After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive information pertaining to your claim, including the weekly benefit amount and the status of your unemployment claim. If you see a status message stating that your claim is pending because of a separation issue or eligibility issue, you need to understand what it means and what will happen next.
Separation or Eligibility Issues
Separation issues can prevent you from receiving benefits. Although each state has the right to make laws pertaining to who can and cannot receive benefits, generally, if you are fired for reasons such as misconduct or excessive absenteeism, or if you quit a job without good cause, the unemployment agency will investigate the claim before paying or denying any benefits. The employer has the right to dispute an unemployment claim, as do you, if you don’t agree with the initial ruling by the claims office.
Holding or Releasing Benefits
Benefits are withheld by the unemployment agency until any separation or eligibility issues are investigated and a determination is declared. This means that during the dispute process, you will not receive any weekly benefits. If the determination of the agency is in your favor, you will receive your benefits plus any weekly benefits dating back to the week you filed your initial claim.
Employer and Employee Disputes
After you file the initial claim, the employer is sent a letter or receives a phone call detailing that you are filing a claim for unemployment. At this time, the employer can dispute your claim or not by expressing the reason you are no longer working for the company. After the unemployment agency talks with the employer, the agency will set up a phone call with you or send you a letter asking for your side of the story as to why you are no longer working for the company. After hearing both sides, the unemployment agency will make an initial determination for or against paying you benefits.
Appealing Denied Benefits
If the dispute isn’t in your favor, you can file an appeal with your state unemployment agency. The agency will hold a hearing where both parties will present their sides. Throughout the entire process, you need to keep filing your weekly claims. Once the appeal process is complete and a determination is made, the unemployment agency will send you a letter of determination and detail when you can file another claim if your appeal is denied or tell you when to expect a payment if you win the appeal.