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When Can You Reopen An Unemployment Claim?

Updated : June 24th, 2020

Laid off

The unemployed in the United States can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. But when they return to their work or earn an equal or more than benefit amount, they should stop claiming benefits. However, under unfortunate circumstances, if they lose their job again, they can reopen an unemployment claim and collect weekly benefits. 

In this article, we will walk through the process involved in reopening the claim. But before that, let’s have a look at situations under which you can reopen a claim. 

When Can You Reopen An Unemployment Claim?

You can reopen an unemployment claim under any one of the following circumstances.

1. Laid Off

If you are laid off or furloughed again after returning to work, you can reopen an existing unemployment benefits claim. Before trying to reopen the claim, contact your state’s unemployment office to determine you are eligible to reopen the existing claim or are required to file a new one. 

If you have not worked for the entire week for which you are filing a claim, you can reopen your claim without a waiting period, provided your state has that provision. However, if your state does not have this option, you would have to wait for one full week without a job before collecting benefits.

2. Fired From Work  

You can reopen your claim if your fired from work or forced to quit. But if you are terminated for misconduct, you won’t qualify for unemployment benefits. When you are fired, first, contact your state’s unemployment office and determine if you can reopen your previous unemployment claim or file a new one.

Note that your state may allow you to reopen the claim based on several aspects of your case. Also, similar to being laid off, if you have not worked for a full week for which you are claiming, you will have to wait for one entire week to collect benefits.

3. Reduced Work Hours

When you have a full-time job, you cannot file an unemployment claim. However, if your employer has reduced your working hours, you can reopen and collect your unemployment benefits. But note that under such circumstances, you can claim only partial unemployment and not regular UI benefits. Depending on your state guidelines, you may be required to wait for one entire week to collect your partial unemployment benefits.

4. Unsafe Working Conditions

You can reopen your previous unemployment claim if you have voluntarily quit your new job due to unsafe working conditions. However, while reopening the claim, you must have evidence and prove that your workplace was indeed unsafe. 

Note that despite applying for a claim soon after leaving your job, you may be required to wait for one full week before collecting your benefits. 

Reopening an unemployment claim depends on the year the claim was initially opened. For instance, let’s assume that you had opened an unemployment claim in 2019 but got a job later in that year, and again lost the job in the same year. In such cases, you can reopen the previous claim. But if you lost your work in 2020 and want to collect benefits, it will be considered as refiling a claim. 

How To Reopen An Unemployment Claim?

The steps involved in reopening an unemployment claim varies from state to state. Some states may allow its citizens to reopen and file a claim online with their previously assigned Personal Identification Number (PIN) and username. Other states may require you to call and talk to the representatives at the unemployment office. 

Reopening A Claim Online 

To reopen your unemployment claim online, follow the below-mentioned steps.

Step 1 – Log in to your UI account and choose to reopen your claim. 

Step 2 – Fill all the details and answer all the questions asked by the Department Of Labor (DOL). This allows DOL to determine your eligibility. 

Step 3 – Review and submit the details. On applying, you may get a confirmation notice/letter. Save it for future records.

Some states like California may also allow you to reopen a claim by fax or mail. 

Final Words

By reopening your unemployment claim you can meet your financial meets temporarily. However, in the mean time make sure you look for a job that let’s you earn good income and help you be financially stable.

 

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