Archive for the ‘Unemployment Claims’ Category

Resigned Due to Hostile Work Environment? Unemployment Insurance Eligibility

Out of all the possible reasons for separation from the job, one of the most commonly given reasons is resignation due to coercive or intimidating work environment. The hostility may be perpetrated by a colleague,a supervisor or a group of co workers. The provocation may even be by the company as a whole, represented by their hostile policies.

In many cases, the victim of atrocities has no choice but to quit the job, making them ineligible to claim unemployment benefits. For most of you reading this article, you will be aware of the weekly Unemployment Compensation paid out for jobless workers, who’ve lost their job due to no fault of their own. The claimant receives up to 26 weeks of monetary benefits to help them meet basic expenses in life. In case of resignation due to hostile work environment, one may assume that he/she is will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Some happy news for readers who’ve resigned under pressure, you can be eligible to receive the dole, in most cases.

Eligibility

Qualifying for unemployment benefits in such cases depends on the nature and extent of hostility. Some of the circumstances that are commonly accepted are as follows.

  • A criminal activity at workplace that you brought to the attention of your employer.
  • Hostile environment due to harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, age or disability.
  • Issues or conditions that pose a risk to personal and health to self or other workers.
  • Retaliation by a coworker or supervisor for bringing to notice, health/safety issues.

Having mentioned the above, a difficult boss or colleagues not getting well along with you and similar issues may not be considered as hostile work environment.  The bottom line is that there are no legal provisions which say the employer must keep the employee happy and therefore, the employer is not obligated to ensure all round work satisfaction. Similarly, the employee has no legal representation of a pleasant workplace.

Minor disagreements, difference of opinions with supervisors or team members is not considered as hostile work environment. Therefore, instead of resigning on the basis of such trivial issues, it’s recommended to sort these issues internally and iron out differences.  It you decide to quit and claim unemployment insurance while you look for a job, you may not qualify.

Eligibility Determination

If you were separated from your job under such circumstances, the labour authorities will conduct a detailed probe into reasons for your exit, when you apply for Unemployment Insurance.  Based on your inputs at the time of application and the results of their investigation, the representatives will decide if your stance is genuine. Accordingly they will approve/reject the claim.

How Can I Fight It out as My Case is Genuine?

It may not be an easy fight for you. If you’re truthful and strongly believe that there is no shortcoming at your end, please brace yourself for a pitched battle ahead.  Remember, you can only win if you present the facts well. Here are a few points on you should bear in mind during such cases.

1) Document it: Keep a journal, record conversations by means of recording device, keep backup of email conversations that are hostile in nature etc. You are the better judge. Whatever you feel needs to be documented, do so and store them securely.

2) Talk to A Colleague/Superior:  No matter how grave the hostility is, you will have a few colleagues, who you can trust at workplace. Talk to them and tell them about your problem in depth.  Seek remedies or probe further to check if they know someone who can help you sort internally.

3) Record and Track Complaints:  Follow the complaints mechanism laid down by the relevant HR policy in your organisation. Make a complaint and keep copies for future reference. Take print outs or forward responses to personal e mail which can be useful if there is a dispute.

4) Do not Quit Immediately: Unless you’re in absolute danger, do not resign immediately. If you’re seeking Unemployment benefits, stay back until you collect sufficient evidence to prove if there is a dispute.

Conclusion

More than anything else, it’s paramount to ensure your safety at workplace, especially if the hostility can cause physical harm. Raise an alarm and keep your friends and family in loop about key events at work. If need be, lodge a complaint with local law enforcement agencies like the police if you see any threat to your life.

Even if you decide to quit due to unbearable circumstances otherwise, it is not the end of life. There are thousands of opportunities out there. You just need to work smart to be able to find the right job opportunity. Do not hesitate to apply for Unemployment Insurance even if you’re unsure.  There is no harm in applying.

How to File an Initial Claim in the State Of Florida

Florida is one of the few states in the country to have low unemployment rates, hovering around the national average. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity administers the Reemployment Assistance Program which provides unemployment insurance benefits for up to 19 weeks for jobless workers who have been out of job due to no fault of their own. The approved monetary benefits should be claimed online on a weekly basis by the claimant.

Tools For Your Assistance During The Application Process

Eligibility Calculator: This easy to use tool runs your through a set of questionnaire and ascertains if you can be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Points to Keep In Mind Before Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim

  • Its advisable to initiate the claim to receive unemployment compensation during the first week of your unemployment.
  • Claims can be filed online on the department’s portal and at dedicated centers.
  • Use resources that help you understand the procedure and documentation. Keep information handy before initiating a claim.
  • If you’re receiving severance pay after separation from work, you will still be eligible to make claims. File one during the first week of total or partial unemployment.
  • After you file, you will be required to wait for about 3-4 weeks before you receive the first payment. If there are issues with your paperwork, the representatives will come back to you.
  • Post approval, you’re required to file weekly and claim benefits for the approved weeks. These payments are disbursed quickly unlike the initial claim.

florida unemployment benefits

Eligibility Criteria to Claim Unemployment Compensation in Florida

  • The reason for separation from the last job should be involuntary which implies, you must have not lost the job through a fault of yours such as misconduct, underperformance etc.
  • The claimant should be able and available to work. He/she should be actively seeking jobs. and should be willing to accept a suitable job offer.
  • Unemployment must be total or partial.
  • The wages earned during the base period should meet the minimum criteria. The base period is the first four completed quarters beginning 18 months prior to the claim.

Details You Need to File A Claim

  • Social security number(SSN)
  • Alien registration number if you’re not a US citizen and papers that prove that you’re legally allowed to work in the country
  • Date of birth with proof
  • Home address and telephone number
  • Last day of employment
  • Extensive details such as name, address, position held, period worked, reason for leaving etc. of all the previous employers in the last 18 months prior to the date of filing employment.  
  • If you’re claiming for reduction in working hours, details of the same.
  • Members of the labor union should provide name and number of the local union hall
  • DD-214 form if you were in the Military.
  • Former federal employees should produce Form SF-50 or Form SF-8 along with documents supporting proof of earnings.
  • Check or deposit slip for direct deposit into your banking account.

How To File Weekly Claim?

Online: By logging onto connect.myflorida.com, you will be able to make a claim in minutes. As a beginner you will be asked to read through pages of information  that will assist you in filing the claim. We suggest that you read the key points in these pages instead of skipping them.

Via One Stop Career Center: If you have any questions on filing or need a computer to file, visit the nearest center for support by representatives.  

Following claims will not require registration. You can provide the User Id and Password to log in and make weekly claims.

Note: The first week you file is considered as a Waiting Week and no benefits will be paid out during this week. Once the claim is accepted, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your claim to be processed. Subsequently, weekly claims do not take much time to be processed and disbursed.

Other Forms of Unemployment Benefits in Florida

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Florida Hardest Hit
  • Community Services Block Grant Program

Re Opening Unemployment Claim in Florida

During the course of receiving weekly UI payments, there are chances that you may land a job and start working. During this phase, you are expected to stop make weekly claims as you’re no longer unemployed. There are chances that you may separate from the new job during the same benefit year and your obvious option will be to reapply for unemployment if there are benefit weeks remaining in your account.Job Interview

You’ve heard it right. States in the US allow you to re claim UI benefits. Lets say you were approved for 24 weeks and you claimed only 5 weeks of monetary benefits and landed a job, the payment stops. If for any involuntary reason, you lose the recent most job, you are eligible to claim the remainder, i,e 19 weeks in this case. If the benefit year ended and there are weeks still remaining in the account, you are eligible to reapply.

Paperwork Requirement for Re Claiming  Unemployment Benefits

Before you get in touch with the labor department in your state, be prepared. Below is the list of documents you must keep in place.

  • Social security number
  • Alien Registration Card no. if you are not a citizen of the U.S
  • Driver’s license
  • Contact phone number and e mail id.
  • Mailing address with zip code
  • Details of your previous and specifically the last employer
  • For federal employees, copies of SF8 and SF50
  • For military service, your most recent separation form (DD214)

If you were recently unemployed and have never filed a claim before, determine unemployment eligibility in Florida before applying.

How to Reopen A Claim In Florida

If the benefit year has not expired, you can easily reopen the existing claim. Quickly gather the required details and get online.

The claim can be filed 24/7 on connect.myflorida.com

Or

Visit One Stop Career center in your locality. You can use a computer available there to file a claim.

Or

Call 1-800-204-2418 and speak to a claims specialist.

The good part about reopening a claim is that you don’t have to serve the waiting week. It will be considered as continuation of an existing claim.This procedure is as good as it was was previously. Sometimes in some cases, there can human intervention in terms of a counsellor assisting you in reopening a claim or giving you further instructions.

Should you have any queries or need guidance on any aspect of  claiming unemployment benefits , feel free to contact the unemployment benefits assistance forum in Florida.

Denial of Claims

There can be denial of claims due to several reasons. The most common reason seen is failure on the part of the unemployment agency to determine if you lost the job due to no fault of yours or not earning enough wages in the base period.

You can always ask the agency to revisit the claim or if need be, ask for an adjudicator. Each state has a clearly laid out mechanism in this regard.

A Little Bit of Advice

We understand that it can be difficult, especially if you are  re claiming unemployment benefits after a short period of employment. Remain positive, network with friends and family who will not only support you in this time but may also help you find a job.

You should also scout for jobs on various portals, make calls and make use of job assistance programs offered by the department of labor in Florida. Best wishes !