1. If you quit or were fired, you are not likely eligible.
Unemployment insurance benefits are reserved for individuals who lose their job by no fault of their own. Since the actions of the employee are what most often lead to someone quitting or being fired, you are not likely eligible to receive benefits in these cases. Certain reasons for quitting are considered “just cause” and do not make a person ineligible for unemployment benefits. An example of this would be quitting due to discrimination or a sharp reduction in pay or hours. If you can prove you were fired by no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. An example of this would be losing your job because you lacked the skills necessary to perform it.
2. Receiving benefits takes some time.
Generally, you will receive your first unemployment check 2-3 weeks after filing your claim. To make certain the process goes as smoothly as possible, it is important to provide complete and accurate information on your initial claim. You can expect to complete a phone interview before your claim is approved. Making yourself available to take the call will result in speedier processing.
3. Unemployment benefits extend beyond a check.
After your unemployment insurance claim is approved, you will likely be referred to an American Job Center for job search assistance. It is your responsibility to actively seek work while receiving unemployment checks and the center is there to help—offering a wide variety of employment services to help your find your next career.