Don’t be shy about collecting your unemployment benefits!

BlogBreak contributor and vice-president of e-resume.net Chandra Fox encourages those that are eligible to apply for your unemployment benefits:

If you get laid off, fired, whatever it was called in your case, be sure to look into your unemployment benefits. Go to your local office, fill out the forms and get it started. It is typically money your company put aside for this very instance.

Don’t be too proud. Go down to the office, be treated terribly by angry government employees (at least in my experience) and get your money.

Check into the tax ramifications so you are in good with the IRS. It varies depending on the funding of your benefits.

Statistics show that many people are applying for unemployment for the first time in their lives. If you are applying for unemployment benefits here in Georgia, you can use the Georgia unemployment resources guide on ajcjobs to assist you. If you are applying for unemployment in other states, the About.com Guide to Job Searching has collected some good national and state resources.

Good luck. Would you leave money in the slot machine if you had hundreds of dollars of winnings? Of course not – take what is yours.

What has been your experience in collecting unemployment benefits? Were you at all ashamed to apply for unemployment benefits, or do you consider the benefits rightfully yours?

19 comments Add your comment

Mthomas

April 27th, 2009
11:05 am

This is my second time applying for unemployment benefits. My first time was 3 yrs. ago and it went pretty smoothly and I collected benefits for about a month and hoping this time around it goes smoothly. I think alot of people are embarassed about collecting benefits, but like you said that money is meant for situations like this.

Roger

April 27th, 2009
10:27 pm

I can’t get benefits, so I’m living off credit for now. I made the mistake of resigning from a contract job which I was not qualified for but was hired anyway. Don’t make the mistake that I did. You’ll not get your benefits started back.

Midtown chick

April 27th, 2009
10:33 pm

I’m collecting benefits for the 3rd time. Layoffs seem to hit me every 5 to 7 years. Good ol corporate life. I found the benefits process to be smooth and the DOL people not too unpleasant. The worst part of this experience has been from my friends and family making disparaging and hurtful comments about my collecting unemployment. I will never make collecting benefits public again, people are too hurtful and mean about it.

VGrant

April 27th, 2009
10:37 pm

If you can afford to avoid it I would. I couldn’t and went down to sign up at the Cobb County Big Shanty Office.

Overall it wasn’t a bad experience and I was treated fine. Sure I could complain about being hearded like cattle a little but times are bad, the place was crowded, and the unemployment office workers, I’m sure, are overworked.

Bottom line, I got what I needed for the 12 weeks before I found another job. I have no complaints.

mamaj

April 27th, 2009
10:41 pm

I worked for 34 years, and fortunately never had to apply for unemployment, but given the situation going on now, it would not have been a problem for me.The embarrassment would have come from being hungry and not taken advantage of it because of some misplaced stupid pride!

justin

April 27th, 2009
11:05 pm

you shouldnt get to collect unemployment $ if you were fired for not doing the right thing in your job in my opinion.

Yanamom

April 27th, 2009
11:17 pm

Make sure your contact information is correct, especially your phone number. The do most of their followup by phone.

Also, show up for all hearings, even if you get a job before the hearing. A friend didn’t show up for a hearing when her company contested paying benefits to all of the employees that they had just layed off. She lost and now is paying back everything she recieved, out of her current unemployment benefits! She decided that since she was already working at another job and no longer getting benefits, she didn’t need to be at the hearing. She didn’t realize that if she lost the appeal, that she would be required to pay back all the money she had already recieved. Instead of making her pay it back while she was working, they waited for her to claim unemployment benfits again and are taking it out of the money she is getting now.

LMS

April 28th, 2009
1:03 am

This is the second time I’ve had to draw unemployment benefits. The last time was in 1995. I was laid off from another job in 1999, but found a job within a month. No such luck this time. I’ve been unemployed since my company (commercial real estate – they had not closed any deals in about 6 months) laid me off in December.

msu

April 28th, 2009
1:14 am

Justin, you mentioned that “you shouldnt get to collect unemployment $ if you were fired for not doing the right thing in your job in my opinion”. Everyone’s case is different and thats why an investigation has to be done, i was fired, for something i had no control over, even though i was warned. When DOL, investigated they granted me favor and approved me over my employer. People get fired for all sorts of reasons and some employers do make it look like it was for profession reason, that is you were not doing your job. However it can also be personal reasons as well, like the employer wants you out and will do all kind of things to force you to resign/quit or get you fired.
I don’t like the idea of being unemployed, i have held a job since i started working 15yrs ago. I did my best and i was still fired. It even turned out that my employer is now being investigated.

Also, know that people who get fired and it was their fault, they do not recieve benefits, but again, there has to be an investigation and everyone’s case is handled differently. I had to go through a series of stuff that other unemployed people don’t have to go through.
At the end, i was granted favor. Loosing a job is not a good thing, and applying for unemployment is a very humbling experience. But its better to get unemployment than starve, commit suicide, or even robbery. Thank God we live in a country that offers unemployment benefits.

Misa

April 28th, 2009
1:17 am

I’m caught in the temp agency trend. The assigment ends and the office does not tell you anything just that it simply ended. I applied for beneifts and waited the 21 days as advised. I went on my own 6 interviews and applied to hundreds of jobs online. After 21 days I contacted DOL and was told b/c no contact was made w/temp agency benefits will not be granted but I could appeal. I continued to certify weekly but called the temp office to inquire why they did not tell me. The nonchalent representative said you signed the papers when you enrolled w/us (over 8 months ago might I add and I signed dozens of forms). I calmly suggested in the future and due to the nature of current economic times; to let employees know to call weekly and if not it would affect unemployment benefits. She said um-hm and hung up. I re-established contact w/the agency from that call and now wait for a decision if previous weeks will be approved. I hope so b/c I need it and it’s not as if funds are w/drawn from the temp agents paycheck. It will show how many people are collecting unemplyment from that office but affecting her direct pay, absoulutely not! I only hope when she goes through this one day she will remember what she put others through. My experience at DOl has been ok. The workers are not rude, just over worked and each person gives a different answer to the same question, but what can you expect. They’re trying to keep their job 2???? What have we done to ourselves America?

think!

April 28th, 2009
2:48 am

Unemployment benefits are part of your employment package. They are yours! Your employer pays into a state fund. If your employer did not pay into a fund to cover your possible lay off, your employer should pay you a higher wage or salary; or give you better benefits. Don’t let people who have never put one moment of thought into the employer/employee dynamic, lead you astray. Collect what you are owed.

mary

April 28th, 2009
3:08 am

This will e my second time filing. only b/c I am still in school, have sertified every week and just one day the checks stoped coming and no one told me anything. So finally I demanded to speak to a supervisor. I was told that my year had ended and that I needed to reapply. In doing so, I have not had ANY income. But no one told me oh it expired, or anything. Now I am a student with a 4.0 gpa, no income @ all, and is about to be homeless. Might I add, I have two kids and we don’t get assistance from the state. Also, I was told we are over worked and backed up in our cases. So I aksed well where and how do I apply for a job here to help out, that will help the unemployment rate, and line down. She told me well you will have to contact Thurman, I said give me the nmber, what do you know, she did not have it. The office in cobb county is awefully slow, treat people like crap and very nonchalant. I was fired b/c I complained to my corporate office that my supervisor had violated HIPPA and I followed the chain of command. Still no one protected me, my rights, my privacy.

mary

April 28th, 2009
3:17 am

our faith lye’s in the hand of someone who might be having a bad day. When more times than none, that it is our money and they want to tell us if we can have it or not. You are right, we do live in a country that have unemployment but, have to wait now over a month to even have a hearing to see if you are going to get it or not…..I was in the office last week and was speaking to people who was wondering where their check was, had not received one in three-six weeks. There is no communication with these people. You go down there and have to take a lunch bag with you, only to be told, there is nothing I can do…… SO OF US JUST WALK RIGHT ON IN, REQUEST A SUPERVISOR, THEN THEY ARE OUT. I have noticed them and got a few names.

Be Well

April 28th, 2009
6:26 am

Think! is 100% on point. Everyone should re-read that comment.

MSU – Everyone is entitled to an opionion, no matter how wrong it is.

Justin – Wait until it happens to you.

Mary – 4.0 GPA huh? I’m concerned about; ‘have sertified’, ‘faith lye’s’, ‘checks stoped’ and ‘i…is about to be homeless’. Commissioner Michael Thurmond’s information may be found at http://www.dol.state.ga.us/

Dave Foreman

May 15th, 2009
6:46 pm

I filed for unemployment this week and it was pretty easy. Only took about 20 minutes to listen to an informational session and sign up on a computer.
I would like to ask others how long it took for them to receive their letter stating if they qualify for UI. Also, how long before you have an orientation meeting where you can sign up for training and career seminars? I have heard the system is behind schedule and am anxious for any paths that will lead to a new job.
Dave

hopelessly unemployed

June 4th, 2009
10:50 am

For those of us in double digit areas (yes they do exist in Ga dont let the static rate of unemployment fool you, it was created by 45k people dropping off the rolls while waiting for the state extension that is federally funded) HB581 was passed 4/3 and signed into law on 4/21. We were finally allowed to apply on 5/22 they are talking about 6/25 before funds come out.
Something is wrong as all other states are giving retro benfits and you can google what those benfits are, not Ga. a regular UI claim takes 3 weeks and it is looking at up to 5 weeks for SEB. yet they can mail a letter on 5/8 of eligibility and do a dry run on a bank acct 5/26,lol….yet still no money.
The whole point of UI/EUC/SEB is so jobless workers do not loose their stability, well my 4 kids are about to watch their stuff get put on the side of the road and have no roof over there head. I worked non profit and grant cutbacks mean you loose your job and the county where i live another plant closed yesterday so I’m sure our 11.5% rate will go up again.If Macdonalds would hire me I’ld be tickled to death cause I could put us into an efficiency.
So good luck collecting and even better luck for future job finding

darrel

July 23rd, 2009
9:24 am

The dol is a joke.thay say thay go by the law.what law.thay make it up as thay go.you can ask them a question and get a diffrent answer each time.The first time thay give me unploment.the company appiled and won..now i have to pay back 1.548.thay said I could make payments of 60 a month/Two weeks after sending a payment and agreeing I would pay them.I get aletter saying I have 10 days to pay the money.I called and thay said since I just become unployed again.Thay would take 50 percent of my check to pay back the fund that gives me 115.00 dollers a week to live on.thay said thay need the money to put back in the fund for people that need it.no I dont need it with 4 kids and being unploment.now here is the kicker I went to work for a temp sevice and worked at the same job for 4 months and thay layed me off Thay give me the paper work and thay payed unploment taxs in to dol.now dol say I might not beable to draw becouse its a temp service.

daphne

July 30th, 2009
12:58 pm

I filed at the cobb county office and it took over five weeks for my benefits to begin and then i didn’t receive all of them at onece. does anyone know how many days or weeks it takes to receive your money after your certify each week or is it suppose to be automatic?

Mike D

November 4th, 2009
9:11 pm

I was in an auto accident in a company van, after being released from the hospital with a serious wound to my left arm (tore open from wrist to elbow.. dragged on ground) I got a nice separation notice in the mail. My employeer didn’t even have the guts to fire me on the phone or in person! Anyway, after a few months of W/C benefits, my W/C ran out when my arm healed. Now work is even harder to find so i applied and was denied UI. Myy employeer claimed I was on the phone during accident (I didn’t get a citation) I appealed, a month later (monday) got a phone hearing. Found out today I won!
Question… How long until I receive my benefits? I have been claiming for 7 weeks. Will I get all back pay then proceed with weekly payments?

Thanks!