Collecting Unemployment after being fired due to an arrest
Can I collect unemployment benefits if I was terminated due to getting arrested? From nearly everyone I spoke to and every website I researched, the answer was a resounding NO. The reason everyone gave was that the employer most likely made the firing decision based on the absences rather than the arrest.
The real answer is yes it is possible to qualify for benefits after being fired for an arrest. Employers can decide I they want to discharge you over the absences received while incarcerated, typically more than an overnight stay, or if they just do not want someone who was arrested working for them.
This type of issue will almost always result in a hearing, either from the employer filing an appeal since they do not understand how unemployment works, or from the claimant being denied initially. This type of hearing is easier to determine than most might think. If the claimant was arrested, then released from jail, and contacts the employer to find out if they still have a job then this will be in the claimants favor. If the claimant makes any type of attempt to maintain employment after being released from jail it greatly improves their case. In order to determine benefits eligibility the case must have been closed, i.e.: if the claimant went to court and the judge made a final ruling. If the claimant was found not guilty or if the case was dismissed, and made any attempt to contact the employer immediately after they were released, then their firing was not due to misconduct. What employers refuse to understand is that simply being arrested does not A. mean you are guilty, and B. that the claimant cannot qualify for benefits.
If on the other hand, the claimant was found guilty then he or she would be personally responsible for the absences they received while they were incarcerated. This would mean they were discharged due to misconduct and would not be eligible for benefits in most states.