to come in the moment you stop filing for them.

In case, you apply and the State tells you that you do not qualify, you make be able to appeal the State’s decision to reject your claims. Come what may, do not think this is the end. This is a rough patch and this too shall pass.

You could also accept a lower paying job because as hurtful as it seems to your pride, it comes with the following benefits –

  • Health insurance. Something you just cannot ignore.
  • Steady income. However small, will help you immensely.
  • Better chance at a job. As discussed in the previous paragraph, being employed improves your chances of being hired at another job.

Applying For Jobs

As soon as you are laid off, you should begin your job hunt. As it is also one of the eligibility criteria for UI, you may want to keep a record of which jobs and positions you apply to each week. You may want to widen your search and include jobs that are not focused on your skills alone.

Sign up with job search websites and update your resume to suit the needs of the job you are applying too. Use social media effectively to market yourself and remember, direct contact often helps secure a job at a much faster pace.

Never Hesitate To Reach Out To Us

Facing unemployment is harsh indeed which is why you will need all the support you can get. We strongly urge you to connect with folks on the same boat through our discussion forum on Unemployment topics where you will be free to ask any question related to job hunting and UI.

Unemployment is one problem that doesn’t necessarily need a shout-out. In spite of all the banter on the march towards progression, the unemployment rate of 4.9% is not really hailed as the greatest feat. However, the stagnation isn’t forever.

Know more of the unemployment benefits to cross over all the obstacles in your way to hold you through the tough and testing time that unemployment brings.

What seems to be a great number in itself- 495,000 is only the figure for ‘veteran’ unemployment as published in the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the year 2015. In the survey, veterans are defined as, “men and women who have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces/military and who were civilians at the time these data were collected”.

Veteran Unemployment Benefits

Veteran Unemployment rates have been at an all-time low, declining from 6.9% in October 2013 to 3.9% in October 2015, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, notably, this rate was lower than the unemployment rate of non-veterans of 5.9% for 23 consecutive weeks.

This figure is only likely to decline when you enroll yourself in the many training programs designed especially for Veterans to acquire the skills of the generation which mostly covers technical knowledge. Otherwise, leadership skills, capacity to handle stress, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, problem-solving through critical thinking, project planning and so on, which are to be developed goes quite unsaid. And at the rate at which people are pitching into jobs, the sooner you learn to develop these skills, the better equipped you are to acquire jobs at the earliest.

Veteran Unemployment Compensation – A Safety Net

A Service Member separated from active duty may qualify for unemployment benefits if you haven’t found a new job. This program, Compensation for ex-servicemembers abbreviated as UCX is administered by the States as they are agents of Federal Government. To incur the benefits of this scheme, eligibility is to be determined. You are eligible, if –

  1. You were an active member in any of the branches of U.S. military.
  2. You should have separated from service by honorable means.
  3. There should be no deduction from your wages for Unemployment Insurance.

Apart from the above-enlisted eligibility clauses, your Unemployment Benefit can be affected if you are receiving the Separation pay. It is for this reason that retirees will receive little or no amount of benefits, for their weekly amount of retirement pay is considered.

The duration and amount offered through unemployment benefits vary from each state, and hence, to enjoy the benefits of the same, you have to visit the local State Employment Office. The nearest State Employment Office can be located using a Telephone Directory or you could locate the nearest one for some of the states (Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Montana, District of Columbia, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska) from our site. Visit the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) who will assist you in finding a new job apart from ensuring that you get the Unemployment Benefit. When applying for the Compensation, do carry your Certificate of Release (DD form 214), your Social Security Card and your Civilian and military job history or resume.

Since the Certificate of Release (DD form 214) determines the eligibility of a person’s entitlement to Unemployment Benefits, it is imperative to fill the application with utmost care to avoid mistakes. Also, you are expected to keep the original certificate safe and to only show copies of it when demanded by employers or others. Here are some of the details required to be filled in the Certificate of Release form –

  1. The Date and Place at which you entered into active duty
  2. Residential address at the time of entry
  3. Date and place at the time of release from active duty
  4. Residential address after separation from the service
  5. Last Duty assignment
  6. Military Job specialty
  7. Military Education
  8. Decorations, badges, medals, citations and campaign awards
  9. Total service
  10. Foreign service
  11. Information on separation (type, character and reason for separation, etc.)

The amount of benefit will depend on your pay at the time you left military service. The state will compensate by basing its calculation on a “Schedule of Remuneration”, set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

As to the amount of compensation that you get, it depends on the state you reside in (Unemployment benefits is acquired from the state you currently reside and not from the state you quit the Duty).

Other Opportunities At Acquiring Veteran Benefits

Apart from the many communities that have continually engaged in trying to get more veterans employed, there is also an increase in the concerted effort of private and government institutions in order to reduce the already declining rates of veteran unemployment.

The special provision is given to those who were part of the Vietnam War. The VEVRAA, 1974 (Veteran Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act) prohibits job discrimination and pushes federal contractors and subcontractors to take action. They employ  qualified Vietnam war-era veterans and also provide training when necessary. Others covered in this Act are Special Disabled Veterans and Separated Veterans.

Veteran Department has enabled various provisions which include education and training, health benefits, Life insurance, Home loans and Housing related Assistance, Employment Services, and Memorial/Funeral Benefits too.

How to Apply for Veteran Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits?

  1. Apply online for Educational/Training benefits  
  2. Apply in person – from the nearest VA regional office
  3. Apply at school – through consulting a School Certifying Official
  4. Apply by Mail  – Call 888-442-4551 to have the application mailed to you

These Benefits are granted through the Post 9/11 GI Bill/Servicemembers Readjustment Act, also associated with Yellow Ribbon Program, Montgomery G.I. Bill (for active duty members who pay $100 per month in order to receive a monthly benefit for education, if they should choose to leave military service), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Educational Assistance to the members of Reserve components who constitute the those ordered to active duty in response to a National Security threat or Emergency situation), Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA).

These educational Benefits can be utilized for Traditional degrees, non-college Degrees, Job Training and job apprenticeship.

Requirements to acquire Educational Benefits –

  1. Copies of your military service discharge or separation papers (DD 214)
  2. Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund
  3. To qualify for a monthly housing allowance you must have attended school for more than half the term.

Employment Resources & Opportunities – All through VA Dept.

Veteran Affairs Department offers numerous opportunities to acquire Vocational jobs, Training and Employment Counseling too. In short if you are eligible for the employment benefits provided by the VA, your life is shortly about to change for good as close to millions of dollars are spent by corporations in order to incorporate skilled veterans into service. This benefit can be acquired by both Active Duty Servicemembers and Veterans.

Veterans applying for the same must have an honorable discharge from service, obtain VA service-connected disability rating of 10% or more, including applying for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services and have an established employment handicap resulting from a service-connected disability. If the above four conditions are not fulfilled, the veteran is not eligible for Employment Benefits.

To apply online,

  1. Register yourself at the eBenefits account
  2. Click “Additional Benefits” from the Dashboard
  3. Select Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program or Education/Career Counseling
  4. If you are eligible, the person will be invited to attend an orientation session at the nearest VA Regional Office

Otherwise, you can also apply by filling your application in person at the nearest VA Regional Office. If not, download the applications of Educational/Vocational Counseling and Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation online and mail the same.

Veteran Affair’s Various Employment Resources

VA has consistently strived to drive its many resources into propelling a massive flux of service members from service-oriented military career to a civilian job duty. And they have indeed succeeded in optimally utilizing existing resources and creating job-seeking tools to transform the face of Veteran Unemployment figures. VA thus connects the Veterans with the employers in order to help them fill their empty chairs. Some of the Employment Services you would want to explore are listed below-

  1. Veteran Unemployment Centre
  2. Skill Transition Tools
  3. Resume builders
  4. For a Private Sector or Federal job, pick one from 3 million jobs at JobsBank

You can access all this and more once you have logged into the eBenefits service enables by the States.

Disability Compensation For Unemployed Veterans

An Injury incurred either while on active duty or those disabilities resulting from a disease which was aggravated due to active military service can be held eligible for Disability Compensations for Veterans. It is a tax-free monetary benefit which can also be paid for post-service disabilities that are secondary to the illnesses/disabilities occurring in service. This benefit can be incurred if you are at least 10% disabled. The disability can arise from physical medical conditions like chronic knee condition, and mental health conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you have dependents, an additional of 30% allowance will be granted. You will be incapacitated to receive compensation if you receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay/separation incentive pay. Eligibility for the above benefit is acquired if you are –

  1. In the Uniformed Services on Active Duty
  2. Active Duty training  
  3. Inactive Duty training
  4. Discharged under honorable conditions
  5. 10 – 100% disabled from the injury incurred

Apart from the above reasons a person can be readily inferred or presumed as eligible if you are,

  1. A former prisoner of war,
  2. Having a certain chronic or tropical diseases that were evident within a certain time after discharge from active military service.
  3. Exposed to ionizing radiation, mustard gas or Lewisite while in active service.
  4. Served in the Southeast Asia during the Gulf war.

Documents to be kept ready with to in order to avail the Disability Benefits are –

  1. Medical evidence of a current physical or mental disability.
  2. Evidence of a relationship between your disability and injury, disease or event in military service.

You can apply for a Disability Benefit, both offline and online (eBenefits). The means to acquire an offline Disability Benefit is through contacting your local Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) office and have a VA employee assist you.

Other Disability Benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which is also a tax-free monetary benefit provided to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active-duty.  

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is another additional tax-free monetary benefit that can be paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses or parents. SMC is a higher rate of compensation paid during special circumstances where the injured person is in need of special assistance or aid of another person. Such circumstances arise when there is a specific disability such as the loss of a hand or leg.

Veteran Benefits – Your Key To Financial Security

We certainly hope that all the information provided above has left you with little or no doubts lingering. If you are an ex-service member, wait no more to avail all the benefits you are eligible, for now it is easier than ever with increasing awareness and enhanced connectivity. It has also brought about a healthy online discourse to disseminate the various Government policy initiatives into the general public’s domain. Participate in this community discourse to add your insights and questions so we could keep the wheel turning!

Pennsylvania UC (Unemployment Compensation) program is handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, which aims to provide a cushion, only if you qualify for the unemployment benefits. This enables a sense of relief to all of you who were at a constant risk of being completely stalled in your day-to-day activities because of unemployment and unpaid bills.

Therefore, filing for UI claims gives a fighting chance of being employed elsewhere without losing out much in life, and within the given time frame. So pull up your socks and do the needful!

Unemployment Insurance In PA
How to get unemployment compensation in PA?

How To File An Initial Claim In PA?

Keep the following information ready before filing an initial claim:

  • The Social Security number and your PIN (received in the mail)
  • The PA Driver’s license number, if you have one
  • The Employer Information Form, if you have one. Or else, just the name and address of your employer(s)
  • The most recent pay stub which helps in determining your benefits
  • The gross amount earned for the work performed during a week. Also, if you were absent from work for a week, then the gross amount you would have earned for the week
  • The gross amount of vacation pay, if any, for the away week

You can file your applications or reopen your existing UI claim for UC benefits by the following methods:

  • Online: You can fill an online application, which is accessible 24X7
  • Telephone: You can call the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284 (TTY services for the deaf and hard of hearing at 1-888-334-4046).
  • Paper Form: You can file a paper application which is to be downloaded and mailed or faxed to a UC service center receiving applications from your County
  • Videophone service: Videophone service is available every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. (*Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided in this service)

Here’s a list from where you can apply for UI Benefits to the corresponding offices:
Based on the County in which you live, you can send your application to the following office addresses-

If you reside in these Counties: Then Application should be mailed to:
Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton Allentown UC Service Center 160 W. Hamilton St., Ste 500 Allentown, PA 18101-1994
Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon Lancaster UC Service Center 36 East Grant Ave. Lancaster, PA 17602
Bucks, Crawford, Erie, Forest, McKean, Philadelphia, Venango, Warren Erie UC Service Center 1316 State St. Erie, PA 16501-1978
Adams, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Potter, York Altoona UC Service Center 1101 Green Ave. Altoona, PA 16601-3483
Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming Scranton UC Service Center 30 Stauffer Industrial Park Taylor, PA 18517-9625
Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Franklin, Fulton, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Westmoreland Indiana UC Service Center 630 Kolter Dr. Indiana, PA 15701-3570
Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington Duquesne UC Service Center 14 N. Linden St. Duquesne, PA 15110-1067

When once you have applied for the UI benefits, the concerned Department of Labor and Industry will send you three mailers within a span of 10 days.

The first mailer will have An official Notice of Financial Determination with your data, read all the instructions on the reverse of the notice for filing an appeal if any of the mentioned data is found to be false.

In the second mailer, you will be receiving a Claim Confirmation Letter (which is form UC-360). It confirms that your application has been processed at the department. You’ll be provided with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to file for departmental internet claim and to use PA Teleclaims (PAT) for filing a claim over a telephone. When and how to file for claims for weekly benefits, will be mentioned in the letter you would have received along with the form.

The third mailer contains the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook, which should answer most of your doubts. It also contains various responsibilities of a person enrolled in this program and generally delves out all the relevant information on how to deal with all kinds of stuff when you’re unemployed. So read the UC Handbook received in your mail thoroughly and understand its contents.

Fileunemployment.org has built a free and unique tool to calculate your approximate benefits if you’re entitled to it. It’s always good to know how much you’re eligible beforehand so that you can accordingly prepare your budget, to run through thick and thin of your unemployment period. Well, mostly thin in this case.

How To Qualify For Unemployment Insurance In PA?

Qualifying for benefits involves these 3 steps in the state of Pennsylvania:

  1. You must be financially eligible.
  2. You must have a qualifying separation from employment.
  3. You must continuously maintain your eligibility for benefits, by satisfying the UC laws.

Step 1: Financial Eligibility For UI Claims

If you have garnered enough wages and that too for enough number of work weeks, then you’re financially eligible to claim for unemployment benefits. If this initial condition is satisfied, then you’ll receive a Notice of Financial Determination, also called form UC-44F, which mostly explains about the probable amount of benefits you may end up receiving on a weekly basis. Read the Notice and any other supporting documentation which might have come along with the form to learn about your financial eligibility for easy UI claims.

Step 2: Qualifying Separation For UI Claims

You must be laid off or working reduced number of hours with no fault of yours to qualify for unemployment benefits.

The following circumstances DO NOT qualify for your benefits in UI claims:

  1. You voluntarily quit your job, without substantial reason.
  2. You’re suspended from your job because of Wilful Misconduct.
  3. You’ve actively participated in work stoppage determined to be a strike.

A representative from the department will be contacting you and your previous employer to know the reasons for your present unemployment. And if the reasons for your employment are in contention either from you or your employer then you’ll be provided a chance to explain your side of the story so that there is clarity among all the concerned parties regarding the reasons for your unemployment. Say, something like a questionnaire may have to be filled and returned so that the representative is able to resolve all the issues raised, based on your response. However, if benefits are still denied, you can always appeal against the decision.

It could so happen that you could already be receiving the benefits and then a review can also take place later on. You’ll be served with the Advance Notice form, which will give you a chance to give all the necessary information about your eligibility to continue to receive UC benefits unless a written ineligibility has been issued against your favor.

Part-Time Work

Part-time employees could also be eligible for benefits if the following circumstances are true:

  1. Your regular work hours are reduced.
  2. You have obtained partial employment elsewhere with fewer work hours after being separated from your job.
  3. You are separated from one job but continue to be employed by another employer on a part-time basis.

You’re not eligible for benefits if you’re working your normal hours of work per week with your regular employer or company.

Step 3: Maintaining Your Eligibility For UI Claims

Maintaining your eligibility on a continuous basis is pivotal since your benefits are available to you on a weekly basis. Failing to adhere to certain factors will make you lose your UC benefits. So here’s a heads up for you:

  1. Filing your Biweekly Claim
  2. Work registration requirements
  3. Work search requirements
  4. Able and Available requirement

How To File A Biweekly Claim In PA?

Whenever you are either partially or fully unemployed, you are required to file a claim each week. The claim week ending date shall always be a Saturday and is called as a CWE Date because the regular calendar for a week begins on Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Generally, you must file for two weeks at once and is called a biweekly claim. However, you need to certify that you’re eligible for the benefits each week separately.

PA Unemployment Compensation program you need to know about!
Tips to claim UI benefits in PA

Filing over the Internet: You can directly access the Pennsylvania biweekly claims section online on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the recommended way of filing.

Filing by Telephone (PAT): You can also file a UI claim via Telephone. The toll-free numbers are 888-255-4728 and 877-888-8104 (Spanish).

Filing by TTY: You can opt for TTY message services 24 hours a day, from Sunday to Friday for filing your biweekly claims at 888-334-4046.

Videophone Service: American Sign Language (ASL) videophone service is available for individual workers every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. This Videophone service is strictly for sign language only.

Work Registration Requirements

You shouldn’t let go of your steam thinking that the government is paying for your survival, you must follow the rules, you must protect the system, remember that!

You must register yourself within 30 days after filing for UI benefits for the employment-search services offered through JobGateway® and if you experience difficulties in registering or face issues such as partial registration, etc, then contact your local Pennsylvania CareerLink® office.

Work Search Requirements

From the beginning of the third week from your Benefit year, you’re supposed to apply for two jobs and participate in one job search program weekly. And you have to maintain a weekly report which lists the search requirements carried out by you.

You have seven types of work searching activity:

  • Attend job fairs
  • Search for posted positions on JobGateway®
  • Create or post your resume on JobGateway®
  • Contact your former colleagues and enquire about employment opportunities available
  • Participate in a program offered by CareerLink®
  • Take up Civil Service test or pre-employment tests
  • Sign up with an employment agency or a school placement service

Ability And Availability For Work

This section is self-explanatory. All you need is to be able to work, available to work and willing to return to work which could either be your old job or a new one.

You’ll be disqualified, if:

  • You’re incapable of performing any work due to physical limitations
  • You’re outside your labor market or country on a vacation (Contact your UC service center before leaving the country)
  • You do not have a way to reach work in a timely manner
  • You’re imprisoned
  • You do not have a childcare facility for your baby

How Are Benefits Paid In PA?

Your first benefit payment will be received within four weeks after filing your initial biweekly claim application. The benefits are paid every other week, usually within four days of filing your biweekly claim, but it may take up to ten days to receive the benefit payments in some cases. The benefit payment is either a direct deposit or paid through your debit card. Refer more for Claims Confirmation Letter on choosing which option to use.

Your Recent Payment Information and Payment History can be obtained by either logging in to your account or by calling PAT at 888-255-8728 on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also fax a request for obtaining two free copies to the UC service center at 717-525-5160, you’ll be charged for additional copies.

Your Benefits Appeal Right In PA

Under Article V of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, the Department of Labor & Industry promptly examine each application for benefits and determines whether your application is accepted. The law also provides for an appeal process to allow claimants to object to an unemployment compensation determination in order to ensure that every individual is given an opportunity for a fair hearing.

There are three levels for a claimant to appeal for UI claim denial:

  • UC Service Center Determination: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the determination, you may appeal a UC Service Center determination to a Referee.
  • UC Referee Decision: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the Referee decision, you may appeal a Referee’s decision to the Board.
  • UC Board Of Review Decision: Within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board decision, you may appeal a UC Board of Review decision to a Commonwealth Court.

Stay Away From Frauds

If you fail to report payments or end up deceiving the authorities about your eligibility, then you should expect to be caught. Giving false information to the Department of Labor & Industry or withholding information to obtain UC Benefits may be charged and criminally prosecuted under various existing Pennsylvania laws like:

  • Unsworn falsification to authorities
  • Theft by deception and
  • False statements or representations to obtain or increase compensation

If you are prosecuted you may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, restitution, summons of federal tax refunds and loss of future UI benefits.

You Are Employed, What Next?

If you return to full-time work then notify the UC Service Center about it immediately. After intimating the information, you’re no longer unemployed and thus, you’re not eligible for your weekly UI Benefits.

If you intend to start a spin-off venture on your own, then you’re considered to be Self-employed, so you will no longer be eligible for UI benefits, even if your business isn’t making a profit. But, UI benefits can be still claimed if your business is a “sideline” activity matching the following criteria:

  • You are able and available for full-time work
  • You do not engage in your business the whole time
  • Your business is not the primary source of your livelihood

Keep It Working, Pennsylvania!

You now know what all goes into the filing of claims for UI Benefits in the state of PA. We invite you to actively participate in our community for making a difference and connecting with dozens of other people who are sailing in the same boat as yours. Know that it’s never too late to change and you can always enhance your knowledge base from our forum. Believe that this current situation is beatable and that you can make it as good as anybody else. Good luck and Godspeed!

We all know that the economy was largely gloomy, with a slowdown. Teens and students are bearing high tuition prices and thus, are in dire need of finding alternate sources of income. Usually, teens manage to find work in restaurant chains and the likes but are mostly unappreciated for the work they do and are also underpaid. Yet, there’s always a  silver-lining to the entire scenario.

American workers are not getting a boost to their paychecks even though the unemployment rate has steadily decreased and has nearly converted to full-time employment. Employers are able to reduce the bargaining power of prospective employees because of an ever increasing supply of educated labor. This makes it easier to fire troublemakers who demand raises, better working conditions and incentives to stay productive.

Teenage Unemployment In USA

Labor Force

The overall growth rate for the population is getting back on track. However, college graduates are finding it difficult to find a permanent position in the job market today, that is because the unemployment rate for teenagers has been the highest ever in over 20 years. From $7.25 to $10 an hour can barely make the ends meet for most of the teens, given the standards of living today. So with such a meager pay it’s like you’re working to be broke. Even underemployment rate has steadily increased over the years clearly indicating the dissent among teens. It is good to know that we have a couple of free tools to calculate benefits of unemployment and to compare unemployment benefits by state. Now, how handy is that!

Generally, the youth labor force surges sharply between April and July each year. Many teens search for or take summer jobs while graduates make an entry looking for permanent positions. Last summer, the youth labor force grew by 2.7 million. This is a positive trend, given the circumstances!

The unemployment rate has reached a 7 year low of 4.9%. But for teens of ages 16 to 19 years the unemployment rate is very high at 16%. This alone accounts for over a million youths in the country!

No wonder, more parents are seeing their adult kids moving back to the basement. And many of the parents are facing this social stigma of teens being holed up and the topic is slowly gaining wider acceptance from the larger sections of our society.

According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD), a whopping 26 million young people are not employed in the developed world. Youth unemployment is a real problem and it is poised to cost the US economy of over $18 billion. Add to that, the damage of rising crimes and deterioration of our social fabric being committed by misguided teens. It’s definitely not the right path to walk on for all of us.

Remedial Actions

Considering the US global market position since the economic collapse in 2008, US has always stood on a precarious spot, sensitive to minor changes. But we may yet be living at one of the most prosperous times – for all age groups alike. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to witness people, including private individuals and NGOs taking action into seeing the annoyance caused by Teenage Unemployment driven beneath the mud. That the actions have seen considerable success can be vouched for by its mention in the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC). In a moment of pride for the community who have strived for $ 15 pay a day, the Democratic Party announced that they have added support to the cause of $15 pay a day to their party platform. With one of the most prominent parties backing the move to make $ 15 as the minimum pay speaks volumes in terms of how far we have come in this fight. A national institution such as this can boost the presence of more NGOs in many states where the protests haven’t gathered any momentum. An NGO which closely follows the causes of Teenage Unemployment all over America is the “FightFor15”, an organization which individually can be attributed the credit of putting the cause of social evil of Teenage unemployment on the national map. With its proactiveness and regularly protests, organized all over the country, it has done marvels in bringing the unaware and ignorant to the streets, to rightfully demand what’s theirs.

Another milestone to this cause, the speech of Rev. Dr. William Barber II, also the man behind the Moral Monday Movement at the Democratic National Convention is not to be forgotten. He resounded the voice of the stifled working class through the following words, “I say to you tonight, there are some issues that are not left versus right, liberal versus conservative, they are right versus wrong…. When we fight for Fight For 15 and a union, and universal health care, and public education and immigrant rights, and LGBT rights, we are reviving the heart of our democracy.”

Many workers consent to the fact that more than 10 million are on their way into realizing the $15 pay per day. While the movement held and organized by the NGO, Fight for 15 has been successful mostly in New York, California, Seattle and Pittsburgh, while they vow to keep the fight running till all the workers in the country get their $ 15 pay.  

Conclusion

The stagnant economy needs to be churned again. Turning the tide in our favor to suit our interests can only be made possible by betting on the zeal of the youth. The teens of today must come up with innovative ways to find work. If there’s no work then do come up with ideas to create work. Start blogging, take tuitions to high school students, conduct workshops on hobbies like stargazing, develop mobile apps using open source projects like Python. Hustle, instead of cribbing about the sorry state of being unemployed.

In the other half, the big corporations and industry experts should impart world-class training and properly mold the teens to deal with the demands of the industry. Then, we can not only hope for a better tomorrow but provide a better one. Get motivated by the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and strive harder than your odds to claim glory! The world needs a center for the New American Dream and we have to live up to expectations and deliver the same!

Being unemployed is quite a challenging state of life. Which is why temporary financial assistance in the form of Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a blessing for many. However, not everyone who applies for UI gets approved for receiving the benefits. All candidates are evaluated carefully to check if they meet the eligibility criteria and rejections are not taken lightly. Thankfully, one rejection is not the end of it all. In case you can file an appeal, the same will be notified to you. This article deals with filing an appeal in the state of Wisconsin.

Claim Denial

Eligibility Criteria For Applicants

Before going into the process of appealing a rejection, we’ll brief you about the eligibility criteria so you may better understand why you were rejected. Slight variations may be seen from state to state in these rules. But in general, the requirements are-

  • Claimants should’ve lost his/her job due to no mistake of theirs
  • Applicants must be ready and available to take up full-time jobs if and when such an opportunity is presented to them
  • All claimants are expected to actively seek out new job opportunities
  • All applicants must have worked the recommended minimum hours and earned the recommended minimum wages

Alternately, you can use our online eligibility calculator tool to get a rough idea of whether you qualify or not.

Commons Reasons Why Claims Are Denied

There are some common causes stated as reasons behind denial of claims. Some of them are –

  • Failure to comply with all rules/criteria for eligibility
  • Loss of employment was due to a mistake on the part of the applicant
  • Fabricated or incorrect information was submitted in the application form
  • Insufficient wages earned or working hours during base period

What To Do If Your Application Is Denied?

In case you believe that your claims were denied unfairly and that you are indeed eligible for UI, you may appeal the State’s decision to deny your claim. Every claimant is given the chance to appeal the decision so that he/she can present his/her side of the story. Should the judge find your side fair, you’ll be considered for UI.

Here’s what you need to do if your claims are denied in the state of Wisconsin –

  • Write to the Wisconsin Department of Labor stating that you wish to appeal the decision
  • Attach a copy of letter of determination or include the 9-digit number which appears in the upper right hand corner of your letter of determination
  • Include your social security number and other details
  • Write about when you and your representatives will be available for a hearing
  • Add the name of your agent/attorney
  • Unless filed online, include the signature of your attorney

In case you have special requests like the need for an interpreter or a solicitor, you may write about that requirement too in your letter.

What Happens Next?

In case the court finds your appeal legit, you will be given the time and date for a hearing for which you are expected to show up, so that your side of the story can be presented. Once the hearing is done, you will be notified about the decision.

In most cases, appeals go well and as long as the eligibility criteria are met, there is a good chance that you will qualify for UI. So we recommend that you stay positive and calm through the entire process. At the same time, do not give up on your job hunt. We’re sure something good will come up. Consider what to do next now that you are unemployed.

Despite more jobs being available today in the U.S., unemployment still plagues some sections of the society. While the unemployment rate is officially recorded at 5%, the surveys don’t always tell the complete story.

Female unemployment

In this article, let’s discuss the issues faced by adult American women in specific. Over the years, we’ve seen that the females have stepped up to play an active part in contributing to the economy. However, studies have revealed that females face more unemployment woes than their equally qualified male counterparts. Although many reasons could be stated for this phenomenon, many women wonder whether it is the age old misogyny at play.

Why The Gender Gap In Unemployment Rates?

Women have always been known to juggle their time between family and career more than men. This often takes its toll on their professional lives. This is especially true after childbirth. While most European women find a way to have both, their American counterparts find the 12 week maternity leave too short for their liking and so choose to quit jobs. This often leads to a period of unemployment, post which, getting back to work is cumbersome for many.

This sole reason is often held responsible for America falling behind other European countries when it comes to women’s unemployment. The percentage of working women in the nineties was 74 and has since then dropped to 69.

For less educated and financially not well off women, this reason is never more true. The cost of child care just isn’t worth returning to work.

Current Rate Of Unemployment Among Women In America

As per the United States Department of Labor, the following are the percentages of unemployed women in various age groups.

Age Group Percentage
16-19 6.4%
20-24 8.6%
25-34 16.6%
35-44 15.7%
45-54 17.1%
55-64 16.1%
65 and above 19.5%

(Source – Women’s Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor)

Is It A Man’s World Afterall?

Absolutely not. According to the current employment statistics, approximately 11 million people are without jobs (i.e., full time jobs). While a greater percentage is constituted of women, it does not in anyway mean that women cannot make a return after a break.

We recommend that you look into unemployment rates of 2015 and factors like hostile work environment to find out contributing factors for female unemployment. If you are currently unemployed, we suggest that you look into applying for unemployment benefits for temporary financial assistance.

Government jobs has been a dream for millions and will continue to dominate the list of “Favorite places to Work” in years to come. It not only provides us job security and access to a plethora of benefits, but a job in a federal agency/department also extends an opportunity to serve the nation with a sense of pride.

Hundreds of State/Federal departments employ thousands of people on their rolls in all 50 states and a considerable number of them exist in representative offices of the US government in foreign countries.

You may be surprised to know that 84% of government jobs are located outside the national capital, Washington, D.C and about a quarter of  2.3 million-strong federal workforces are eligible for retirement(Source: Office of Personnel Management). This sort of figures is motivating enough for job aspirants to rev up their dream of landing an offer in a cherished agency/department.

However, unlike their private counterparts, government jobs are not easy to apply for, owing to a sophisticated framework, limited availability, and competition. If you’re passionate about serving the nation, the right strategies can help you navigate your dream. Here are some tips to help you boost your quest for jobs with federal and state agencies.

Learn More About This Gigantic Entity

There are hundreds of departments/agencies that work in tandem to fulfill various goals in running the country. As a first step towards realizing your dream, understand the structure and its components and choose a few sectors which interest you. For example, a certified lab technician can look up to the FDA(Federal Drug Administration) for suitable jobs.

Revisit Your Resume

You Resume is likely to be following the conventional format based on general principles. The look and feel of your bio will be bent towards meeting the norms of private sector/Non-profit organizations. There is a sea of difference in the ways government sectors operate. The terms, descriptions, job profiles speak the federal language.

Therefore, your first move should be to research on the format and redesigning the Resume to make it vetted for federal/state jobs. It would be much more easy for recruiters in the govt. the sector to understand your Bio if it communicates to them. Lookup for resources and guides on the internet in this regard.

Search For Government Jobs Openings on Appropriate Websites

Offline job searches and posting job applications are losing their sheen. This holds good for job openings with federal/state agencies as well. Lookup for jobs on official departmental sites under the “Careers” section or check for openings on neutral websites such as USAjobs.gov. You’ll be surprised to learn about the opportunities available for aspirants with various qualifications.

Note the job profile, understand the timelines, ascertain if you stand a chance and follow the channel to apply for the job opening. You must also follow up with the originators as per timelines for updates.

Replenish Your Network

One of the foremost catalysts that aid job search. Connect with your friends, family members, former colleagues who may have contacts in government sectors and who may be able to guide you in this regard. Folks will also help you in getting linked up with people working with the government.

Who knows? Your next job referral to an opening in a government agency may come through a member in the network.

If you’re aspiring to find government jobs and not employed at present, you can claim unemployment insurance in your state. This insurance program jointly administered by federal – state agencies, provides weekly monetary compensation for citizens who lost their job due to involuntary reasons.

https://fileunemployment.org