If I were laid off from my job and decided to go back to school or participate in a training program, should I still file for unemployment?
With unemployment in Mass creeping above 9%, the numbers of those Mass residents receiving unemployment benefits are higher than we have seen in decades. Many workers are contemplating the “what ifs” during this unstable economic time. Although frightening, it is prudent to think through a scenario if a job loss is imminent.
According to Edward T. Malmborg, Director of the Division of Unemployment Assistance for Massachusetts, unemployed workers can inquire about additional training through of the state’s One Stop Career Centers. Specifically, Malmborg explains, “An unemployment insurance claimant may apply to attend an approved course of training while collecting unemployment benefits. Training courses may be up to two years in length. I suggest that an interested person apply promptly for this program early in their claim, but always before the end the benefit year of their claim. Information on state approved training is available at www.mass.gov/dua, click on Section 30 Training. Click on Find Career Center Services to the center nearest you.”
The Division of Unemployment Assistance’s website (www.mass.gov/dua) is filled with helpful information about unemployment compensation around eligibility, how to file a claim, the locations of their One Stop Career Centers as well as information on training options available to help an unemployed worker re-enter the workforce with new or improved skills.
In short, you should always file an unemployment claim and then inquire about training options. The earlier you inquire about training options, the better.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
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Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
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