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Schooling and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Updated : February 18th, 2021

You may be one of hundreds of unemployed class across the country contemplating and exploring the opportunity to gain additional skills or get into a new domain that interests you. This calls for attending training or going to school full time/part time.

Whether you’re recently dealing with unemployment or job loss, or you’ve been sending out resumes for a while, heading back to school can be a great way to update your skills and discover a new horizon. However, this move may have negative repercussions in terms of losing your UI benefits. We must underline the fact that “Unemployment insurance is for people who are looking, and available, for work.”


schooling unemployment benefits
Adult Students Taking Test for Enrollment

Don’t be disheartened reading the above. It does not necessarily mean that your UI benefits will be cut off if you start attending school/take a new course to enhance your skill sets. Labor departments are not that stringent after all. There are exceptions to this rule. As long as this new course that you’re planning to join does not hamper your ability to apply for jobs or accept a suitable one, the UI benefits should continue to flow.

Also, Workforce development programs endorsed by your state’s unemployment system are an exception. These short-term training courses focus on concrete job skills or retraining you for a new career. Even better, the government pays for all or part of the training program. Contact your unemployment office or federal “Career One Stop” for more information on available programs.

If you’ve been unemployed recently and looking forward to applying for unemployment insurance, read our benefits guide before filing.

How do you progress?

If you’ve zeroed in on a course or a training program and are receiving weekly UI payments from your state, you must immediately get in touch with the authorities at the labor department and notify them about your intent. They will review the background,the credentials and advise you further on continuation of UI payments. Remember, you must let them know at the earliest. Any delay may lead to denial/delay in disbursing benefits. If you fail to inform them about your schooling, you may end up losing benefits/subjected to penalties.

In cases where labor department does not approve your training, you may still be able to collect benefits while in training. It will depend on whether you can look for and accept work.

Most of the labor departments have in house courses/training sponsored programs that you can look forward to. These are mostly part time, which allows you to derive UI payments without any hassles or approval. These courses are reviewed, approved and tailor made for specific outcomes.

You can find more information on the official website of the department of labor in your state. If you have any specific questions to ask us, feel free to use the flashing link below this article to reach us on the community.


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  1. If I’m laid off and I go back to work for three or four weeks and get laid off again do I have to do the one week waiting period before I can collect again?

  2. I was informed by the automated phone system that my claim for last week 06/12/2021 was not processed due to an outstanding issue on said claim. I have tried for four days to reach a human to assist me in this matter. It’s been impossible! Please help.

    1. Anne,

      Wish we could do something for you. This is a private forum. Please continue following up regularly. You can perhaps write them an email.

  3. I am trying to request payments from aug 2015 up until 2017 I never received a debit card and just assumed that I was denied. So i did not request payment but would like to now

    1. Katrina,

      That period is past and you might not be able to claim retroactively. Please write the office an email if you wish to.

  4. Ive provided documents that were needed and i have not receive any type of response i have went without benefits for 6 weeks could someone please contact me

    1. Sondra,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please follow up with the office directly.

  5. To whom it may concern, Please what is wrong with the site to claim weeks? I am at the Career Source and they said it has been acting up for 2 days. I am frustrated so I can imagine how many others are like me. I was laid off 4/16/2021. My UI is showing active but still under review. Is there anything you need from me to get this going? I will give it to you. Please July rent coming up. I am tapped from asking from family to get me thru now. Please please please any answers for me? I am begging right now. I can not be late on rent or they will not renew my lease when it is time. I can not move, to costly. I have been here for 20 years. Please any suggestions. I will pay back July rent if my UI goes thru. No reason why it shouldn’t. Please help. Thanks again, Kay

    1. Kay,

      It must be a tough time for you. This is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please chase the Office directly.

  6. I just filed for my first weeks benefit and am trying to change the payment method. It does not give me the verify who you are questions?

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