I would say that the average citizen doesn’t understand the Waiting Week. The number one call we received was about this crazy idea that a congressman had way back when. The idea was that it would save the government money since most employees were laid off for only one week out of the year and should be able to survive without compensation for that week. Little did he know that denying the rights of citizens to receive this particular week’s compensation would, in fact, cost the state governments large amounts of money due to the staff time it takes to field questions, etc. Later I will blog about an odd experience I had with helping others understand the waiting week, but I digress….
So what is the waiting week? It is your first week of being unemployed. If you lose your employment on a Friday, you obviously should wait to file until the next week as you have worked a full week and made more money than allowed. But what if you find yourself without a job on Tuesday, can you file then? Yes, it’s possible to work a partial week and still have that count towards your waiting week. Cool huh? But please don’t delay in filing thinking you had to wait a week before even submitting a claim. You then basically lost out on that first week. It’s possible to backdate your claim to start the previous week, but that gets messy and with staff overworked now, it would be very difficult to get approved.
And just because you file your claim that first week, doesn’t mean you are finished. You still have to make a reporting of your activities for the week. Depending on your state, this can be done by phone, email or on the state’s website. If you don’t claim this waiting week, then that puts a stop on your claim and can hold up your benefits. And nobody wants that to happen….