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Unemployment Office Answers
Unemployment Office Answers is here to help. Ask your question. Someone has the answer.
Unemployment Office Answers is here to help. Ask your question. Someone has the answer.


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Q) I am starting unemployment in PA and, being over 55, expect it will take a while. I am also on a transplant list and expect to be called to get a new kidney soon. Since that will keep me from being physically able to work for at least a month, I was wondering if this qualifies as an exception to the “able to work” requirement? I am currently on dialysis and was working full time before being laid off.

A) The definition of disability for the exception to the penalty is a very narrow one. The individual must be unable to perform any substantially gainful employment and the disability must be of long-standing or indefinite duration, possibly ending in death. The definition does not say you must be receiving disability payments, and it does not say that you must not be able to perform your “normal” job. Basically, you can’t be able to work at all.

You may also look at applying for short term disability while you wait for your kidney transplant – Eligibility Requirements. The worker must have worked a certain length of time before being eligible for benefits, 30 days to six months, depending on the state. Some states have a minimum earnings requirement.There is a one-week waiting period before benefits are payable. …The illness or injury must be non-work related.

You could also look at applying for Social Security Disability – To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.

Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis. There are also a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.

If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.
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Q) If I quit my job instead of getting fired, do I qualify for unemployment benefit, the company I’m working for. Seems to use the law only when is convenient for them not the employee.

A) According to the Department of Labor, you need to meet two criteria to qualify for unemployment: You are unemployed through no fault of your own: That means you are out of a job due to reasons beyond your control, like a layoff. So, if you quit your job or are fired for gross misconduct, you’re not eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Q) How long does it take before I receive my 1st unemployment check after I qualify?

A) Usually an average two to three weeks. The federal Department of Labor’s website says that you can expect your first unemployment check two or three weeks after you apply, as long as you submit all of the required information, and no follow-up is necessary.
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Q) If you have a work injury and your not able to work while your out due to the injury are you able to file unemployment

A) You must be willing to work, able to work and looking for work to claim unemployment benefits. You also must be unemployed through no fault of your own and your past earnings must meet certain minimum thresholds. If you are injured and unable to work you should consider filing for temporary disability benefits.
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Q) I am a OTL trucker who drives for a small operation in Des Moines, IA. I need colon-rectal surgery soon and I need income while I am off work, having surgery and afterward for recovery. How can I find benefits while I cannot work?

A) You may look at applying for Short Term Disability – Short term disability (STD) is a type of financial benefit that pays a percentage of an employee’s salary for a specified amount of time, if they are ill or injured, and cannot perform the duties of their job. Generally, the benefit pays around 40 to 60 percent of the employee’s weekly gross income.

Eligibility Requirements

State temporary disability is usually easier to get than Social Security disability. In the states that provide for short-term disability, here are some general requirements that apply to all of the states.
The worker must have worked a certain length of time before being eligible for benefits, 30 days to six months, depending on the state.
Some states have a minimum earnings requirement.
There is a one-week waiting period before benefits are payable. (You can’t receive benefits until the 8th day you are temporarily disabled).
The illness or injury must be non-work related.
Benefits last no more than 26-30 weeks (52 weeks in California).
The weekly benefit is approximately 60% of your wages.
Pregnant women can receive short-term disability for several weeks for delivery and recovery.
You will need to submit medical records or go to a medical exam to prove your disability.


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Q) I am writing on behalf of my dad. I live in California but he lives in Loves Park, Illinois. I am leaving for work and needed him to come out here to watch his granddaughter while I am gone, he spoke to his boss to see if he would be able to take the time off; his boss said yes. This Monday, three days before he is supposed to get on his flight (tomorrow 10/19/17)his boss tells him that while he understands that my dad has family he needs to come out here and take care of, that he needs to take care of his family too and if my dad comes out here, that he will have to hire someone else and that my dad will not have a job to come back to. If my dad comes out here and this guy actually fires my dad for leaving on a trip that the boss had already approved the time off, isn’t this illegal? Also, would my dad be able to get unemployment if he is fired? My dad is about to not come because he is afraid to lose his job and have no money coming in. I’d truly appreciate any help I can get. I’ve been trying to call but no one is answering the line. This just doesn’t seem right and I’m not sure where to reach out to.

A) Please be aware that an individual who files for UI benefits must meet specific eligibility requirements before benefits can be paid. Individuals must:

Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim.*
Be totally or partially unemployed.
Be unemployed through no fault of his/her own.
Be physically able to work.
Be available for work.
Be ready and willing to immediately accept work.
Be actively looking for work.
Be approved for training before training benefits can be paid.
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Q) I’m 77 and getting social security, a retirement check and work part time. The place I work will be closed for 6 weeks. Will I be able to draw unemployment. Thank you

A) Social Security does not count unemployment benefits as earnings. They do not affect retirement benefits. However, income from Social Security may reduce your unemployment compensation. Contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.
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Q) I just moved from Mississippi 4 months ago I am working a seasonal job in Fort Worth Texas and I am curious how I should file for unemployment if I can’t find another job when the job ends. Which State would pay and would the payment amount be based in the state that I reside in or the state that is making the payment?

A) If you work in one state and live in another, you must file your claim for unemployment benefits with the state where you worked. Your claim will be subject to that state’s rules and benefit limits. An out-of-state unemployment claim is known as an interstate claim. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel back to your state of employment to file the claim. You can file online, by telephone, or at the nearest unemployment office in the state where you now live.
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Q) I had a full time job and got sick with a stomach bug. I called in and told my boss I couldn’t go in because I was vomiting and was told that’s fine. The next day I went in still sick but I tried to just work through it and couldn’t. They FORCED me to go to the doctor (I told my boss I couldn’t afford it and that I can just wait for my mom to get off work and she can take me. My boss wouldn’t ALLOW that to happen and took me herself and paid for it herself) and she then tried to FORCE me into a drug/alcohol test. I was sick with a stomach bug is what the doctor concluded. The nurse told me that being 21, I could refuse and that since I wasn’t injured at work or injured anyone else she really didn’t have a right to try and secretly force a drug/alcohol test. I was fired when we returned to work and they said they were already going to fire me with or without the test and then proceeded to ADD as in hand wrote in that that was another reason for firing me. After I left they went in and electronically added it and want me to go collect it. Other reasons for firing me was that I “had a bad attitude, coworker relations, work ethic, tardiness”, and that I “don’t change or accept responsibility” these are blatant lies. I worked grooming dogs for them and I was constantly doing half of the dogs or majority of the dogs on a regular basis. I was being targeted and bullied by two employees who admitted to another employee that they were intentionally doing something for the sole purpose of being mean and petty. They claim a lot of thenigs that have SUPPOSEDLY been going on since march and yet I was given a 50¢ raise(usual is 25¢) within the past month. Oh, and now former employer wants me to destroy the separation notice with the hand written in refusal of drug/alcohol test. I will not as it proves she is a liar. So what exactly do I do since my employer is obviously lying on an official document?

A) If you are being harassed or discriminated against, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A complaint can be filed within 180 days from the time of the event; this time limit could be extended in some situations.

Call 1-800-669-4000 to file a complaint with your local EEOC office.
Use this map to find the EEOC office that handles federal complaints in your state or territory.
Contact your state Labor Office to learn more about filing a complaint in your state.
Learn how to file discrimination or harassment complaints against programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance and employers holding federal contracts or subcontracts.
Contact your state or tribal Fair Employment Practices
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Q) I currently work for a church full time as a preschool director. My employment with the church will end in May or June. Are people who work for a church full time able to draw unemployment? Are part-time staff able to draw unemployment

A) Churches and religious organizations are exempt from paying unemployment taxes. Therefore you may not be able to claim unemployment benefits as the church did not pay into the state unemployment benefit program. Please contact your local unemployment office to verify and enquirer what other options may be available to you in your state.
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