There are certain situations where your state will determine you are ineligible for unemployment such as:

  • Loss of job due to willful misconduct.  This is a very serious offense.  When you were employed, you would have disobeyed a known company rule on purpose or willfully.  Most employers have a process they go through to get to a termination stage.  You employer would have met with you on many occasions advising you of the discretion and then the situation happened again and again until it was time for dismissal.  If you were not made aware of company rules or not notified of the discretions, you may have a legal issue with your former employer.  This book will not elaborate on employment law issues.  It is advisable for you to speak with an attorney in these cases.  If you were terminated because you did not perform well in a job, you may still be eligible.
  • Being a part time worker.  As a general rule, part time workers do not qualify for Unemployment benefits however some states approve these claims.  It is important to review your state’s rules on Unemployment benefits.  You can find specific rules listed at the end of this book.
  • Severance.  If your employer offers a severance package, it may affect your Unemployment benefit.
  • Being Self Employed.  Business owners are not eligible for Unemployment benefits due to being self employed.
  • Someone who is on vacation during the time they are unemployed, will not receive an Unemployment benefit because they are not available work.
  • Disaster Unemployment benefit is available for people who have become unemployed due to a disaster.  This is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as opposed to the state funding.
  • Being a temporary worker.  Temporary workers have a difficult time proving they did not voluntarily quit a job when they are between assignments.  Some states ask you to prove there is now work by calling the temporary agency to inquire if work is available.
  • Someone who is making low wages.  Low wage workers may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.  Low wage workers making $8 or less may not meet the minimum earning requirements.  Eligibility is based on total earnings and not hours worked.
  • Receiving Social Security retirement benefits.  You may not get your full unemployment benefits.
  • Independent consultants, contractors and those who receive sales commissions are generally not eligible for unemployment benefits.  If you are a salesperson at a car dealership and are terminated, you will have to prove that you deserve unemployment benefits by showing how often you worked, telling how you were supervised, and discussing your job duties.  If you were viewed as an employee and was responsible for completing job duties that were necessary for the business, you may have a case to file an appeal.
  • If you lose your job due to downsizing, you will likely receive unemployment benefits.
  • If your hours have been cut at work, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.  It will depend on your state’s requirements.
  • If you retire from a job voluntarily, you may not receive unemployment.  You will have to proof to your state’s unemployment office that the retirement was not voluntary.
  • Being a worker for church or for a religious organization.  You will not qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • Being a trainee.  If you are a trainee at a public or non-profit organization. You will likely not receive unemployment benefits.
  • Being a work-study jobholder.  If you have this type of job at a college or university, you will not receive unemployment.
  • Being a babysitter.
  • Being a newspaper carrier
  • Being a medical intern
  • Being a real estate broker or agent that works only on commission.
  • Being an employee of a foreign government
  • Being an elected official or certain government employees
  • Being an undocumented immigrant.