My Story: Unemployment Advice

by Betty G.

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My Story: Job Loss Lessons

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I have a few tips on unemployment:

  1. Get to the unemployment office as soon as possible, even on the day you are laid off if possible.

  2. Sign up with a temp. agency after you leave unemployment as in most states you can work some and still collect unemployment. In my state you can make 25% of your unemployment and not lose your total benefits. Then, there is a sliding scale that you lose so much for every $1 you make.

  3. Check into out-of state benefits if you've worked in a state (within the last 15 months) other than the one in which you live. I was able to collect almost double the benefits from the other state and the amount I could make before losing benefits was 40%. My state processed the out-of-state application and administered the benefits.

  4. Read the unemployment book they give you from cover to cover. I read that if I didn't work full time in my temp job, 40 hours a week, I could collect partial unemployment benefits. One week I worked 39 1/2 hours and was eligible for some money from unemployment.

  5. Temp agencies have benefits after you work so many hours, so sign up with more than one temp agency. If you get a call for 2 days work from one temp agency, accept the work and then call another agency to see if they have any work available for the other days of the week. You never sign an exclusive contract to work for only one agency, so sign up with all the agencies in your city. It seems time consuming in the beginning, but will benefit you in the end.

  6. Most temp. agencies will place you permanently with a company if both you and the company are pleased with the match. The employer pays the agency for the placement.

  7. The great thing about working temporarily, while on unemployment, is that you can always fall back on the unemployment benefits when you do not have work, thus "extending your benefits".

  8. Check the listing for jobs regularly with your unemployment/employment office. Here they call it the Employment Security Commission to make clear that they have jobs, and are not just the Unemployment Agency.

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"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help people save time or money please send it by email to with "My Story" as the subject.

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