As we have blogged before, it is possible to receive unemployment benefits, even though you are off of work because of a workplace injury. . You do not have to be fired to qualify for unemployment benefits. You can get unemployment benefits if you quit for good cause.
One good cause is if you quit because you are not physcially able to do your job. For example, if your work comp claim has been denied, but you have work restrictions that your employer is not accommodating, you can qualify for unemployment benefits.
When I explain this to my client, the question I often receive is how to actually apply for those unemployment benefits. Below is a list of steps:
1.You must be able and willing to work. Often, you will have work restrictions from your doctor when you are injured. Your employer may not allow you to work within those restrictions. If your work comp claim is denied, and your employer won’t accommodate your restrictions, you may apply for unemployment benefits. You must represent that you are able to work (within your restrictions). You cannot qualify for unemployment if your doctor takes you off of work completely.
2.To apply online, follow the link at NEworks.nebraska.gov to file an application. You will be required to upload a resume and job-search information. If you do not have access to the internet, you may visit a local Job Center at the following locations listed here: https://www.dol.nebraska.gov/Home/AboutUs. Somehow, you must find a way to get internet access because you will need to post your resume online. If you cannot get to a Job Center, check with your local library. Slow internet speed hindering unemployment claims is a problem in rural areas in Nebraska and across the nation.
3. Have the following information ready to complete an application:
- Social Security Number
- Complete home mailing address, including ZIP code
- Telephone number
- Email address
- County you live in
- Driver’s license number or State ID card number
- If you select direct deposit, your bank routing number and account number
- The company names for all your employers from the past 18 months as they appear on your paycheck stubs or W-2 forms
- Complete mailing addresses of employers, including ZIP code and the city in which the business is physically located
- Your start and end dates with each employer, including month, day, and year
- Your reason for leaving each employer (lack of work, voluntary quit, discharge, leave of absence)
- Employment authorization number and expiration date (if a non-citizen)
- If you served in the military the past 18 months, DD 214 Member #4 Form
4.Communicate with the Nebraska Department of Labor. Often times someone from the Nebraska Department of Labor will call you to ask questions. These questions are often prompted by infornation submitted by your employer Make sure you answer take that call. We wrote a blog back in 2012 where a Nebraska Department of Labor employee said that many unemployed workers would get benefits if they would just answer their phone whwen the NDOL calls. After you file a new claim for unemployment benefits, you must file a weekly claim for benefits.
5. If your claim is denied, or you are told that you are disqualified from benefits for a certain period of time, you may file an appeal, but the appeal must be filed within 20 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed. You can file an appeal online at neworks.nebraska.gov, in writing by mail, by fax at 402-471-1734), or by email (NDOL.Appeals@nebraska.gov). If filing an appeal by mail, send to: Nebraska Appeal Tribunal, Nebraska Department of Labor, PO Box 98941, Lincoln, NE 68509. If your appeal is in writing, you must state the reason you wish to appeal, and include your signature, Social Security Number and employer’s name. Include the Determination ID from your determination letter.
If you are unsure how to file an appeal, contact a lawyer or someone at our firm. The Nebraska Department of Labor tries to schedule hearings within a few weeks of an appeal date. While that might seem like a lifetime when you aren’t receiving benefits, it isn’t a lot of time for a lawyer to get prepared for a hearing.