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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Default Qualifying for Unemployment With a Past History of Disability Leave

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Massachusetts

    Back in July 2014, all within the same week, I had a nervous breakdown caused by my job, and then had a serious accident, where I was hospitalized for a week and had neck surgery. I was on disability from July 2014 up through December 2015, when I finally felt well enough to get a job and get off disability (even though I could have stayed on disability until October 2016). Per my doctors, I could not continue in the same atmosphere that I had worked for 30+ years for fear of another breakdown. So, I got a great job nearby. I started December 7, 2015. In February 2016, we were told that the company "may" be sold to a California company, but that our jobs were secure through the year. However, on 3/18/16, I was laid off. I filed for unemployment as soon as I was allowed, only to find that I was denied. I have requested an appeal. Prior to this mess, I was a successful legal secretary at some of Boston's biggest firms.

    My question is, will I be able to get unemployment benefits in this kind of situation? Should I have an attorney come with me to the hearing? Any suggestions?

    Thank you for your time and expertise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,260

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    What was the reason given for your denial?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,159

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    Why were you denied? I suspect it was due to look back base period of income. Each state has a lookback period to see if you worked long enough and earned enough wages paid into unemployment. It is very possible due to your disability timeoff that you didn't earn enough to get any unemployment benefits. Generally employers dont' pay into UI for disability benefits.

    Here is what Massachusetts says: "The primary base period is the last four completed calendar quarters prior to the date on which your claim is effective. The primary base period is usually used to calculate how much you are eligible to receive. The alternative is the last three completed calendar quarters and the period of time between the last completed quarter and the effective date of your claim... "

    You should have credit for 4q15 and part of 1q16 (which is possibly not even filed yet). So the alternative might be better, but even then you really only have 3 months of income out of 12 needed, so even if you get benefits they would only be about 1/4 of normal if you had worked a full year.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    IF the reason for the denial was lack of wages in the look back period, then no, you will not get unemployment benefits and it would be a waste of both time and money to bring an attorney with you since there would be nothing he could do. That's black and white; you either qualify financially or you don't. There is no grey area. If you don't have the wages, then there's no benefits. Period.

    IF the reason for the denial was something else, please post back with that reason.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,341

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    If you don't have the wages, then there's no benefits. Period.
    This is Isabelle all over again. If there aren't enough wages for a claim filed on 3/18, there might very well be the right amount of wages right now that the quarter has changed or when the quarter changes again on 7/3. It's a moving target. The appeal might not be the answer but filing a NEW claim might make all the difference in the world.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    Chyvan, I really do wish you would learn to read. I did not say that the OP did not have enough wages (though she probably doesn't); I said IF she doesn't have enough wages.

    I am in the OP's state. She can try filing a new claim; she can try an appeal; she can try anything her little heart desires and any off-the-wall theories you come up with. But after she's tried them all, IF she does not have enough wages, she will not get benefits. I don't know what even you can find to disagree with there. I can promise you, though, that I know the MA DUA a lot better than you do.

    If the reason for the denial was NOT that she didn't have enough wages, then she needs to tell us what it was.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,341

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    any off-the-wall theories you come up with. . . . I don't know what even you can find to disagree with there.
    I don't disagree with you. It's because you failed to mention reapplying in the new quarter. Filing when the quarter changes is not some "off-the-wall theory." It's exactly what people with spotty work records have to do some times. Is it going to work? I can't say because I don't know her wages. However, the new quarter started 4/3. If she reapplies now and is successful, she can get benefits with an effective date of 4/3 instead of weeks later when she finds out that you can apply more than once because no one told her everything she might try.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    I didn't mention re-applying in the new quarter because I know from personal experience that IF it is a wage issue AND IF filing a new claim in the new quarter will make a difference (still unlikely given the dates provided) the MA DUA will instruct her to file the new claim.

    And we're spending a lot of time on an OP that can't be bothered to come back and answer the question.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    They said I didn't make enough the previous year. My wages for the month of December were 3,283.11. However, my disability provided wages in the amount of approximately $40,000. From January - March, my direct deposits were a bit more than $9,400. I'm quite confused. By the way, I was told that LoJack did not contest my unemployment, if that means anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,260

    Default Re: Can One Collect Unemployment After a Certain Situation Has Happened

    Disability income is not wages for unemployment purposes in MA.

    You can try filing a new claim, as Chyvan suggests, now that it's a new quarter. I would recommend, in the strongest possible terms, that you go physically to one of the walk in sites, sit down with someone and have them help you work out the most favorable arrangement. From the numbers you provide, it may be that you will qualify now; I can't carve anything in stone for you. If you do, great. If you don't, there is nothing to be done. You MUST qualify financially before you can receive benefits. If you don't, it doesn't matter whether your employer contests or not.

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