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rkl_OD2be

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Optometry Student
For the past three years, I've been working & planning to quit my "day job" and go back to school to be an optometrist. My original plans were for me to voluntarily quit my job when the time came to start optometry school. Since I'll be starting my first professional year (P1) in just a short, few weeks, the day I'd be giving my 2-weeks notice to HR is coming quickly...

Last week, I learned that our company is reducing their workforce through voluntary separation packages. Since I had not turned in my "official" notice to HR yet, I am eligible to "volunteer." So, instead of one last check + accrued/unused vacation time, it looks like I'll continue to receive my current pay+benefits an additional 8 weeks into my first professional year education!

My question is this: after the separation pay "runs out", am I then eligible for unemployment benefits, since I was (in a sense) "laid off"? Or does the fact that I'm receiving Stafford loans to finance my education/living expenses nullify any unemployment I would otherwise be entitled to?

Thank you for your help.
 

mshheaddoc

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I believe if you are a student full time it nullifies the benefits of unemployment via the federal govt. I might check with your state guidelines though as if you are eligible for part-time work some states may allow you to qualify. (So I found at a few sites on google.com) But usually these are job training programs not professional schools. I think you'll be hardpressed to collect unemployment while in school.


You are still eligible for cobra though.
 

notdeadyet

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I don't know of anywhere that you can collect unemployment as a student. You can work part-time and collect in some states, but not study.

Also, confirm and reconfirm that your departure is going to be reported as a layoff and not as a resignation. It can get tricky and if you're reported as volunteering to leave, you can be uneligible for unemployment.
 
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Skaterbabe74

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notdeadyet said:
I don't know of anywhere that you can collect unemployment as a student. You can work part-time and collect in some states, but not study.

Also, confirm and reconfirm that your departure is going to be reported as a layoff and not as a resignation. It can get tricky and if you're reported as volunteering to leave, you can be uneligible for unemployment.
I received full unemployment as a full-time student in Colorado. The rule here is just that you need to be looking for a job that is at least 20 hours/week (i think - it was several years ago now so I don't remember the hour requirement). At the time I was laid off I was only working part-time for my company but had been working up until that last semester full time so I qualified for full-time benefits. The problem the OP will probably have is that it's a voluntary separation package. It has to be involuntary to qualify for unemployment, and even tho you're getting laid off they're getting around having to pay unemployment by making you volunteer for it. If they don't get enough volunteers then they may switch to involuntary and then you could get laid off that way (especially if they know you're going to optometry school but just haven't given notice yet) but I don't know if you have enough time to wait that out.
 
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I received full unemployment as a full-time student in Colorado. The rule here is just that you need to be looking for a job that is at least 20 hours/week (i think - it was several years ago now so I don't remember the hour requirement). At the time I was laid off I was only working part-time for my company but had been working up until that last semester full time so I qualified for full-time benefits. The problem the OP will probably have is that it's a voluntary separation package. It has to be involuntary to qualify for unemployment, and even tho you're getting laid off they're getting around having to pay unemployment by making you volunteer for it. If they don't get enough volunteers then they may switch to involuntary and then you could get laid off that way (especially if they know you're going to optometry school but just haven't given notice yet) but I don't know if you have enough time to wait that out.
How could you carry a full load and still look for employment? Did they even check?
 
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