If you suffer a reduction in salary or a total loss of employment in a family business, you can claim unemployment insurance benefits. To receive benefits, the family business must participate in the state unemployment insurance program. There are also some other prerequisites that determine eligibility.
Check state laws
Each state has its own rules regarding family members who wish to claim unemployment benefits. For example, in Michigan, you can not receive benefits if the business is organized as a partnership or sole proprietorship of your child, spouse or parent. In Wisconsin, you can not receive benefits if the family business is owned by you or a member of your immediate family. Refer to your state’s Unemployment Insurance Board to determine which family employees are exempt or entitled to receive benefits. In many cases, this information is available on the agency’s website.
Check your wages
To receive unemployment benefits, you need sufficient wages during your “base period”. The base period is the 12-month period preceding your loss of salary. The amount of money you must earn during the base period varies by state. After verifying that you meet the salary requirements of the base period, apply for unemployment. To determine the salary requirements for the reference period, consult your state’s unemployment insurance board.
Ask for benefits
Applying for unemployment is a fairly simple process. Take a visit to your local unemployment office and complete a claim. Some Unemployment Offices allow you to complete the online application process. On demand, you must answer questions about your work history, past wages, and the reason for unemployment. Once you submit the application, start filing weekly benefit claims. Continue to file claims until you are informed.
Determination of eligibility
Your application will be attributed to a representative of the unemployment agency. It’s his job to check if you have earned or not enough basic salary. She will also contact the family business to verify the reason for your loss of salary. Once the representative completes her investigation, she will send an “eligibility determination” letter indicating whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits. If you are entitled to receive benefits, the letter will indicate the amount of the weekly benefit and the number of weeks during which you are eligible to receive benefits. The number of weeks you qualify for benefits varies by state. For example, in Michigan, if you have more than 50% interest in the family business, you can only receive benefits for seven and a half weeks, while someone else can receive benefits up to 26 weeks of regular benefits.