Even a year ago, who would have thought that a teacher would lose her job due to budget shortfalls? Special education teachers are always the first to go, so here I am, finding myself without a job. Besides that, the only positive thing right now is my auto insurance. This is why you should choose the right car insurance policy to suit you and will help in times like these. The same day I was let go, I applied for unemployment. I am one of the lucky ones and was approved, but getting approved is getting more and more difficult, the tougher the economy becomes. Here are a few tips to better your chances of not being turned down.

1) Above all else, do not resign. Employers love to tell people that it looks better on their work records if they resign. They often do this after they call you in and tell you that you are being fired. They know that you probably won’t receive unemployment insurance if you resign. So a signature from you, ensures they save money on the amount they pay in for the unemployment insurance. 

My principal tried pulling this trick on me. I was called into his office, told I was being let go, and he stated the school board would need a resignation letter. I informed him he just let me go. The next day I was called to the school board to sign my exit packet, and the first thing to sign was a typed up resignation letter. Again I told them I was let go, I still wanted to work at the school, and would walk across the street right then and there and start teaching again if allowed. Under no circumstances let the employer bully you into signing a resignation letter. True, it may look better on your work record, but in the meantime, how will you pay our bills?

2) If you are having work-related issues, and fear you may be let go, make sure you submit documentation supporting your side of the issues. Ask that the notes or documentation be included in your employee file. If you miss a lot of work due to a doctor’s appointment or sickness, include the notes from the doctors also. If unemployment should investigate your reason for being let go, you will have something to back you up.

3) If things are looking bleak and you fear to lose your job, try to hang on as long as you can. This applies especially if you are a relatively new employee. Each state is different, but Florida mandates that you must have worked enough to make 17 times your weekly unemployment amount or they will have to investigate your last job. Chances are if they have to go back to other jobs, you probably won’t receive unemployment. In Florida, the weekly amount can be no more than 275, so you would have had to make $4675.

4) Try to ensure that you do not job hop. If you job hop, this decreases your chance of getting unemployment insurance. They will begin to question why you can’t seem to hold down a job.

5) I have a friend who was approved for unemployment and began to brag to everyone that she was not planning on getting a job till her unemployment insurance ran out. She bragged to the wrong person and was audited by the unemployment agency and lost her unemployment, In the audition, she had to pay back everything she had earned, as she had no record of looking for a job. Most states require you to keep your own record of job searches and require you to list at least two attempts per week. It is important to keep this record, in case you are audited.

Hopefully, I will not be receiving my check for long. $275 is a big loss from what I was making as a teacher, but it serves the purpose of helping me make ends meet until I get a job. Teaching jobs are scarce these days, so I’ll take any job that comes my way.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to increase your chances of being approved for unemployment insurance if you apply. Maybe things will improve soon and no one else will be faced with the prospect of a job loss. We can only hope!

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