Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

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Latest post 11-17-2008 11:22 PM by Drew. 6 replies.
  • 11-13-2008 1:12 PM

    Question [=?] Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    Our company is currently offering a "Voluntary" Separation Package, In Lieu of, a involuntary layoff. Under Pennsylvania law, can I collect Unemployment? I have called both my HR department, and the Pennsylvania Unemployment Office and they were of no help.

    For personal reasons, I would like to take advantage of the offer, but I am concerned I may not find other employment by the time the severance runs out.

    I would appreciate any information from anyone who has been in a similar situation.
  • 11-13-2008 2:37 PM In reply to

    re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    One thing common to UI everywhere is that there are always specific rules and regulations addressing voluntary termination.

    Here's the PA UI statute:


    Start with looking in Section 402. Ineligibility for Compensation.

    And here are the regulations that supplement the statute:


    My guess is (and make sure you verify whether I'm right or wrong) is that you would not be eligible with a voluntary termination or you would, at least, not be eligible till your severance equaled the equivalent of the total weekly benefits that you would have collected.

    I suspect that the employer wouldn't be foolish enough to pay severance if he was going to end up being charged for everybody's UI anyway.

    Keep in mind that, if you wait for the layoff, you collect for 26 weeks plus the 13 week federal extension and there may even be another extension coming.

    If it was me I would carefully weigh how much the severance was compared to how much unemployment I could collect. These days it's more likely that the job market is dried up for a long time to come.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-13-2008 2:48 PM In reply to

    re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    Thank you!

    I have looked at the statute and under section 402 I found the following:

    (2) No otherwise eligible claimant shall be denied benefits for any week in which his unemployment is due to exercising the option of accepting a layoff, from an available position, pursuant to a labor-management contract, or pursuant to an established employer plan, program or policy.

    That's why I think I'm eligible.

    I received 2 you are "probably" eligibles. 1 from HR, and 1 from the PA unemployment office. I guess I may need to contact an attorney.

  • 11-13-2008 4:26 PM In reply to

    • cbg
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-21-2000
    • MA
    • Posts 6,836

    re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    ONLY the state UI office can give you a carved in stone answer as to whether you are eligible, and they will not tell you in advance of your filing.

    The opinions of anyone here, as well as the opinions of any attorneys, are not binding on the UI office. The ONLY way to get a carved in stone answer is to file and see what happens.
  • 11-16-2008 7:03 PM In reply to

    re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    Before I started spending money on an attorney I'd file for benefits as soon as my termination occurred and see what the decision was.

    There's nothing an attorney can do for you (except take your money) until you actually file and get a decision anyway.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-17-2008 9:01 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    Eligibility will likely depend on whether there would be continuing work available if you do not take the offer. If the answer is yes, then you would probably be ineligible for UC.
  • 11-17-2008 11:22 PM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,591

    re: Voluntary Separation and Unemployment Insurance

    Conversely if there is not work available and especially if employer does not contest your UC application it may sail thru--problem is if folks in HR are induced to get folks to take voluntary exit packages with smoke and promises and some bean counter wants to contest UC so as to keep those costs lower.

    Now to some degree such packages may be take it or else--and that gets to be a bit grey.

    No clean cast in concrete answers--sort of depends on specifics. You may be able to do both--but its not a given.

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