How Is Unemployment Eligibility Decided?

How Is Unemployment Eligibility Decided

If you recently lost your job, you might wonder whether or not you might be eligible for unemployment benefits. There are certain factors that go into determining your eligibility for unemployment NJ as well as your unemployment eligibility PA. The employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler assist their clients in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey with their unemployment claims. Here are the guidelines about which you should be aware.

The reason you are out of work

Your eligibility for unemployment NJ and your unemployment eligibility PA depend on why you are not working. Unemployment offices in both states look at the reason that you are no longer working. Your unemployment must have resulted through no fault of your own. This can include getting laid off because of your employer’s cost-savings needs, which would likely qualify you for benefits. If your position was eliminated in a restructuring of your employer’s business, you will also likely qualify for unemployment.

Unemployment eligibility after you quit your job

Generally, if you chose to quit your job, you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits. An exception may exist if you quit for good cause, however. There are some reasons that might be considered to be good cause in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including:

  • Medical reasons
  • Hostile work environments involving ongoing harassment
  • Being offered another job that did not happen

If you were fired

If you were fired, whether or not you will be able to receive unemployment will depend on the reason that you were terminated. If you were fired because of your own gross misconduct, you will likely be deemed to be ineligible. This may include intentionally violating the employer’s clearly stated rules, workplace thefts and other problems.

Employers sometimes try to claim that workers committed acts of misconduct because they are trying to avoid their unemployment insurance rates from increasing. If this happens to you, you may want to consult with the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler about getting help to fight a misconduct charge.

Your work circumstances

Your unemployment eligibility will also depend on how long you worked for your employer and how much money that you made. Some part-time employees may not be able to meet the minimum requirements for receiving unemployment benefits.

Your type of work

In general, contract and full-time workers are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Independent contractors cannot receive the benefits because they are considered to be self-employed. Some business owners who have to close their businesses through no fault of their own may be able to apply for and collect unemployment benefits, however. Workers who are salaried normally will meet the minimum unemployment requirements.

Continuing to qualify for unemployment

Once you begin receiving unemployment compensation, you will also be required to meet certain things so that you can continue to receive them. You will need to be able to mentally and physically handle working. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may want to investigate other types of benefits such as short-term disability, long-term disability or social security disability benefits. If you have a disability that would allow you to work if you were provided reasonable accommodations, you might qualify for unemployment.

You must also be available to work, which means that you would be able to accept any reasonable job offer that you might come across. People who are receiving unemployment compensation are also required to demonstrate a willingness to work by actively looking for new jobs. These requirements do not mean that you have to accept any and all job offers, however. For instance, if you have a college degree and professional work experience, you would not be forced to accept a position for which no education is required or one that is not in your field.

Getting help with your unemployment claim

If you need to learn more about whether or not you might be eligible for unemployment benefits, contact the attorneys at Swartz Swidler. The attorneys can help you to navigate the process while also helping to increase your chances of being approved.