Do you like planning for future? Have you planned your finances well? How easily can you make it through difficult times? We are living in a time where money is a necessity and a continuous in-flow of the same is required. In the case of any diversion from the routine path, there can be a tension that can induce stress and worry.

Unemployment Crisis
Taking a streamlined approach helps

Why should we plan for future?

Managing for difficult times is mandatory as it is never pre-decided. While growing up, we are always taught to prepare for future so that if there is an emergency, one is not caught in a situation. Midlife unemployment is one similar situation that’s critical and can affect your family life. Keeping a check on contract details may avoid this situation but it is important to ensure that your finances are well-planned and do not create a havoc in case of an emergency.

How to manage midlife unemployment crisis?

  1. Plan your finances: Lack of money can create a lot of stress resulting in depression and several other worries. Thus, it is crucial to plan finances so that there is no stress if an unplanned situation surfaces. Further, even if there is a situation, ample supply of money can keep stress at bay and help you prepare for upcoming opportunities.
  2. Be patient: Stress can induce irritability and make you feel unwanted. But losing patience cannot solve a problem and only make things worse. Therefore, it is important to not lose focus or pressurize yourself to perform. Giving you the time & space to rebound and look for goals is essential. Midlife unemployment often creates a messy situation but with your pragmatic approach, you can reach a solution.
  3. Do not lose hope: Giving up on a situation is the easiest thing to do. But being thoughtful and persistent is a winner’s way of doing things. If faced with such a situation, you too should believe in yourself and muster the courage and will to realize your dreams. One often feels negative and hopeless in such situations, but with constant effort, you can motivate yourself to create a better future for you and your family.
  4. Follow a passion: Each one of us has a hobby that we never get bored of, and pursuing the same in times of crisis will help you feel positive and stay motivated. This will also help you create some good moments that you can cherish in hard times and make it through easily. Research shows that people who don’t give up on their hobbies are happier and tend to live long.
  5. Talk to your family: There is only one family. And there is no other person who can back you like them. So, staying close and connected to your family is important as sharing your situation with them can lend you emotional support and hence, relief. You may even borrow some money from them if needed. They are non-judgmental and will help you focus on the right things without criticizing you. Thus, talk to your family and tell them how you feel because there is no one like them.
  6. Stay Vigilant: Most of the companies provide their employees with unemployment benefits and being knowledgeable of the same, can save you from a lot of trouble. There are companies that can assist you with evaluating your eligibility and the amount for insurance benefits. It is safe and risk-free. Filing unemployment is necessary as it not only entails you to your rights but also keeps you aware of any opportunity possible for you.
  7. Hone your skills: In case of unemployment due to poor managerial or technical skills, you can try & learn the same during your free time. This will boost your confidence and help you perform better in future without being conscious. Having good interpersonal skills helps us communicate better and also prevents us from any confusion in difficult times. Thus, it is important to be open to learning more and connect with people, in order to grow in life.
  8. Keep trying: The most important fact is that life is all about trying and trying hard. So, don’t give up on you and strive to learn more each day and silent the critic with your achievements. Unemployment is just a phase but it gives you sufficient time to process what went against you and work on same. Stay motivated and fit to keep trying for bigger goals, while improving your skills each day. And in no time, you will succeed.

Importance of Staying Positive

Everyone goes through hard times but it is how we come out of it that matters the most. So, stop crying and start living. This time is not meant to put you down but help you discover yourself and realize your potential. There is nothing that cannot be achieved once you are determined and have the willpower to achieve your goals. Midlife unemployment is just a phase that introduces you to the better half of your life. And with assistance from professionals, it is a cakewalk!


A common question that haunts unemployed individuals, especially the retired ones is whether or not they can claim Unemployment Compensation along with Social Security Retirement benefits. As you may know, this program offers people with a weekly benefit amount to provide financial assistance while they don’t have a major or stable source of income.

All applicants for UI are required to satisfy certain criteria, out of which one is that the claimant should have zero or negligible income. This is the reason why most people wonder whether receiving social security retirement benefits will raise your income to the earnings ceiling as stated by the rules of UI.

Can UC be collected along with social security retirement benefits and vice versa?

Unemployment Benefits And Social Security

The answer is – Yes, in most cases. There are two reasons behind this. If your question is whether social security benefits will be hindered by receiving UC, then you can be rest assured. Receiving UC will never affect your social security retirement benefits because social security does not consider UC as earnings. This means that won’t be pushed closer to the ceiling placed as cut off for people between ages 62 – 66.

If your worry is about UC being affected because you receive social security retirement benefits, then here’s what you need to know. Typically, most states in the US will not reduce UI benefits because you are claiming social security retirement benefits. However, as UI is given out by the state government, it varies from state to state. Following are the list of states that take social security benefits into consideration and reduce the benefit amount while providing UC –

  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota

Will Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota and South Dakota change UC rules in the near future?

Yes, there is hope. Even now in Minnesota, the rules don’t apply always. Which means that the state does not reduce UI benefit amounts in all cases where a claimant is receiving social security retirement benefits. Since the last few years, American Association of Retired Persons (A.A.R.P) and National Employment Law Project (N.E.L.P) have been working together to persuade the states to remove laws that limit UC benefits for individuals receiving social security.

Whom should I approach if I have any questions?

Irrespective of which state you are from, if you have any queries regarding anything with unemployment compensation, your state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency is where you need to go. Authorities present there will guide you through the process of filing for UI and will gladly clear your questions. You can also interact with them by phone on the dedicated customer service or you can connect with them online.

Keep in mind that not declaring your income sources while filing for UI or not reporting any income you receive during subsequent weeks during which you receive benefits, may result in severe consequences.

Things to keep in mind

Unemployment insurance is a social welfare program conducted jointly by the state and federal governments. The idea to provide temporary financial assistance to those who really need it. While there is no conflict in collecting both UC and Social Security, it is vital that you continue to fulfill the eligibility criteria laid down by the UC rules. And one of those rules is that you actively seek new job opportunities. If you are indisposed to work further, you may not be able to claim UI. Speak with your agency. They will guide and advise you on all matters related to UC.

The bottom line

As long as both agencies are notified about the income received from each other, there is no conflict in collecting UI and social security together. It is a sad truth that during difficult economic times, often millions of senior citizens are left unemployed and often social security benefits are not sufficient to cover the basic needs.

Remember, you can collect UC only if you satisfy all the rules, including base period wages. You can read more about UC eligibility criteria to know more. Alternately, you can also make use of the eligibility checker tool, to get an idea of whether or not you will qualify for UC. The UC filing process is quite easy and can be done online.

People who fall into this category often feel that they are too young to be retired and sitting at home yet too old to be hired. While this is not always true, tedious working hours may no longer agree with you. Hence, it’s an ideal time to start a small business of your own, something that gives you joy. You could also use this time to connect with loved ones who were ignored by you in your better (read hectic) days. Stay positive and confident. You can also visit our discussion forum for some healthy interaction with folks from your region.

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 about what to do next now that you are unemployed.

Unemployment is a one of the most challenging phases of life. It not only affects day to day routine and takes a toll on your financial well being, but also affects mental health to a great extent. If you’re the breadwinner and have a family, you will know the pain joblessness causes. Thankfully in the US, we have a well laid out Unemployment Insurance program that provides up to 26 weeks of unemployment compensation to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. This system is jointly administered by the Federal – State set up with funding that is drawn from various sources and includes contribution by the employer on behalf of the employee.

Unemployment Compensation in the US

To facilitate and administer a well maintained compensation system for unemployed citizens, the Federal Unemployment Tax Act(FUTA) has authorized the IRS(Internal Revenue Service) to collect annual taxes from the employer which is later pooled and routed to State Unemployment Agencies for the purpose of funding exclusive UI programs run by each state. Each of the 50 states along with District of Columbia, Puerto Rico & U.S Virgin Islands run their own unemployment insurance programs with dedicated authorities in accordance with the prescribed rules by the United States Department of Labor.

Up to 6 months of regular Unemployment Benefits are paid out to the salaried class who’re out of work due to involuntary reasons such as Layoffs. However not all jobless claimants qualify for the dole. Workers such as Contracted & Seasonal along with Church employees are not generally eligible due to some obvious reasons. The most important reason being, non-payment of unemployment taxes into the system which naturally makes workers in this industry, ineligible. As a leading forum for unemployed workers in the country, we get a good number of questions from jobless church workers who are curious to know if they qualify for the weekly monetary compensation from the government.

A straightforward answer to those laid off from employment in churches is that you do not qualify to receive unemployment compensation simply because churches do not remit taxes that contribute to the corpus. However, there are exceptions. The alternatives have been explained in the next section.

Unemployment Benefits for Church Workers

The root cause of church employees not being outrightly eligible for Unemployment Compensation is simply because churches and religious organizations are exempt from paying unemployment taxes that go as funds into the system as per specific clauses under Unemployment Insurance Act of 1935. Since Unemployment Laws are a state subject, nearly all states exempt churches from paying taxes on behalf of their employees that contribute towards relevant funds. This is the primary reason why church employees cease to qualify. However, if a church decides to have a policy in this regard where they pay unemployment taxes voluntarily, the employee can receive unemployment benefits after separation from the job.

Church Employees Do Not Qualify For Unemployment Insurance
Church Employees Do Not Qualify For Unemployment Insurance

Around 13 diocese in the country voluntarily participate in unemployment programs administered by states by paying taxes through means of specific agreements with state labor authorities. For example, The Richmond, Va., diocese voluntarily pays taxes in the state of Virginia to ensure temporary financial assistance for former employees.

To overcome unavailability of unemployment benefits to church workers, some of them offer a severance package as a part of their Human Resource policy. Such an arrangement helps retrenched employees to manage loss of job for a certain period. A select few purchase employment insurance package through a private insurance to provide compensation.

If you’re someone who works with the church and is being laid off or an acquaintance is facing this situation, be prepared since you will not qualify for state provided unemployment compensation. As a diligent worker, check with the church management or HR representative if there are alternative options that work in your favor. Otherwise, save up for the rainy day and work hard towards finding a job.

It’s quite natural for a former church employee to scout for jobs in the government sector. Recruitment with government agencies is slightly different from that of private and corporate world. The competition is stronger since government jobs are most preferred by job aspirants. There are thousands of job openings in various government agencies, both onshore and offshore in other countries. Your approach towards job search in government sector should be different.

Being jobless is a phase of life that is not so welcoming since it primarily cuts off the monetary supply. It can also have a bearing on personal relationships and physical & mental well being. But then, it all boils down to our perception and reaction to this situation which would have occurred in almost everyone one’s life, at least once during the lifetime.

Unemployment is usually uncalled for break in career that can actually be a game changer to break away from the mundane and discover new avenues, both in terms of career interests and monetary resources. In this fast paced world, dynamics are changing at the speed of light. We’ve collated a list of key facets of this phase which is sure to help you in changing things around in your world.

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Reconsider Dreams/Aspirations

This is the right time to nurture thoughts that have been lingering on your mind for some time now. You probably aspired to be an entrepreneur, dreamt of being an artist or fantasize of being a successful businessman. Whatever the thought was, this is the right time to fuel it, since you’ve ample time to think and plan.

Stare at Career Change

Worked years doing the same job? handling the same transactions? If you’re literally bored of your present career and lack enthusiasm to seek opportunities in the same field, its time to look out for a change in career. List down things that interests you, match your skills and apply for jobs that excites you.

In the last few years, employers are welcoming candidates from other industries with a motive to increase their talent bandwidth.

Relocation for Better Prospects

If you are not contented with the opportunities available in your location-area, do consider relocating to a hub that houses a job that you desired. You can also consider a profile outside the state or country if it offers what you’ve been looking for. There are millions who relocate every year and chase their dream of having what they want.

Of course, this option requires a lot of pondering as it may involve movement of your family. Look up for resources online for guidance in this regard.

Change in Position

Perhaps, you like your job role but not happy with the position and would like to further climb up the ladder or seek a lateral movement within the available premise. Search for jobs using keywords that you match your requirement. Register for job services with various government aided and private web portals to widen your search bandwidth.

Consider Family Needs

As we grow older, the need to consider changing family dynamics also plays a role in your quest for jobs. Let’s say you have a new born daughter who needs intense care and your night shift job profile may not be the apt one at this time. Alter your job searches based on family preferences. After all, who do we earn for?

If it calls for a change in job profile/moving to another industry, you must consider it seriously.

In addition to the list above, there will be many tiny hidden facets specific to you. A deep introspection is the key to bringing them out of the closet. Make sure your next job/work meets your aspirations more than anything else.

Unemployment is a temporary phase of life where a person does not have a job or lacks opportunities to earn from employment owing to multiple reasons such as layoffs. Unemployment is one of the yardsticks to measure the economic stability of a country. Governments and agencies across the World infuse the system with multiple programs and schemes to improve the unemployment situation in their geography.

In order to address this issue, unemployment has been broken down into many categories(based on multiple factors)  for research work. One of the most widely accepted division of unemployment is based on the its economic impact. Let us explore the different types of unemployment based on economic principles.

Types of Unemployment

Frictional Unemployment

This type of unemployment occurs as workers(who left existing job voluntarily) take some time to move to another job. Some workers resign after finding a job while a large swathe of workers quit and look for jobs. There will be a time lag in finding a new job that matches their skill/experience. Some of them might even be contemplating on taking up a course/college degree to better their chances of getting a better job profile.

From an economic point of view, Frictional unemployment is not really a concern as it happens in smaller numbers and extends for a short period. Rapid advancement in technology and govt. policies over the last two decades have taken away the negative limelight from this category of unemployment. Fresh college graduates looking for employment also fall in this category.

Structural Unemployment

This can occur due to multiple correlated reasons such as less demand for skills/education in the job marketplace. More workers in the market with certain skillset than the jobs in demand or when wages do not match the market standard also fall in this category. Technological advancement and finding cheaper employment from other geographies are some of the reasons that lead to structural employment.

Seasonal employment also falls under this category since the skills a worker possesses are in demand only for a definite period. These workers remain unemployed for a definite part of the year owing to nature of job. Example: Lifeguard at a beach holiday resort. Structural employment is quite a serious concern since it can be active for a long period of time.

Cyclical Unemployment

Massive Job losses during down phases of economy is very common and during stable upward economic growth, millions of jobs are created owing to optimism in sentiments. Cyclical unemployment is the term used to described the ups and downs associated with business cycles in an economy. It is quite a natural occurrence for jobs to fall during recession due to fall in demands and similarly, they are expected to rise during stable economic growth.

Economic stability has a direct say in Cyclical employment which can be the cause for creation or destruction of  millions of employment opportunities.

Voluntary and Involuntary Employment

As the names suggest, this basic classification of employment is in terms of the “reason” for separation from the job. If a worker quit voluntarily to pursue better opportunities/aspirations, it is termed as Voluntary unemployment. On the other hand, if a worker was laid off by the employer, it is known as Involuntary unemployment.

Unemployment Insurance for Jobless Workers

In US and major countries across the World, workers who are unemployed due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs are eligible to receive a weekly monetary compensation disbursed by labor department of the respective states which is computed on the basis of last drawn salary. In all the 50 states plus D.C, you can receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.

The overall employment situation in the country continued to improve supported by upward trend in key indicators with an unemployment rate of 5.5%. The jobless rate significantly came down(over the year) in February 2015. In the same month last year, the national average was 6.7%.

The unemployment rate was down by 0.2 percentage points from January which seems to be freely falling owing to massive job creations since the end of last year. Forty six states witnessed a decrease in over the year jobless rates.

Split – State wise(Non farm Payroll Employment & Unemployment)

In total, 26 states in the country saw decrease in unemployment rates from January, 18 states saw no change and 6 states with District of Columbia had increases in February.


Top 3 States with biggest job gains(Over the month)

1) California (+29,400)

2) Georgia (+25,400)

3) New York (+20,200)

Top 3 States which sizeable job decreases(Over the month)

1) Connecticut (-3,700)

2)  Rhode Island (-2,700)

3)  West Virginia (-2,400)

Top 3 States with highest percentage increase(Over the month)

1) Kansas (+0.7 percent)

2) South Dakota (+0.7 percent)

3) Utah (+0.7 percent)

Top 3 States with highest percentage decrease(Over the month)

1)  Rhode Island (-0.6 percent)

2)  Alaska (-0.3 percent)

3)  West Virginia (-0.3 percent)

Over the year, all 50 states with District of Columbia performed well with with significant job additions. Utah(+4.2 percent) is the top performer by achieving the highest over the year employment followed by North Dakota (+4.0 percent) and Georgia (+3.8 percent).


  • During Feb 2015, Nebraska(2.7 percent) overthrew North Dakota as the numero uno with lowest unemployment rate in the country. North Dakota (2.9 percent) came second.
  • At 7.1%, Nevada had the highest numbers of unemployed persons amongst all the states. Overall, District of Columbia was the highest at  7.8%. To sum it up, 13 states in the nation with D.C had jobless rates higher than the national average of 5.5%, rates in 19 states were significantly lower and 18 states hovered around the national average.
  • The largest over the month decline in jobless rates occurred in Oregon (-0.5 percentage point). North Dakota recorded significant over the month increase at 0.1 percentage point. All other states remained stable when compared to respective rates in Jan 2015.
  • Over the year, 42 states saw significant declines in unemployment rates from the same month in 2014 of which Kentucky and Rhode Island (-2.1 percentage points each) registred the best declines. Louisiana (+1.3 percentage points) recorded the highest increase.

Break Up – Region wise(Non farm Payroll)

In February, Midwest continued to lead by example with lowest unemployment rate of 5.1%. The Western region tanked low at 6.1%. Over the year, rates declined in all the four geographical regions. Region Wise unemployment rates for February 2015 are provided below.

  • Midwest – 5.1%
  • Northeast – 5.6%
  • West – 6.1%
  • South – 5.4%

Split By Geographic Division

During this month, West North Central(4.2%) had the lowest unemployment rates among all the nine geographic divisions & the Pacific stood bottom at 6.5%. All the divisions witnessed fall in over the year unemployment rates and the largest decrease occurred in East North Central (-1.6%).

The first calendar quarter of the year 2015 has been phenomenal for unemployment situation in the country. Lowering unemployment rates has strengthened the economy. As a part of our monthly coverage of unemployment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), U.S department of Labor, let us uncover the regional & state wise unemployment numbers.

The B.L.S released “Regional  and State Employment and Unemployment – January 2015”, its monthly compilation of countrywide statistics in this regard. has untangled the fact sheet and presents to you, data that matters the most.

The national unemployment rate at the end of January 2015 was 5.7%, which was down by 0.9% compared to the same month in 2014. The current rate though, was the same as December 2014.

Break Up – State wise(Non farm Payroll Employment & Unemployment)

Overall, 24 states saw jobless rates decrease from December 2014, only 8 states saw a spike and 18 states with District Of Columbia saw no change the unemployment rates.

Top 3 States which added most number of jobs

1) California(+67,300)

2) Ohio(+25,100)

3) Michigan(+24,200)

Top 3 States which lost most number of jobs

1) Virginia(-10,900)

2) Minnesota(-7,900)

3) Louisiana(-7,500)

Overall, employment(non farm payroll) increased in 39 states, was down in 10 states & D.C. North Carolina did not see any fluctuation in its employment numbers.

Top 3 States with highest percentage increase(Over the month)

1) Idaho (+1.4 percent)

2) Hawaii (+0.9 percent)

3) Utah (+0.7 percent)

Top 3 States with highest percentage decrease(Over the month)

1)  Maine (-0.6 percent),

2)  Louisiana(-0.4 percent)

3)  New Hampshire (-0.4 percent)

Over the year data saw non farm employment increase in 49 states & D.C. Only Maine witnessed a negligible decline at -0.1%.

Browsing the unemployment numbers, North Dakota continued to dominate the chart with lowest unemployment rate in the country at 2.8%. Nevada and Mississippi were at the bottom with a jobless rate of 7.1% each. The District of Columbia also performed poorly at 7.7%. Oregon saw the largest decrease(over the month rate) at -0.4% followed by Idaho, Maine and Rhode Island at -0.3% each.

To sum it up, 43 states in the country lowered their over the year unemployment rates in January 2015. The largest slumps occurred in Illinois and Rhode Island (-2.1 % each).

Break Up – Region wise(Non farm Payroll)

Among the regions, Midwest stood on top with lowest regional unemployment rate of 5.2%. On the other hand, West had the highest rate at  6.3%. All the four regions saw over the year declines in unemployment rates.

  • Midwest (-1.4%)
  • Northeast (-1.1%)
  • West (-1.0%)
  • South (-0.9%)

Split By Geographic Divisions

At 4.2%, West North Central had the lowest unemployment rate among all the geographical divisions. The Pacific had the highest jobless rate at 6.7%. All the 9 divisions saw declines in unemployment rates compared to January 2014. The largest decrease occurred in East North Central (-1.6 %).

The month of January has been promising for the labor class in the country. You must be aware of the unemployment insurance program jointly administered by the state and federal authorities. Under this scheme, unemployed citizens are eligible for weekly monetary benefits. If you’re currently unemployed, we urge you to apply for unemployment compensation. Estimate your monetary benefits before applying  and know how much you can be eligible for.

If you landed here, you might be someone who is considering about quitting your job because the environment at work no longer feels secure or peaceful or you could be someone who already quit the job voluntarily because you could not take it anymore. Since UI benefits are usually offered to people who lose their jobs due to no fault of their own, it is only natural that you might be wondering if you are eligible or not. Here’s some happy news, unemployment benefits, in most cases, are offered to people who quit because of hostile work atmosphere!

Hostile work environment
Looks Familiar? Unpleasant Workplace


Your eligibility will depend upon the nature and extent of hostility of your work environment. In general, following cases are said to accepted as circumstances for constructively discharging you.

  • Criminal activity that you tried to bring to the attention of your employer
  • Health or safety issues that you tried to bring to the notice of your employer
  • Hostile environment due to illegal harassment or discrimination, such as due to your race, religion, age (40+) or a disability
  • Hostility in the form of retaliation for bringing criminal behavior, health/ safety issues or discrimination to the attention of your employer or relevant government organizations

That said, there are some other things that we need to understand. An unpleasant place of work or a difficult boss who treats you and your colleagues badly or some similar issue may not be considered as hostile environment. What we have to understand is that there is no legal rule which says that the employer must keep the employee happy. So the employer has no obligation to ensure that employees get along. Likewise, the employee can neither have the legal expectation nor right of a pleasant workplace.

Minor disagreements with superiors or co-workers, differences in opinion hardly count as hostile work environment. We are not say that you should not leave the job, you may if the atmosphere is difficult for you, but, you may not receive any benefits in a situation like this. Approach an unemployment attorney to know for sure whether you are eligible or not.

Determining the Eligibility

Once you file for UI benefits, the unemployment department will conduct a probe into the circumstances that lead to your job separation. The officials then compare your statement regarding the work environment and what they found out during the probe to determine the genuineness of the case.

What can I do to prove my side and fight hostile environment at work?

Proving that your work atmosphere was indeed hostile is not a very easy task. Especially if you are the only one who was picked on. But there are certain things that you can do to aid your claim.

1. Document everything: Keep a journal, carry an audio recorder, create backups of online content or hate mails. In short, whatever you can document and save, do it. While documenting, make sure that you record the date and time as well.

2. Talk to someone: If there is anyone you can trust at work, tell them about the problem. It could be your boss, your co-worker, someone at human resources or even the janitor. Tell someone about it. During the probe by the UI dept., if they learn that nobody knows about the fact that you were harassed, it may render you ineligible for UI benefits.

3. Keep track of your complaints: Use e-mails or any other form of recordable method while submitting your complaints. This can later prove to be useful.

4. Don’t quit your job right away: Unless you are in imminent danger, don’t quit immediately. If you really need UI benefits, try to avoid quitting immediately after the hostility begins. Stay back until you have sufficient evidence to prove to the UI authorities.

The final word

The most important thing is to ensure your safety, especially if the hostility is physical in nature. Keep your friends and family informed, have someone ready to raise an alarm if needed. If you cannot continue anymore, take some time off from work and collect your thoughts.

We understand that a hostile work environment is one of the most difficult situations a person can face. Try to remain calm and composed. Apply for another job, spend quality time with your friends and family and follow the steps we discussed here. We sincerely hope that everything will get better for you and we shall always be here to help you. Use our discussion forums to clear your doubts and concerns.

If you found this useful, share it with others who might be facing difficulties at work too. Together, let’s help the victims of workplace bullying and harassment. Good Luck!!

If you have questions, please post it on our discussion forum.

Employees working with various federal agencies/departments constitute a significant number of workforces in the US. We must understand that federal employees are susceptible to being unemployed like any other person. There may be massive layoffs across government organisations/agencies as well.

In such situations, a civilian federal employee who is separated from his job will be eligible to apply and receive unemployment compensation on nearly the same terms as a person who was employed with a private company. The Unemployment compensation for federal employees (U.C.F.E) is a program administered by the states which act as agents of the federal government. The law of the state in which you last served as a federal employee determines the eligibility for UI benefits.

american flag
Federal Employment


The law of the State (under which the claim is filed) determines benefit amounts, number of week’s benefits that can be paid, and other eligibility conditions. All other terms and conditions more or less remain the same as applicable for a non-federal employee.

Unemployment compensation is taxable. If you receive unemployment compensation, you will be sent Form 1099-G from the state where you filed your claim showing the amount you were paid and any federal income tax you elected to have withheld.

Furloughed federal employees are also eligible to apply. Use the benefits calculator to determine how much you may receive.

How to Apply?

You can apply like anyone else. States may take claims over the Internet, telephone, or in-person. Follow instructions provided on the state’s Web site. We strongly recommend that you read our benefits by state section before applying. This will help you apply confidently without any aggravations.

You are also required to know your department or agency’s correct name and payroll address, and, if available, the agency’s Federal Identification Code. Documents that have this information and will help you to correctly file your UCFE claim include:

  •         Standard Form 8 (SF-8)
  •         Standard Form 50 (SF-50)
  •         Earnings and Leave Statement
  •         W-2 Form

Post Application – Weekly Claims

Once your UCFE initial claim has been filed, you will have to file eligibility certifications weekly or bi-weekly depending on the state laws. The certifications can be over telephone or on the department’s website. If you’re a furloughed worker, you are not required to report work searches as it’s just a temporary layoff. Workers whose claim is approved generally receive their first benefit payment within 14-21 days from the date that the claim is filed.

By following the protocol prescribed by the state laws, your UI benefit claims can be a smooth one.