Don't be afraid to reapply for unemployment benefits

Don't Waste Your Money: Reapplying for denied unemployment benefits
Posted at 3:21 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:03:15-04

First, it was almost impossible to apply for unemployment benefits.

Now, many people who've applied have hit another snag: they've been denied.

Or nothing has shown up.

Here's what you can do if it's happened to you.

If you are out of work, even just temporarily, you are supposed to receive unemployment benefits.

But many people who have applied have still not seen a dime from the state ... or the federal government.

Jamell Jordan was grocery shopping with his new baby.

He can't afford a sitter because his unemployment benefits are held up.

"I'm supposed to be getting $600 a week now, cause there's an extra 600 dollars, but I have not yet received anything," Jordan said.

Mike McFarland also hit a snag in his bid to get benefits.

"Because I filed an appeal a year ago, that appeal was never processed but it blocked me from filing again," McFarland said.

Many of the millions laid off are still waiting for unemployment benefits to kick in.

"This is hard, this is hard, it really is," said Tony White, who runs the "Ladies and Gents" barber shop.

He doesn't have enough money to make his shop coronvirus safe. And he was rejected for state benefits, for not being an employee.

"I applied for unemployment back in March," he said. "They left me waiting up til the end of April just to say 'Hey, you are denied.;"

White also applied for Federal Pandemic Assistance for the self-employed called PUA, but ...

"They turned me down flat for that," he said.

The big problem the first few weeks of the crisis was just getting on state websites and trying to apply.

With that mostly resolved, the big issue now is applying and being told you don't qualify.

The "Motley fool" says the reasons for rejection include:

  • You didn't earn enough in 2019 to qualify.
  • You recently switched jobs.
  • You quit your job voluntarily.
  • Or most of your income as cash or tips.

Labor attorney Arthur Schofield says appeal a denial immediately.

"If you don't file an appeal, you're not going to be able to get your benefits," Schofield said.

But if you are self-employed, he says go back and reapply, due to new federal money now available.

Tony White will reapply, but he says he's running out of energy.

"I've applied for everything, just to hear nothing or no," he said.

If you are denied benefits, the key is to appeal as soon as possible.

File your appeal online, and mail a paper letter to the unemployment office as a backup.

That way you don’t waste your money.