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Write a Declaration Letter for Unemployment

Unemployment insurance claims processors sometimes need more information before they make a determination on your benefits. In fact, there are certain circumstances under which you can expect to hear from them. For example, if you quit or were fired from your job, your state unemployment office will need to know the details before it can decide whether to extend your benefits. Additionally, if your former employer disputes your eligibility for unemployment, the state will investigate. When you receive a request for your declaration, it's important to write a clear and convincing letter.

Use any forms provided to you by the state. Some states use them to correspond with their computer or filing systems. Writing on your own paper may complicate matters, or slow down the processing of your claim.

Place the date in the top right corner of your declaration, if you are writing it from scratch. Then drop down two lines and, beginning on the left side of the page, address the letter, "Dear Unemployment Commissioner:" or "Dear Unemployment Officer:" Use a word processor or typewriter if possible. If not, write very legibly.

State the date and time of your job termination in the opening paragraph. Go on to say who ended your employment, and his stated reasons. It might resemble, "On August 5, 2014 I was called to the Human Resources office of my company. Jane Smith, the Director of Human Resources, informed that my employment would end in a week because the company could no longer afford to keep me."

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Detail any points of contention in a calm, respectful and factual manner in the subsequent paragraphs. Give lots of facts and avoid opinions — particularly any personal characterizations or attacks on people you once worked with. Be professional and take the high road, as it adds to your credibility. For example, if you quit a job for just causes, you might say, "I informed my boss that it would be my last day with the company. I had not received my previous two paychecks and despite informing my boss and the payroll department, I had not been paid in almost a month." In another example, "I told my boss that his unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate language had forced me to resign, effective immediately."

Include any information or important details you think an unemployment claims processor might need to know about your situation. For instance, "Although I was officially let go, the issues involved were personal, not professional. My boss and I had been in a personal, romantic relationship that ended several months prior. When she discovered I was dating someone new, I was abruptly fired."

Close your declaration with a brief summation, and an invitation to contact you for further information. You might write, "I hope the details I outlined answer all your questions. I'm happy to furnish your with any other information you need to complete and process my claim. Please contact me if you need anything further."

Sign your letter at the bottom. If you are not using a state form, type or block print your name underneath your signature.



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