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Getting severance checks, do I file for unemployment benefits now?

unemployed_personQ) My employment was terminated. I’m being given severance checks until April. Do I file for unemployment benefits now or in April?

A) It all depends on the State in which you live, as each state administrates their unemployment benefit program differently.

For example: According to CA Department of employment “Severance pay is not deducted from unemployment insurance benefits and does not affect your eligibility to receive benefits. The method of payment, such as a lump sum payment or payments paid to you at regular pay period intervals does not change the nature of the payment. However, you must report severance pay at the time you file your unemployment insurance claim.” Clearly in this case you can file right away.

I suggest that you call or visit your local unemployment office and speak with a counselor. You can also check your state Department of employment website for Benefit Eligibility information.

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