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bizmatters, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1132
Experience:  JD |< NY
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I accepted a voluntary separation package from my previous

Customer Question

I accepted a voluntary separation package from my previous employer as part of the reduction in force effort. I have indicated as such in my California UI claim. Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 7 years ago.
You will be eligible but your UI benefits will be reduced to rthe extent of the severance pay.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.



1. Could you elaborate on "the UI benefits will be reduced to the extent of the severance pay"?


2. I received a call from EDD a couple of days ago. The agent said that I wasn't qualified because accepting the voluntary separation package implies that I quited.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 7 years ago.
1. The unemployment office will reduce the amount of your severance. It will study how much you are getting and over what time period and adjust it accordingly. The precise manner it does so you are best getting from them based on the specifics of your severance.
2. the implication that you resigned is not true. You may want something in writing from the employer to that effect
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

1. This is something new. The severance is not considered wages for UI claim purposes. Are you saying that the UI benefits will be reduced/adjusted based on my severance package? Is that documented somewhere in the Cal EDD rules?


2. What if my employee is willing to write that I didn't resign but have accepted the voluntary separation package? What will the verdict be in that case?

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 7 years ago.
I am going to refer the question to a colleague who can respond to your follow up questions.
Expert:  bizmatters replied 7 years ago.

Dear hchan,


I have been asked to take a look at your question. The problem here is that the treatment of severance pay is not specifically mentioned in the statutes governing unemployment benefits.


It used to be in California several years ago that one did not get double benefits, that you started the unemployment benefits once your severance ran out. It is that way still. IN the statutes it does state that certain kinds of employer provided benefits that make up severance packages can reduced unemployment benefits. The entire package will not but your accrued benefits, if any,which are considered earned income that are often part of severance packages are still considered earned income and there for reduce unemployment benefits.


The determination of whether or not and to what extent you will get unemployment benefits, by statute will be based on the facts at the time you apply for them. We can not tell you definitively if your benefit will be reduced or not and if so how much.


All we can say is what is in the law and internal policy.


So the UI benefit will generally not include severance pay except to the extent, of the following facts:


1. if it is a permanent lay off or not

2. to the extent benefits such as vacation pay are included in the severance package

3. the extent to which a part of your package may be in lieu of notice


and so forth.


Now the California policy. AGAIN you will not find in statute that it says the words, that severance pay is not considered compensation for UI purposes. You will find in code the treatment of those other categories of pay.


The phrase you used, and is repeated on the EDD site, is taken from an internal policy of the CA EDD to incorporate or comply with the latest CA supreme court decision on this matter.


I advise my clients to always apply for the benefits because the worst that will happen is they tell you to apply later.


For your benefit I am providing a link to the EDD discussion of this issue:


NOTE: we can not tell you if you will be elibile, because eligibiligty is determined by the adjudicators at the time you apply. I can say I belive you will get at least a portion of full benefits, if not full benefits. Keep in mind, the state is short on cash, and this may cause them to interpret strictly if it benefits the state.


bizmatters, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1132
Experience: JD |< NY
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