New to Unemployment: What I Tell the Unemployed

New to Unemployment
New to Unemployment

New to unemployment?  First, welcome.  Second, let’s have faith your unemployment stint is short-lived.  On the other hand, lets also assume the job search process takes six months or more.

Did you know Minnesota’s unemployment office might be able to audit accounts under MN statute 268.186 for an infinite period of time?  Scary, right?

For this reason, I tell anybody who is unemployed to engage MN unemployment benefits like they approach their taxes: keep hard copies of everything.

New to Unemployment:  Records start Immediately

Anybody applying for unemployment benefits will be asked to fill out a questionnaire.  I wish more of my Clients printed and kept copies of their application.

Any person new to unemployment is encouraged to keep their application and or any written inquiries proposed by DEED down the road.

New to Unemployment:  Quitting and Discharges

Most people requesting unemployment benefits do not have jobs.  Even so, keeping records from the last job is significantly important.  Why?  Because in six months, most applicants confronted with an appeal often forget important details.

The records I like seeking include:

  • Copies of employment files,
  • Truthful reason an employer ended a job, and
  • Writing down notes from an event for future reference.

New to Unemployment:  Job Searches

Another element to quality records in the long run include documentation of a person’s job search.  Personally, this can include just about anything:

  • Filling out applications,
  • Updating resumes,
  • Traveling around town looking for jobs,
  • Reading twitter for new job postings,
  • Talking with recruiters,
  • Updating online profiles,
  • Knocking on doors, and
  • Anything else you interpret as looking for a job.

Generally, logging activities and time can be a life saver.  Most applicants I meet with do not have this.  Luckily, you can start documenting three minutes after you finish reading this post.

Again, I am not identifying this as a burden, but a way to hedge risk.  The goal is to reduce problems in case of an audit.

New to Unemployment:  Part-Time Jobs

For the handful of workers, people or employees who accept  a part-time job get into trouble too.  For this reason, I like the idea of keeping a personal calendar of one’s shifts.

For example, if a worker finds a part-time job at a restaurant, keeping a calendar for days and hours worked can again be a blessing in disguise.

For those working the third shift, identify your both your starting time and ending time just incase things get crazy down the road.