Q: Received a severance agreement from my employer. Will signing agreement impact my ability to apply for unemployment?
A: It depends.
You are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits if you are receiving dismissal/severance pay at a rate that equals or exceeds the maximum weekly unemployment insurance benefit rate.
However, if your weekly severance payments are less than the maximum unemployment insurance benefit rate you may still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. And you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits when the severance pay stops or falls below the weekly maximum unemployment benefit rate.
Also, if you receive your first dismissal/severance payment more than 30 days after your last day of employment, you will be able to receive unemployment benefits if you meet the other eligibility requirements.
Just make sure you accurately describe your situation in your application for benefits.
You can read more about the legal protections for employees in New York at https://www.workingnowandthen.com/
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