Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Unemployment Compensation Benefits
If you were recently denied unemployment compensation benefits and are thinking of filing an appeal, one of the most important things to do first is to gather all of the paperwork relevant to your claim. This includes documents showing how much money you made (i.e. paystubs), and anything that has to do with the reason you are no longer working, such as a termination letter, written warnings, annual reviews, and emails or text messages. It is also important that you write down any information such as dates and names of people who were involved in your separation that you can use to refresh your memory at a later time. Finally, you should gather all of the paperwork sent to or received from the unemployment compensation office regarding your claim. Be careful to review all of the information on these documents to make sure it is accurate. Pay special attention to the amount of wages it says you earned to make sure this information is correct.
Any person applying for unemployment compensation benefits must meet two separate tests. The first test is financial eligibility. In order to be financially eligible, the employee must have earned a sufficient amount of wages from an employer covered by the unemployment compensation laws. Once this is met, the next step is whether the employee is out of work for a valid reason, called benefit eligibility, which differs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
To qualify for benefits in Pennsylvania, you must be unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of your own. This is called a “qualifying separation”. Generally, you have a “qualifying separation” if you are laid off due to lack of work. Some separations, however, are disqualifying. In Pennsylvania, you are not eligible for benefits if you voluntarily quit your job without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature, or you were discharged or suspended for willful misconduct.
To qualify for benefits in New Jersey, you must also be separated from your job through no fault of your own. In other words, New Jersey law says that you cannot have voluntarily quit your job without “good cause connected with the work.” Under New Jersey law, “good cause connected with the work,” means that your reason for leaving must be directly related to your job and be so compelling that you had no choice but to leave the job. If, on the other hand, you were fired or discharged from your job, the discharge might be classified as “misconduct,” and you may be disqualified from collecting benefits. There are three basic types of misconduct: simple, severe and gross. A “simple misconduct” disqualification results from things like insubordination, lateness or absences with no written warnings from your employer. Examples of “severe misconduct” are the use of drugs/alcohol on the job, repeated violations of a company rule, repeated lateness or absences after receiving a written warning from your employer, destruction/theft of company property or misuse of benefits. A “gross misconduct” discharge occurs if you were fired for any reason that is serious enough to be considered a crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree, and may result in disqualifying you from collecting benefits indefinitely. In New Jersey, each level of misconduct carries with it its own disqualification period.
If you have recently received a denial for unemployment compensation benefits, you must act quickly to protect your rights. Don’t delay. You only have a short period of time to file an appeal. If you miss this deadline, you could be denied the money you deserve.
The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore can help. Contact us online or call 1-800-CANT-WORK today.
In some cases, unemployment compensation benefits may not be right for you.
• If you are unable to work due to an injury suffered on the job, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation.
• If you are unable to work for more than a year, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits.