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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:36 PM
Original message
Question regarding unemployment
I have a question, my job has been eliminated, so I have two choices: Take another job doing something I'm just not really going to enjoy, or take a severance package. My question is, if I take the severance, I want to go back to school to retrain in a whole other field, but I would need unemployment benefits to do that most likely. Otherwise, I'll have little incoming because I want to go to school full time and knock it out quick. How long do unemployment benefits last? I live in Florida. Any advise from people who've been down this road is so appreciated, this is such a hard decision for me to make.
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Most states require you to look for work to get unemployment.
It is not legal to use unemployment as income while you go to school. In CA you have to answer some questions on a form to get your unemployment. One is, "Did you look for work?" Another one is. "Did you enroll in school or a training program." To answer them dishonestly is a crime.
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BostonTeaParty04 Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. That's a tough one.
Edited on Thu Apr-15-04 03:44 PM by BostonTeaParty04
Check out Florida dept of labor site for duration of unemployment benefits. But I am sure that you have to show that you *are* looking for work each week. You can't just opt for it, and then hang out till benefits run out. Though a lot of people manage that.

Personally, I would take the job that is being offered and go to school part-time. Do you get to keep medical benefits with it? That's something, cause you would lose benefits or have to pay A LOT to use COBRA.

Go to school part-time, keep the job (you will feel a lot more secure... and that's worth a lot). And hopefully things will get better come 2005.

IMO

I can't imagine anyone opting to NOT WORK right now. You lose your job these days, and it may be two years before you get another job, unless you want to flip burgers.

ON EDIT: a severance package looks attractive; a big chunk of change. But when it's gone, it is GONE.

Being amongst the unemployed is like taking a step right OUTSIDE the lines of civilization. You kind of become a non-person. It's murder on your self-esteem....why sign up for such status if you don't have to.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't know how Florida works
but in Ohio, you get your severance package first. Then, after the how many ever weeks of severance you get, you have up to 26 weeks (6 months) of unemployment. If you qualify for the extension that gives you another 13 weeks.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Look into whether you can get unemployment while getting
the training you want.

With some training programs you get extended unemployment while in the program. I don't know which ones or why you can with some and not others...?
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jtb33 Donating Member (490 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. I can't say for Florida...
But when I was unemployed in AZ, the unempl. insurance was for 12 months (my severance package was based on 4 months of my income).

As for your other question, I think it depends on what YOU want to do and how you feel about the options you have. IMO, one of the more important things is: how old are you? Obviously, if you were just starting out in your line of work, a career change wouldn't hurt your income potential as much. However, if you're 40 (for example), are you willing to start over again at the "bottom of the ladder" (so to speak) in your new vocation? On the other hand, if you go back to school for additional training (will you get a degree, or just take classes?), you may qualify for grants (like the Pell).

Sorry, just rambling here...
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. This is the advise I"m looking for....
I'm 39 this month and that's what this would be, a life change. A new career path. I've been in corporate America for 12 years now, with different companies and I see no end to this life style. If I go back to school, it would be an aggressive 2 years or less, full time, to get my BA in another field. My situation is a bit unique, I don't have dependents, I'm pretty much debt free except for my car, which I'd trade down and pay off, so literally, my only bills would be rent.
I totally get the fear of being unemployed and without insurance. Not a fun prospect at my age, but I do know, that if I don't take control of my future, it'll always take control of me. I know many people well into their 40's who've been recently laid off, I just can't see myself being in my late 40's starting over because my company no longer needs my services, so I see this as a possible get into a professional career that I control. But then I vacillate because the economy is so bad and I'm lucky to have a job right now that pays decent, I'm not getting rich, but I'm not poor either. And frankly, it's a brain dead job that I'd be doing.
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jtb33 Donating Member (490 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. That paints a much clearer picture...
I think (aside from facing unemployment) you're in a pretty good position. The fact that you have no dependents is a big plus in your situation.

I think, too, it is going to depend on what your current experience is in, and what you are thinking of moving on to... are they related, at all? For example, if you're currently in advertising and wanting to move to something like "Information Technology", then it could be a good move and you wouldn't really have to start "at the bottom".

I personally subscribe to the notion of "Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." I enjoy what I do and I don't dread having to get up each morning to go to work. I like the challenges my job affords me and because I enjoy it, I am "successful" at it. I am not rich either, but I make more than enough to provide for my family at a job I love. It sure beats pulling in $200K/yr doing something I'd hate and coming home grumpy and upset each day.
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. you nailed it...this is what I'm thinking about doing...
It's a cross roads for me, I choose my path or it gets chosen for me. It's scary as hell to make that leap, but I just get the feeling that this job elimination is a sign to do something with my life or just go to work depressed everyday because that's what it takes to make a living. Money isn't all that makes me happy, I need it to live the way I want to live, but I'm not a person who requires a lot of things to be happy. However, I require feeling good about myself and what I do for a living, and when I think about endless days of the same thing, I get even more depressed. I always loved, "The biggest risk in life, is to take no risk at all." But damn, when it's my risk I'm talking about, it's very uncomfortable.
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babzilla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. you can enroll in a worker retraining program and collect unemployment
http://www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/programs/tra.ht...

You can't work on a BA and collect unemployment without actively searching for a job.

You might want to look into a work study position in the college department that you enroll in if you are working on a BA.

Don't forget that you can deduct the cost of books and tuition (up to $4,000) from your taxes for the first 2 years under the Lifetime Learning credit.
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Mrs. Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. If Your Job Has Been Elimated
because it's been outsourced overseas, you have special retraining benefits coming from the federal government.
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. No, it's just being eliminated because it's no longer needed.
Great tip though to remember.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. Your question really has very little to do with unemployment insurance
1) What are your responsibilities? (Spouse/kids depending on your income? Mortage? Or can you move in with others while in school?)

2) What would you be doing now and what do you feel about it? Long term prospects? Can you do it long enough to retrain for another field in the evenings?

3) What's the new field? Do you KNOW you will love it?


Think about it this way... the way your question is worded makes you look just like the people the conservatives complain about when they rail agains unemployment benefits and about "welfare reform" etc. You don't REALLY want to live off of other people while you are intentionally not working do you?

If you're single/unatached why not take the job as a "temporary" assignment, reduce your lifestyle back to what it was in college and knock out those courses?

If you have people who depend on your income.... well, it sucks, but now is not a great time to be out in the labor market. You have obligations. Things are looking a lot better and seem to still be improving... but that's a LONG way from the days when you could just go out and get some skills and know there would be a job waiting for you.
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Thanks for all this advise, really...it is appreciated,
1) I sold my house last year to reduce my lifestyle, I've paid off all my credit card and debts, I'm pretty much debt free with my house profits in the bank. No children, and living with a partner, sharing rent. If there was ever a time I can afford to take time off to pursue a career, this is that cross roads.

2)The work I'd be doing, I've done years ago. Answering phones, but maintaining my level of pay. I would just be strapped to a desk which doesn't appeal to me, but again...it's income. My fear is to be without any incoming finances. I could do it and go to school in the evenings, I did that for 12 years for a 2 year degree without one student loan, so I've been down that road before. This would be the opposite, less than 2 years to get a BA.

3)The new field would be gearing toward the medical field in speech therapy with English as a minor. Right now, I've been in the tech field and not very fulfilled with it at all.

I'm not living off of other people, I don't see unemployment benefits as welfare, I see this as a conservative...an opportunity to change my career path to potentially make a lot more money and enjoy what I do. Or I could just take the phone job and count on my job going overseas in a few months anyway the way jobs are leaving this country? Maybe I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth and I just need to take the job and quite whining about it? I wanted to get the opinions of people who've been there and it sounds like I should take the job and go to school in the evenings.
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. It is living off of other people. Employers have to pay UE tax.
You don't pay unemployment tax. Your past employer paid it. You will be taking money under false pretenses if you say you are looking for work and you aren't.

It is your choice but be honest with yourself.
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I would never be dishonest and not look for a job...
However, I would look for a job and continue to advance my career in another vocation. I appreciated everyone's advise here, thanks.
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. Probably all states require to look for work
When you receive unemployment they ask you to look for work every week, and although it is possible to get away with doing other things and using the income as temporary living expenses it can be a risk because they can ask you to provide a list of the job searches you have done at any time. It's different state by state though I would think.

Bottom line, it depends on the state on how lax or severe they enforce unemployment benefits program. But you can get them for a year or more from my experience.
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. looking for work isn't a problem, there isn't any here that pays. nt
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Ok, well if the question is
Can one get away with receiving unemployment benefits while not looking for work, and doing other things. Yes, although technically not legal, for instance they say on the form they can make you pay back all benefits if they find you have been dishonest in your answers every week, it is possible to do this from my experience. It depends on if one is willing to take (a very small risk, in my opinion) whether one wants to do this route.
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seasat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-15-04 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. I agree with Frodo
I was laid off after my employer went out of business in '91. It was the 4th one to do that I took the hint and went back to school. I took 3 months of unemployment and spent all my time cramming for the GRE. I got into graduate school in marine science and have never regretted it. I was single and 30 at the time. I found that my college had a graduate student dorm where the living was cheap and there were many people my age. They would also let you stay there during holiday breaks if you made the dorm your permanent residence. I took out student loans but eventually got a stipend doing research. I also worked part time painting apartments. It was a lot of work but also a heck of a lot of fun. If you don't have any family obligations I'd highly recomend it. You might also check to see if there is retraining dollars available through the government to assist you. Finally convince everyone to vote for John Kerry since he'll put through a program to completely cover your student loans if you do some government service work. ;-)
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