Many American workers will experience a layoff or downsizing at some point in their careers. Fortunately, U.S. states have unemployment benefit programs set up that allow most unemployed workers to still receive some sort of income while searching for their next job or career opportunity. Sometimes workers are surprised to learn that their unemployment benefits have abruptly ended. To avoid this, if possible, you should be aware of what could cause you to lose your benefits.
Availability to Work
Some unemployed workers are denied unemployment benefits if they are actually unavailable to work full-time hours or a full-time schedule. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, unemployment benefits can be denied to workers who refuse to accept a new full-time position, even if due to a good cause or scheduling conflicts. Another situation that can prevent you from receiving your unemployment benefits is if you cannot accept a new job without imposing restrictions on it. If you claimed unemployment as a full-time worker, you must be able and willing to accept a new full-time gig, and the same theory applies to part-time workers on part-time unemployment benefits as well.
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Certain other payments or benefits can disqualify you for unemployment. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, one of these is payment in lieu of notice, also known as severance pay. Other disqualifying payments are worker's compensation benefits and pension or retirement benefits based on the same time period as the unemployment claim. The latter situation can cause you to lose your unemployment benefits completely or receive a reduced unemployment payment that factors in how much money the pension plan pays. If you try to collect unemployment benefits without reporting your other benefits, it is considered fraud and can lead to immediate suspension of your unemployment benefits.
You may lose your benefits if the state realizes that they overpaid you in previous months. For example, if your benefits range allots you payments of $400 a month, but you've been receiving $500 a month, you can be cut off from receiving new payments until the overpayment amount is reouped. Some people can lose all future unemployment benefits if they knowingly made false or fraudulent statements to gain their benefits. If this occurs, you can be disqualified from the program, as well as prosecuted.
Worker Status Change
Some unemployed workers will lose their benefits because their worker status changed. Changes may include moving to a new area or state or becoming a full-time student, which may prevent you from accepting a new position. If you accept a temporary work assignment and earn a paycheck, you will also lose your unemployed worker status in most states.