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How does someone qualify for unemployment benefits?

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Quick Answer

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, an individual must generally be unemployed for reasons beyond their control and must fulfill their state's requirements for unemployment, says LearnVest. Each state has individual rules that must be met, which can be reviewed at the CareerOneStop website.

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Full Answer

An example of a reason for unemployment beyond an individual's control is a layoff. On the other hand, reasons that an individual might not be eligible for unemployment include being fired for misconduct, quitting without good cause, attending school, resigning due to an illness, being involved in a labor dispute or being self-employed, says About.com. Whether or not a reason constitutes good cause differs from state to state. Good cause can include family emergencies, immediate workplace safety concerns, extreme reduction in pay, unconscionable or illegal job requirements, loss of transportation or breach of employment contracts. However, individuals should check with their state unemployment office before quitting, to get clarification on their state's unemployment laws and regulations.

If an unemployment claim is denied, it can be appealed before an unemployment board or administrative judge, states About.com. The process is different from state to state, and more detailed information is available on each individual state's unemployment office website. Generally, both the employee and employer have a chance to testify at the hearing and present evidence as to why or why not unemployment benefits should be granted.

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