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Navigating the Unemployment Compensation Maze
11/25/2009
 
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: With Unemployment Compensation ("UC") remaining a hot topic in the news, I wanted to share with you the following tips to help you navigate the UC maze:

- File for UC benefits right away, for example, on your last day on the job. Otherwise, you may not be paid for the weeks prior to your filing date;

- Apply on-line using your state's unemployment benefits website -- (go to Google and type in your state's name and the words "unemployment compensation". Due to the heavy volume of UC applications, and the fact that many UC offices are understaffed, on-line processing helps you avoid long lines, or long periods of time on hold -- and you can preserve a written record of when you filed, and what you said;

- Have your Social Security number, a paystub, and the names & addresses of your employers for the past 18 months with you when you complete the form; and

- Be sure to keep filing for benefits while you are unemployed-- it's not a one shot deal.

Unemployment Compensation benefits are for employees (not independent contractors or consultants paid on IRS form 1099) who have lost their jobs due to economic circumstances, or other reasons that are not their fault. For example, being fired for poor performance qualifies you to get UC -- being fired for stealing does not. If you have any doubts about your eligibility to apply for and receive UC benefits, please read about your state's benefits on its web site, and consult an employment attorney in your state (see www.NELA.org to find an attorney in your state). UC is an important benefit that you don't want to lose.
 
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Robin Bond
 
Robin Bond, Esq.
 
 
Workplace Legal Analyst


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