After your military service, collecting unemployment can seem like a good way to get some R and R or get by while going to school, but are there disadvantages?
The first thing to consider is that unemployment insurance is run by each individual state, so each state has their own special laws and considerations. Some unemployment offices will have a veterans’ coordinator who can address your particular situation, but we will discuss in this article some of the basic standards for unemployment as a student.
Most states require that in order to receive unemployment the recipient must be regularly looking for work and willing to work. This means that you cannot simply opt out of work in order to pursue your education and simultaneously collect unemployment. Some states do however offer a special program for training which acts as a temporary exception to the previous rule. In Massachusetts, unemployment recipients are allowed to pursue a certificate while collecting unemployment. In Oregon, recipients can pursue up to an Associate’s Degree. Contact your state’s unemployment office for specific questions.
If you are in school, not under one of these special programs and are trying to get a full-time job, then you may qualify for unemployment. Unemployment for veterans is called Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX). Again, in order to apply, follow the above link in order to contact your state’s unemployment office.
There are a few drawbacks of collecting unemployment.
– You must physically remain in the state you are collecting from, so if you are a student you must collect from the state you attend school in.
– You must regularly check in with the unemployment office.
– If an employer offers you a position, you must take it.
– There is usually a time limit on how long you can collect, again it varies greatly from state to state but a general time tends to be around the 26 week range.
If you are only taking a few classes while trying to find a full-time job, then this should be no issue, but if you are enrolled as a full-time student you must also be willing to work full-time. Unemployed veterans are also eligible for a short extension of their GI Bill under the VOW to hire veterans act. In order to find out if you qualify click here!