Get approved for unemployment

Find out what to do if you lost your job and need financial help

If you’ve found yourself recently out of work, you will want to know what to expect before claiming unemployment and expecting benefits.


Just because employees pay into unemployment insurance and may become jobless doesn’t necessarily mean that each person will qualify to receive unemployment compensation benefits.


Unemployment compensation is meant to offer financial assistance to employees that are either wrongfully discharged from their job or due to a company’s layoffs from lack of business or other reasons that put the employee in a situation of no job due to reasons that are no fault of their own.


Read on to know what the process is that will qualify an employee for unemployment benefits, the employer’s role and how to get unemployment until you find a new job or are called back to work.


Reasons that qualify an employee for unemployment benefits:


  • Lack of work – if your employer hired you for full time or part time work and suddenly has low business and reduces or eliminates your hours; you are entitled to receive compensation.
  • Discrimination – if you can prove that your employer discriminated against you for your race, religion or age you will qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • Hostile work environment – if your employer creates an intolerable work environment that is hostile, you will qualify to receive benefits.


How to Get Unemployment:

  • You must have worked for the last four quarters of the previous year to qualify for unemployment benefits. Your highest quarter of earnings is used to determine the amount of unemployment you qualify for.
  • You must wait for at least seven days, called the waiting week, before filing for unemployment.
  • File online, over the phone and in some states still directly in person at the local state unemployment office.
  • Be honest in all questions asked regarding your unemployment claim since you can be denied for providing false information.
  • Have the following information ready when you file: your name and address, social security number, employer name and address, date of last day worked, any dates of pay such as vacation or holiday pay and places you have searched for employment since the start of your unemployment.  You will also need your job title, responsibilities and rate of pay. You may also be asked the reason for your unemployment.
  • Explain in as much detail as possible all circumstances leading to your joblessness.
  • Wait for at least a week to receive the decision in the mail on whether or not you qualify to receive a check by the state department of unemployment.
  • Apply for an automatic deposit into a checking account if this option is offered for the fastest way to receive your funds.
  • Continue to file every week on your assigned date given by the unemployment office to ensure that your checks will be delivered without delay. Any missed filing periods do not qualify for receipt of an unemployment check so mark your calendar and do not forget to file.
  • If your unemployment was denied, you have a right to file an appeal of that decision providing you have proof of your claims and you may need the assistance of an appeal attorney to help you get what you are owed. (See article at the end for how an appeal attorney can assist you).


Claiming Unemployment – the Employer’s Role:

  • You need to know that your employer will receive a copy of the application you have filed and they are asked a series of questions to verify that your claim is accurate and to get their viewpoint on the circumstances that caused you to be jobless.
  • The employer can and will provide evidence and details on the reason or reasons that you are no longer working for them so it is essential that you are honest and do not make false accusations.
  • If your employer has evidence of any wrongdoing on your part they will share that with the unemployment office such as tardiness, failure to follow company policy and procedure, poor attitude or failure to work as a team player as well as any warnings verbally or in writing that you were provided. This is why you must be honest in explaining why you are unemployed.
  • If you are currently out of work due to reasons that you had no control over such as company lay offs or reduced hours, you do not need to fear that your unemployment will be denied.
  • Your employer also has a right to file an appeal to the referee's decision and may have the financial means to utilize an appeal attorney easier than you can. As long as you are honest in your answers and had no wrongdoing, your employer will not appeal and you will receive an unemployment check to assist your financial needs.

  Read more: Do you need an appeal attorney?