Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unemployment for teachers

If you are a classroom teacher, you may be wondering if you qualify for unemployment benefits. There are different rules for school teachers and there are many things that will affect your eligibility. *Please note that this is just general information. Nothing is guaranteed to be 100% accurate or pertain to your situation. States and school districts vary.

Generally speaking, if you have a teaching contract, you probably cannot get unemployment benefits. That is, you are in between terms and have signed a contract for the next term. This even means summer break.

If you have a long term teaching contract, and you are out on a scheduled break for the school term, you most likely cannot get unemployment. This includes summer and long holiday breaks like Christmas.

The bottom line is that if you have a contract to teach, renewable each term, chances are you are out of luck. Many districts allow their regular teachers to work as a substitute. Remember that teachers need breaks. It is a rather tiring job. Use your breaks wisely.

Now if you do not have a long term contract and no tenure, you may be eligible. Have you signed a contract for the next term? Chances are that you do not qualify.

Did you complete a teaching term and did not sign a contract for the next one? Have not been offered one yet? You may be eligible. If you do not have a reasonable assurance that you will return, you may be eligible.

Are you a teacher who has been laid off? That is, you were given a written statement saying you are not needed next term. Then, you may be eligible.

Are you a substitute teacher? The rules here are not exactly cut and dry. Substitutes have no contracts, mostly, so you may be eligible.

Did you receive a reduction in an assignment? That is, you were working full time, and now you are put on part time through no fault of your own. You may be eligible. You were not offered full time employment. This can be common for college teachers.

If you quit your job, chances are you cannot get unemployment.

Unemployment offices look very hard at teachers. But it can be possible to qualify. It does not hurt to apply, and most states have a way of applying online.

Read the material they send you along with the rules and handbook.

If you feel you have been denied, you can appeal. Be sure and keep detailed records to show during your appeal.

The one thing that you have to remember, is that you probably had to pay into the system to be eligible. If you worked as a teacher, but did not pay in, chances are no matter what, you will not be eligible.

Your former employer will be contacted and they can ask that your unemployment benefits be denied. Your employer is actually taxed to pay unemployment benefits. This rate is based on those that collect.

Remember, these are only general guidelines for teachers and unemployment. Your school, district, and state always have the final say.

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