If I get fired from my job can I collect benefits?

A person qualifies for unemployment benefits if terminated without cause. If fired for misconduct, or cause, you lose the right to unemployment benefits. Individual states establish unemployment eligibility, so check with the local state unemployment office. If you experience a denial after filing for unemployment benefits, avail yourself of the opportunity to appeal the decision.


Misconduct disqualifies applicants for unemployment benefits. Misconduct covers employee activities that wilfully harm the employer's business interests. Insubordination, chronic lateness, dishonesty and intoxication on the job are all valid reasons for firing an employee, and that employee will not be eligible for unemployment. Determining misconduct is often a question of degree; misconduct is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the state unemployment offices dispersing funds.


When a company downsizes and cuts back staff, people who lose their jobs in these situations qualify for unemployment benefits. Company restructures that eliminate positions in the process cannot avoid unemployment benefits for displaced staff. Unemployment funds paid by a company over the course of an employee's work help finance these benefits. Employees may still collect benefits if offered and subsequently refused a lower-paying position in the restructured organisation.


Another reason for termination that is not the fault of the employee includes poor performance due to lack of skills. The employer needs to provide training to the employee to increase his or her skill level. Other reasons for firing that are not the fault of the employee are errors in judgment made in good faith, conduct outside the job that has no effect on the company and poor relations with colleagues.

Unemployment benefits offer temporary financial assistance while a person looks for another job. Remember that eligibility, benefit periods and the amount of the benefits are established at the state level. Most unemployment departments require those receiving benefits provide weekly reports of job application and interview progress before being eligible to receive payments.

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About the Author

Je' Czaja has been writing and illustrating curricula, workbooks, newspaper articles and weekly columns for over 20 years. Her articles have been published in the "St. Augustine Record," the "Valdosta Daily Times," the "Sarasota Herald Tribune" and other regional newspapers. She attended Ringling School of Art, Charter Oak State College, and has a master's degree from the University of Metaphysics.

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