Denied unemployment during Coronavirus: What you can do next

So your unemployment application was denied...

The process of applying for unemployment benefits can be hard to navigate normally, but in today's world, with limited jobseeking options, active quarantine orders, and health risks around every corner, being denied can leave you feeling devastated and alone. But you don't have to be. Here at Jobcase, we have gathered some information to figure out why you were denied, check out some resources and take steps to file an appeal if you think you should still qualify under new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) guidelines.

Why was I denied?

Typically, you may be denied unemployment benefits if you:

  • Leave work voluntarily without a valid reason. It's important to note here that some states have loosened their definition of when you can still collect unemployment benefits, even if you quit your job, to provide for special cases related to coronavirus. Even so, some systems haven't fully aligned with these changes and may still deny you. If you think your case may qualify, check your state's local guidelines on unemployment benefits.
  • Are terminated due to misconduct at work. Most states consider misconduct to be either an intentional act that hurts the employer, or a deliberate failure to perform duties that are in the employer’s interest. This should not extend to being laid-off or furloughed.
  • Are unable to work or don’t make yourself available to work. You need to be ready and willing to take on a suitable job. If a disability prevents you from working long-term, look into collecting disability benefits. Again, some states have relaxed these qualifications due to the current pandemic, so check local resources to ensure that you aren't missing out!
  • Refuse a job offer that is considered suitable work. If you're unemployed and are offered work, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits if you decline to accept that offer.
  • Make false claims in order to get unemployment benefits. When discrepancies are found in your claim, this can count against your chances to be approved for unemployment. This can happen when you claim something in your application, but your employer says something different. If you think this was done in error, you may want to consider appealing!
  • Do not meet Base Period requirements This is highly dependant on your state's specific requirements, but some states will require that you make a certain amount of money within a certain set period of time to qualify for unemployment benefits. Click here for a more detailed breakdown of how Base Period requirements work.

It’s important to know that your state determines eligibility for unemployment benefits. Be sure to visit the state unemployment resource center for any specific state requirements or concerns.

What happens now?

If you've been denied unemployment benefits, you have a couple of options.

  1. Try to find employment.
  2. Appeal your case.

If it feels like you don't have a lot of options here, you are so right! But we have some resources that may help to make this daunting decision seem a bit more manageable.

If you want to find work

If you just want to start working and earning again, there are options that you can look into. These may not be options you're familiar with, but if you're willing to learn and try something new, even just for the time being, so you can earn money again. Look into some of these options hiring now, nationwide.

If you want to appeal your case

  • Get to know the appeals process in your state If your unemployment claim was denied and you believe you should be eligible under the PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) program or your own state’s expanded eligibility rules, your next step will depend on where you live and how your state implements the PUA program.
  • Keep a good record of your work history If your application is rejected, you are able to appeal that decision. Keep in mind, employers are also able to file a second appeal if they do not agree with the state’s decision. Having a solid record of your work history, and even personal witnesses, lined up can help you file a successful appeal.
  • Time to file an appeal is limited- file fast! If you wish to file an appeal when you are denied, you must do so within your state’s established time frame. Check with your state to learn about their specific policy.

Have you been denied unemployment? You're not alone.

Here are some stories from Jobcase members like you who are going through something similar. During these difficult times it's important to support one another. Can you relate to any of these? Reach out and let this person know that you are in this together.

I filed for unemployment March 22 2020...On April 21, I received a letter of my wages, my wages say $0.00 on everything. On UI Online, it’s says duplicate and Not Paid. In my inbox it says “no benefits are available for your claim at this time”...why would I not get approved if I met the eligibility requirements? I left my job due to exposure to covid-19. Connect.

I quit my job, due to school closures due to covid 19. I have to home school 3 kids...Correspondence on the web says that there is was issue with my case, and its cause I quit...I recieved a letter telling me that I was to be recieving a weekly check. Nothing. This is the second week that it says issue due to quit my job. Just trying to figure out it I will continue to have this problem. Is there anything I need to do? Connect.

...I was laid off in Sept. 2019 and went on unemployment which was to last 6 months...I read on the EDD site and every news outlet said that because of Covid-19 unemployment would be extended...Today I got an email from EDD that my balance has been depleted and I will no longer be receiving EDD benefits...What happened to the extension of benefits? Like many of you I have been calling...but like many of you I have not been able to get through. My last check was issued yesterday... Connect.