Fired From Your Job? How to Predict if Your Unemployment Claim will be Allowed or Denied

Most people who are fired are approved for unemployment benefits but there are certain scenarios where one is going to have a difficult time. You are likely to lose if you have a pattern of misconduct that has been documented and where you have been warned. If you have shown a disregard for the employer’s interest why should your unemployment claim be approved?

The following are some of the more common reasons people get their unemployment benefits denied after they have been fired from their job.


Many people are fired for issues related to attendance. Were you fired for repeatedly missing work or for being tardy? What is the employer’s policy regarding attendance? At some point you should be warned that being absent or tardy is unacceptable. No call, no shows are especially damning. If you continue the behavior it ultimately will lead to a written warning or possibly a last chance agreement. If you continue to be absent or tardy you will not only be fired but your unemployment claim will be denied. It is all about policy, documentation and, warnings.


Were you fired for theft? If it is clear cut that you are guilty you will be denied unemployment benefits. For example, did you admit to the theft or was it caught on camera? Were you caught in a sting? Monkeying around or falsifying time cards is considered theft of time.

Seasoned unemployment adjudicators are good at what they do and generally do not rush to judgement. These adjudicators know full well there are very good employees caught up in bad situations, environments, etc.  If you were fired for theft but there is no evidence you are guilty you should be ok with your unemployment claim. I mean you may have been fired which is bad enough but your claim should come out ok.

Drugs and/or Alcohol

Issues related to drug and/or alcohol abuse gets many fired and this is also a good way to get your unemployment benefits denied. If your employer has a policy and if you have received and/or signed a copy of it you are already in a hole. Did your urinalysis come up dirty or did you refuse to take one—if so you are in trouble. Don’t ever come to work with alcohol on your breath or under the influence of any drug. It is a good way to hurt yourself or another, to get fired and, to get your unemployment benefits denied.

Again, the issue is misconduct and most of the time, it has to be multiple episodes of misconduct. Most people who are fired do not fall into the misconduct category and are approved.  It is also true that states vary in how they administer the unemployment claims program. For example, some states are more rigid than others, some pay out higher benefit amounts, etc. If your claim is denied you can file an appeal to have it looked at again.

I hope your claim is approved! Best wishes!

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Missing Link profile image

Missing Link 3 years ago from Oregon Author


Consider also filing a Workers Compensation claim. This is called different things in different states so it may not be called Workers' Compensation in all states but all states have a similar program. It is for people who get injured on the job but it is not automatic---you have to file a claim and like unemployment, it will have to be adjudicated.

Missing Link profile image

Missing Link 3 years ago from Oregon Author

Hi Ceejay,

The unemployment employees deal with a huge volume of information and dealing with the general public day in and day out is very difficult. Nevertheless, it's too bad you felt she was mean to you.

Well, you have to be available for your work---please see the link to my other article above which somewhat addresses your issue.

You don't say how long you were on the job. If you have been on a job for years you can use accrued sick leave -- generally something can be worked out if you have been there for awhile. But if you have been on the job a short time you do not have much in your favor per being unavailable due to being sick or injured. You also do not say what kind of injury, how it happened, how many absences there were, what the employer policy is per absences, etc.

The adjudicator on your claim will make a decision in the near future. If it is denied you can appeal. Best wishes!

Ceejay 3 years ago

I would like to know of I get unemployment just got off the phone with a very mean Lady. So not to sure if I would get it. I was let go due to absents but only reason for that was because I was hurt at that job and couldn't get outta bed.

Missing Link profile image

Missing Link 3 years ago from Oregon Author

Hi Rob,

Have you received a decision yet?

Are you currently working--Have you worked since leaving the restaurant job in question? How long had you worked at that restaurant job and on average how many hours per week?

Did you quit or were you fired?

So, you were late once and then per your medical condition called in sick once and your boss said to come in anyway right?

Thanks for stopping by!

I was out of town for a few days hence my delay in responding.

rob 3 years ago

I just applied for benefits and am not sure if my claim will be denied or not. I was working at a restaurant cooking. I was late once and never missed a day. Until about a month ago. I had a hernia that my employer had knowledge of. I called in one day and told my boss I would not be able to make it. He told me to come in and I didn't. About a week later I had surgery. This was two weeks ago. I am able to work a desk job now. Any advice would be appreciated. I need to go obline tomorrow to claim my weeks.

Missing Link profile image

Missing Link 3 years ago from Oregon Author


Please keep me posted on your claim. It is very hard to get on with a voluntary quit. Your claim is very interesting though---it would have been an intriguing claim for me to adjudicate when I was an unemployment claims examiner. Let you some fan mail :)

boehmsarah559 profile image

boehmsarah559 3 years ago from Hanford California

Missing Link,

Thank you for your reply. I did apply for unemployment yesterday. I am always honest about everything. I did keep a record of each time this manager talked to me about my clothes. I experience a negative employer when I was about 18 or 19 and thought I couldn't do anything about it. Well now I am 26 and have my education so I do know better. This time I wrote down word for word everything she said to me when I was asked to go to her office.

Missing Link profile image

Missing Link 3 years ago from Oregon Author


Thank you for stopping by and for your comments!

Sounds like a horrible place to work---you are better off to be out of there.

I think you have a compelling case---have you filed for unemployment yet? Yes, the employer may lie, etc. when they are contacted by unemployment but that is a chance you have to take. You have nothing to lose---go ahead and file and see what happens. Try to also supply unemployment with any kind of policy material the employer had per your situation. Is there another former co worker from there that you know who could offer a statement on your behalf? Don't expect a current employee there to stick their neck out for you...this will then make them vulnerable.

If I interviewed you and you seemed legitimate and if I interviewed them and they seemed shady I might find in your favor. What hurts you though is you should have quit only after you had secured another job.

Based on what you have written and assuming it to be true, and based on my own life experiences, I can say with confidence that place sucked and you are better off. Things might seem tough now but after awhile, you will, for the rest of you life, look back and shake your head about how bad that place sucked.

Best wishes!

boehmsarah559 profile image

boehmsarah559 3 years ago from Hanford California

I just quit a job working for a credit union. I felt like no matter what I did it wasn't good enough. They complemented me on how quickly I caught on to everything, but one issue they kept nagging about, dress code policy. In the policy it has an online store you have to order clothes from down to the style and color. I ordered the clothes they said to, $300.00 out of pocket from my first check. After I received the clothes I was told about at least 2xs a week about how they didn't like how my body fit the clothes, they were my size and I even had measurements done to make sure because they were too expensive to get it wrong. I even asked if my clothes were the way they wanted and a few times they said yes, so I stuck to that style. Well that same week they changed their mind and said people were complaining about how my body looked in them, I asked people and they said that they thought I was with the policy and that it was just one person in management who was complaining, she was the top manager of everyone. I even bought new clothes after the complaining and was told that it was okay another $300.00 later well that manager didn't like those either. In the policy it states if they don't like how your body looks in something even it is with in policy they could send me home or make me change. 10.50hr and part time I couldn't afford to buy $300.00 worth of clothes every time they were unhappy with my body, so I decided to quit. I felt like I was being harassed. I am one to always follow the policy, sometimes people tell me I focus too much on the rules so I know it wasn't me who had the problem it was the manager who apparently had something against me, I noticed this when I would sit at her table she would dog me and talk over me like I was no body. I remember the week before I quit I came down with the flu and couldn't talk without coughing, I worked in call center so I stayed home one day and came in the next still stick, well the same manager sent me home for being sick. I had a doctors note and called in but because I called the office and not her cell phone (which I didn't have) she took that up with HR and had a sit down with me. I remember one time on my lunch break I rolled my sleeves up so I wouldn't get them dirty and was told something about that, they said only way to roll sleeves is to have it altered. There was a lot of complaining about my appearance not my work. I was told by HR that I was doing great and even my direct supervisor would hear me on the phone sometimes and would send me a quick email to say good job. The bad part of harassment is when you can't afford to pursue a case and when you report it sometimes no one listens or cares to even read your email or letters.

I know that unemployment will accept some people who have voluntarily quit on good occasions. This one would be an exception but from experience management will deny the whole thing and their buddies who witnessed it will deny it to protect their behinds.

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