Severance Pay and Unemployment: What Are My Rights? By Dan Atkerson on March 26, 2020

Individual filling out paperworkBeing laid off or fired from your place of employment can have devastating financial effects. Without a reliable source of income, individuals are left to worry about how they will cover essential expenses like rent, mortgage payments, car payments, utilities, and groceries.

Severance pay and unemployment are two potential sources of income that can help people stay afloat until they are able to find a new job. Severance pay attorney Dan A. Atkerson can help workers in Allen, TX, Plano, TX, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas explore their right to severance pay and unemployment so that they have the financial resources they need to take care of themselves and their family.

Am I Due a Severance Package?

Because it is an at-will employment state, employers in Texas can fire or lay-off an employee at any time for any given reason or for no reason at all. Due to the at-will employment status, workers are not automatically due a severance package if they are let go. Still, many employees receive severance packages at the time of their termination, particularly if the company is enforcing layoffs or the employee was under an employment contract.

A severance package offers payments to employees for services rendered during their time of employment. It is not typically considered a type of income. Severance pay may be offered to our clients in a lump sum, or it may be divided out over a series of payments.

If a severance package is offered, it is advisable to work with a severance pay attorney, such as Mr. Atkerson. A severance pay attorney can go over the severance package to determine if the employee is getting fair treatment and just compensation. The presence of an attorney lets employers know that the employee is serious about getting an acceptable severance package.

Unemployment Pay

Many of our clients question whether they are due unemployment pay. Unemployment is a benefit provided by the state. Unemployment is meant to temporarily replace partial income from lost employment or a reduction in work hours. Unemployment benefits are determined based on how much the employee earned, why or how they were let go, and whether they meet eligibility requirements. As long as workers lose their job due to no fault of their own, they are likely due unemployment pay.

To receive unemployment benefits, individuals must submit a payment request. The request can be filed online or made via phone. A request must be submitted every two weeks. For each request, the applicant will need to answer questions to determine that they are still eligible for unemployment payments.

Can I Collect Severance Pay and Unemployment?

The state of Texas often does not grant unemployment to individuals currently receiving severance pay. However, that is dependent on the type of severance pay provided. When reviewing a severance package for clients, Mr. Atkerson will inform them if the package will interfere with their ability to collect unemployment. Even if a person is temporarily ineligible for unemployment, they should become eligible as soon as they stop receiving severance payments.

Learn More

If you have lost your job and would like legal advice regarding severance pay or unemployment, attorney Dan A. Atkerson would be happy to help. To discuss your situation in detail, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience or call (214) 383-3606.

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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