Being out of work is not something anyone looks forward to, save for retirement… or a chance lottery win. If you find yourself unemployed, there are certain terms you should familiarize yourself with in order to be best prepared and equipped to get back into the workforce.
These words are used by employers, agents, the Department of Labor, and others who will be involved during your time unemployed and on your way back to a new job. Hopefully, your unemployment period will be brief, but knowledge is power, so make your time fruitful by learning these terms and getting yourself out there for a fresh start.
Able and Available: When it comes to unemployment lingo, this means you must be ready to work and able to do so both mentally and physically. You must seek out work in your field to the best of your capabilities. Note: these terms are quite different when seen in an online dating profile.
Benefit: This is the amount of unemployment insurance that is paid to a claimant – the person who is seeking unemployment benefits. The money benefits you, therefore the make-sense terminology.
Benefit Year: Sorry, you won't get a full year of benefits, but instead this refers to the one-year time period starting the Monday after the week the claimant files for benefits. The claimant can receive 26 weeks of benefits. Let's hope a new job is landed before then.
Displaced Worker: A person who is 20 years or older who loses their job due to a company closing or moving or a change in company structure resulting in the abolishment of their position with the company. Don't worry, you're new place of business will come along if you keep looking.
Extended Benefits: Bingo! These are the additional weeks of benefits a claimant can get during periods of high unemployment.
Fired: A favorite term from The Apprentice, being fired means you did something wrong at work such as violating a rule or procedure, got into a dispute or fight, or were excessively absent or late for work. Next time, don't do that.
Full-Time Worker: A person who works 35 or more hours per week. Needless to say, a part-timer works less than 35 hours/week.
Job Leavers: These are the folks who quit or voluntarily leave their place of employment and begin seeking new work right away. Well, at least they made the choice to go.
Lack of Work: Some folks lose their job under a claim of "lack of work." Perhaps a division shut down, your job was seasonal, or there was a company restructure. What's lacking in one place can be strong someplace else, if you're a "glass half-full" kinda person.
Let Go: While it sounds similar to the popular song from Frozen, being "let go" means you were fired or discharged because you didn't meet performance standards or the proper qualifications or production as set forth by the employer.
Long-Term Unemployed: Still jobless after 27 weeks or more? Then you are considered "long-term unemployed." Probably not the best thing you've been called.
Mass Layoff: When 50 people or more file initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits within a 5-week period from a sole institution. Massively disruptive to that company!
Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): The number you're hoping for – this is the highest amount a claimant is eligible to receive within the benefit year.
New Entrants: Welcome to the "real world!" These are the newbies who are joining the labor force for the very first time.
Occupational Illness: This is a sickness, condition, or disorder that resulted from being injured on the job or caused by exposure to factors that caused a disease or illness either acute or chronic. Boredom doesn't qualify.
Reason for Separation: This is why you no longer work. Perhaps you were fired, got let go, or quit. Hey, not everyone's meant to be together.
Re-certify: Each week, you need to prove that you are still unemployed yet actively looking for work. Yes, that weekly reminder is really something an unemployed person looks forward to.
Statutory Week: This is the week of a full 7 days beginning with a Monday. In case you're wondering, a regular week starts with Sunday.
Unemployment Rate: This is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the entire labor force. Let's hope this rate goes down.
Waiting Period: No money, mo' problems. This is the unpaid time that a claimant does not begin to receive benefits. Benefits begin after a full week of unemployment. If you work at all during that week, your unpaid period will extend to the following week.
Are you currently unemployed? For information about what your next steps should be, please visit USA.gov. Here you will learn learn about apply for unemployment benefits, seek jobs, understand about workers' compensation, how to extend your health coverage, and more.
You can file for unemployment at Unemployment Assist as well. Good luck!