Unemployment claims are far more common than you think in the United States. In fact, roughly 1.8 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits from the government.
Employers expect their former employees to claim unemployment benefits after a job separation. After all, employers do contribute to unemployment insurance programs via payroll taxes.
However, what happens when an employer contests your unemployment claim? Sometimes, you have to fight back to get the benefits you are entitled to. Read on to learn how to get unemployment benefits when your employer is fighting the claim.
Are You Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
This is the first question to ask before submitting an unemployment claim. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) and state government determine eligibility requirements.
For starters, you must have worked for the company for the minimum time required. This timeframe is set by state law and varies depending on where you work.
The next requirement is that your unemployment situation must not be your fault. The definition of fault is established by state law.
In many states, this could mean that you did not voluntarily quit. It could also mean that you did not fail a drug test or code of conduct.
How Does the Claim Process Work?
Once separated from a job, you can make an unemployment benefits claim. A claim is submitted to the state’s unemployment insurance agency.
While you may be looking for fast ways to get cash, unemployment may not be it. It could take up to 3 weeks after a claim is approved to get unemployment cash.
There are a number of different ways to submit a claim. The most convenient ways are calling the unemployment hotline or submitting an online claim.
A portion of the claim will include information about your former employer. The unemployment agency will contact your old employer to verify the contents of your claim.
What Happens If Your Employer Contests the Claim?
It is plausible that your employer disputes the contents of your claim. They may argue that you have not worked for them long enough to meet the eligibility requirements. Or perhaps they inform the state that you were not fired but instead voluntarily quit.
If the employer contests your claim, the state will afford you an opportunity to respond. This may take place in person at a state office.
It is important to note that employers have a financial incentive to contest claims. The tax rate that your employer pays to fund employment insurance is related to the number of claims they file. The more unemployment claims attributed to them, the higher their tax rate.
If a claim is denied, you can opt to file an appeal. Typically, an appeal must be submitted within 30 days after the rejection notice.
A Recap of How to Get Unemployment Benefits
As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, an unemployment claim should go smoothly. There is a chance that your employer challenges your eligibility to contest the claim.
If you are struggling with how to get unemployment benefits due to your employer, contact us today to help find an attorney.