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March 29, 2010
When Are Employees Ineligible for Unemployment Benefits?

In a 2010 BLR webinar entitled "Unemployment Taxes and Claims: How to Reduce Your Costs and Effectively Contest Claims," Ronald Adler, president and CEO of Laurdan Associates, Inc., outlined the circumstances under which employees disqualify themselves from receiving unemployment benefits.

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Even if jobless workers meet minimum standards for receiving benefits, Adler said, they might still be disqualified from receiving benefits due to a number of factors:

  • If they were fired from their jobs due to misconduct connected with work.
  • If they left their jobs voluntarily without a good reason connected to the job. Adler noted that the standards for these good reasons—"good cause"—vary widely by state. And, typically, workers who leave their jobs due to apparent discrimination, harassment, or other illegal behavior in the workplace are rarely denied benefits.
  • If they left their jobs due to a strike or other work stoppage resulting from a labor dispute.
  • If they are receiving other forms of support (e.g., Social Security checks, private pensions, or severance pay).
  • If they turned down a suitable job offer received during the unemployment period.
  • If they lied to the unemployment office to qualify for benefits in the first place.

Ronald Adler is president and CEO of Laurdan Associates, Inc., a human resources management consulting firm specializing in unemployment insurance audits, consulting, research and expert witness testimony. Contact him at

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