Lose your job? Here’s where to start
Not having a job can be a shock to your system. In cases such as a layoff or furlough, knowing that it’s not personal can help ease the pain. While processing the situation may take some time, it’s best to keep a level head and take immediate steps to put yourself in the best position possible.
Review materials and ask questions
Carefully read through all materials provided to you upon your separation. Ask about severance, bonuses/commissions, your last paycheck, unused vacation time pay, health insurance, retirement plan, and other benefits. Also, find out your actual termination date (for unemployment benefits), and see if you’re eligible to be rehired—and how that might affect severance.
Use all available resources
If your employer offers help with job placement, counseling, or any other resources, be sure to take advantage of them. For example, you may have access to outplacement services, accrued paid time off, and unemployment insurance and/or medical coverage through COBRA.
Keep track of your log ins
Write down your usernames and passwords for your retirement plan, health insurance plan, and any other accounts associated with your employer, so you don’t lose track of them.
Filing for unemployment benefits
While each state sets its own eligibility guidelines, to qualify for unemployment insurance, you generally must:
Be unemployed through no fault of your own – For most states, this means you must have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work. Unemployment benefits are generally not available if you quit your job.
Meet your state’s wage and work requirements – Your wages earned or time worked is generally based on a period that includes the first 4 out of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the time your claim is filed.
Meet any additional state requirements – Find details for your state’s program at CareerOneStop, a website sponsored by the US Department of Labor.
To apply for unemployment benefits, you must file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by phone, or online.
Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
Investment advisory services provided through Fidelity Personal and Workplace Advisors LLC, a registered investment adviser, for a fee. Brokerage services provided through Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC. [Both are Fidelity Investments companies.]