FileUnemployment

Top 5 Eligibility Myths for Unemployment Benefits – Debunked

Author : William

Updated : August 1st, 2019

Unemployment insurance in the US provides temporary unemployment compensation to jobless citizens who are out of work, owing to layoffs. The weekly monetary benefit may not really compensate the job loss, but helps in managing basic household expenses while the claimant is looking for job opportunities. You can be eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits which is a chunk of your previously earned income.

There are many myths associated with claiming unemployment benefits. Let’s unmask the most common myths surrounding eligibility and tell you why they are not.

unemployment myth

1) Seasonal & Contract Workers Are Not Eligible

Seasonal workers are those who are employed during a particular season and remain jobless in the offseason. Generally, no remuneration is provided to such workers during the offseason. Therefore, it becomes difficult for seasonal workers to manage finances during this time.

There is a sense of chaos amongst seasonal workers and the submission is, seasonal workers, do not qualify due to their obvious nature of the job. In reality, some states do provide unemployment compensation during an off period. If your employer declares himself as a seasonal employer and pays unemployment taxes into the system, you can be eligible to claim the dole (unemployment benefits).

Workers contracted for a specific period or from a third party agency are mostly eligible. Your employer is obligated to pay unemployment taxes to the state. Independent contractors are largely not eligible to claim unemployment as their monetary benefits from the company are limited.  Contact your employer to get further details surrounding this.

2) Social Security Beneficiaries Cannot Apply For Unemployment

Probably, the most commonly misunderstood aspect of applying for unemployment. Typically, almost all the states in the country do not consider social security benefits and therefore you will still qualify for UI if you lost the job due to no fault of yours. You must be willing to work further and actively look for jobs. If you’re in such a situation, please check with your state before filing as a few of them do consider social security.

3) Part-Time Workers Do Not Qualify

They do. Unless you’ve voluntarily chosen to be a part-time worker. There are millions of workers whose working hours are reduced intermittently, directly impacting the wages earned. There are cases where an employee is laid off on temp basis due to lack of work for an indefinite period without compensation. In both cases, you can claim monetary compensation for the minimum prescribed hours not worked in a week. Workers on full-time rolls, currently working part-time due to deliberation from the employer, can claim weekly unemployment until the time they are working fewer hours.

Remember, if you’re a designated part-time worker, you may not be qualified to receive UI benefits.

4) I Was Fired. I Do Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?

A worker whose employment is terminated due to grave issues such as performance, misconduct and other deliberate reasons do not qualify. This condition is one of the basic foundations of eligibility criteria.

There are many exceptions to this condition. Let’s say you wrongfully fired due to a grudge of the management or you quit, unable to bear the harassment from your supervisor. In both these cases, you can apply and claims benefits, provided you’re able to prove otherwise in case of a dispute.

If you feel, unemployment was wrongly denied, you always have an option to appeal by means of the adjudication process, which calls for a review.

5) If I Go to School, I Will Not Be Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

Well, not in all cases. Let’s say you lost the job and decide to go to school full time to study further or acquire a degree. Primarily, you will not be eligible as you’re unable to work during this time. However, there are exclusions. The labor dept in your state can extend compensation for a certain category of courses, like the ones that are vocational and skill-based. If it was recognized or sponsored by the DOL, you can get unemployment compensation.

Read more on how schooling affects unemployment benefits.

fileunemployment.org is a leading unemployment compensation advisory site which provides merited resources that not only educates you but also equips you with confidence to apply for and manage unemployment compensation claims.

There are many such myths that have no merit. You must not panic or conclude. Always get an expert opinion or check with the labor authorities in your state.

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  1. I am in a unique situation. I would like to know if even though I work for a church that does not pay into unemployment, I have only been here a year and my job previous did pay into unemployment. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits if I were laid off? This is in the state of Nevada. If so, how long do I have before that is NOT the case? In other words, I know that benefits usually go back 18 months. Would it be the same in this case?

    1. Leslee,

      As much as I am aware, church employees do not qualify to receive UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  2. The unemployment office in Nevada doesn’t answer the phone. They have a recording that says they only take new claims on Monday, and Tuesday, from 8am to 4pm. But if you call at 8am, they tell you that the “Que is already full for the day.” How can that be possible if they don’t start accepting calls until 8am? No wonder unemployment in the United States is DOWN! They don’t accept phone calls after they tell you online that you “have to call to confirm your information” and then they don’t take the calls.

  3. I have called as soon as they open and they just say please call on the next business day I DID and you still didn’t answer

  4. Could you please provide a reference for the following statement in your article – please see below. Thanks.
    “You may also be qualified for unemployment benefits if:
    …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”.

  5. If I exhausted all my benefits last year 2019 and my new benefit year starts back up in Jan. 2020 can I reapply? I still should have money in other quarters from my previous job.

    1. Yvette,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. Can i receive unemployment if my car broke down and i couldnt work cause i work outta my car and i couldnt afford to get it fixed so i ended up not working there anymore cause the car situation

    1. Willie,

      I can understand your situation. However, I am not sure if you can claim for voluntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. Hello,

        I have been unemployed since this past July. My regular unemployment benefits are running out. Can I apply for Emergency Unemployment Benefits after this claim expires? What can I do?

        Thank you,D. ANDERSON

  7. I filed my first bi-weekly claim today but it only took my first week. Are there only certain weeks I can file 2 weeks worth of unemployment?

    1. How strict are they on the school program being less than 2 years for CTB training extension? I have an interview next week for a Training Extension. I started school this week, I am set to finish just a few months over the 2 year mark. Finishing in May 2022.

  8. What if it’s an employer that is threatening over it being personal home life and nothing to do with work or the work place??

    1. Kelly,

      You can be eligible to claim if you resign due to hostile working conditions. Please make sure to check with the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

        1. Paula,

          A copy should be available on the department’s website. You will be able to download after logging in.

  9. I finally start new job on Monday. My work hours are 6;30-6:30pm.
    How can I file my last two weeks if I’m working

    Can I. Call Tuesday? What number?

      1. Hello, I live in the state of Pennsylvania, for reference. I was told on 1/9/2020 I am being let go because of financial issues my employer and office is having. With that, my employer said I can work for the next two weeks to give me time to find another job and if circumstances change they will call me back to work. My question is, Where do I go to figure out my quarter dollar amount earnings for my highest 4 out of 5 quarters. I’ve been with this employer for 7 months, started June 2019. Before that I was unemployed for 5 months and before that I was employed for years up until Feb 2019.

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