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Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits do not automatically start after you leave your job. You must file a claim to receive them, which this article refers to as applying for unemployment benefits.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits

After applying for unemployment benefits, there is typically a waiting period of a week or more before you'll start receiving pay. The waiting period too starts after you apply, not automatically after you leave your job.

For example, if the waiting period in your work state is one week and you wait three weeks to apply for unemployment benefits, then your benefits won't kick in for four weeks after leaving your job; worse, you might have to wait yet another week or so for your first check to arrive.

Add to it that you'll likely have only one "benefit year" to collect all of the unemployment pay that you have coming to you, from your initial claim. Hopefully, it won't take you up to a year or more to find a new job. But it's not uncommon to take over a year, particularly for higher-paying, white-collar jobs; or for that matter, any job during poor economic conditions.

So, overall, the sooner you apply for unemployment benefits after leaving your job, the better. Even if your ex-employer owes you money (as mentioned on page 1), your work state still might allow you to apply to get your waiting period out of the way.

In many states, workers may apply for unemployment benefits or at least get the ball rolling online, by phone, or either. In other states, workers might have to make an appearance at the local unemployment office to apply for benefits.

To apply for unemployment benefits, start by browsing the Web site of the state unemployment office for instructions and forms or contact information for same.

If the state unemployment office rejects your claim for unemployment benefits, then you'll likely have the right to appeal the decision and you might end up in a hearing before an administrative law judge; if so, hiring an employment attorney to represent you might be a good idea. In fact, the judge or appeals board might recommend it, even though it's technically not required.Attorney Referral Service

Attorneys often take unemployment-benefit appeal cases on a contingency basis, meaning that they won't collect fees unless their clients win. If you win, the judge might cover your attorney's fee by adding it to your award. Talk to your attorney about that.

To wrap it up, don't be embarrassed to apply for unemployment benefits. You've earned them and so, it's among your employee rights to file a claim.

Unemployment Benefits
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"Unemployment Benefits" provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice nor as a substitute for legal advice. It is presented as is, with no warranty either expressed or implied. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. See an employment lawyer for legal advice. Should you act based on this information, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this information. Read our Disclaimer for more information.Employment Lawyer

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