Do we qualify for unemployment?

Hi I’ve been sailing in the gulf for most of my career but recently started sailing AMO, I’m doing a fillin gig. The guys on the ship say that I can claim unemployment when I get off, I had never heard of this. My question is basically can merchant marines claim unemployment when they sign off the ship?

[QUOTE=scup27;53355]Hi I’ve been sailing in the gulf for most of my career but recently started sailing AMO, I’m doing a fillin gig. The guys on the ship say that I can claim unemployment when I get off, I had never heard of this. My question is basically can merchant marines claim unemployment when they sign off the ship?[/QUOTE]

I never heard of this either, but I do know that previous employers generally foot the bill for unemployment. I cannot see them being happy if you did this while being employed by those same people. Sounds like a good way to become literally unemployed.

It’s common practice to draw unemployment when doing relief jobs out of the hall. If you’re a union mariner displaced by another, you can draw unemployment. This is one (though never discussed) reasons oil patch companies want to keep the hands “at will employees”.

On the downside, I’ve seen good contracts shut down due to permanent employees insisting on drawing unemployment on their days off. Yes the employer’s premium goes up with every claim.

So since it’s a releif job through thr union I can claim unemployment when my hitch I up?

[QUOTE=scup27;53359]So since it’s a releif job through thr union I can claim unemployment when my hitch I up?[/QUOTE]
Unless anything has changed in the last 2 years, yes.

It’s considered involuntary separation of employment due to no fault of yours. If a permanent person is reclaiming their job and displaces you, you would qualify for unemployment. Same if the contract you were working on expires (four month gig out if the hall, for example). It also applies if you do a few weeks on and a few weeks off, with the unpaid time off collectable.

Some companies see it as a cost of business while others act like you spit in their face. Feel it out and see what the other people are doing.

If you belong to a union you may use your union as your employment agency. In other words, you don’t have to look for employment with random companies every week. Just be a member in good standing, registered and be able to work.

There are possible catches in vacation pay. If the vacation pay is paid out in one check then you may not claim unemployment for that week. If the vacation is paid out over time you may not collect for the weeks you receive pay.

If the company pays you for off time, or more commonly, if the company splits your pay and pays you while you are at work and ashore you may not collect for any week you receive pay.

If you have worked for several companies in several states over the last eighteen months you may collect unemployment from several states - not at the same time - but the states will combine and modify and one state will pay the combined unemployment until it becomes another state’s turn to pay.

To make a long story short: North Carolina has the best agents on the phone with their sexy Southern Belle accents!

[QUOTE=DeckApe;53362]Some companies see it as a cost of business while others act like you spit in their face.[/QUOTE]

This is a point that you need to be keenly aware of. If other employees are telling you of this, it is common practice with that employer and that employer views it as a cost of doing business. It is common place with my son’s employer. He works 4 months on and 4 months off and receives unemployment during his 4 months off. If I tried to file unemployment during my time off I can assure you it wouldn’t take long for me to be fired for cause, they would document reasons.

If this fill in gig has been short term (4 to 6 months) then you would not have wages in enough quarters, based on that employer, to qualify for unemployment. So they would look at all employers in the last 18 to 24 months (depends on the laws of the state where the employer is located and pays unemployment premiums). So the increase in unemployment premiums may not be charged to the fill in gig employer, but rather to your previous employers. Judging by Anchorman’s comment, you could very well prevent yourself from returning to work in the Gulf.

Employers are notified if you file a claim. They are given the choice of challenging the validity of your claim. Such as you quit or were fired for cause which would make you ineligible to claim unemployment benefits. If it’s an employer that views your claim as spitting in their face, I can assure you they are going to challenge it.

Yes, if you try to claim unemployment on your time off in the GOM there is damn good chance you will need the unemployment. I have seen it happen to an Engineer I worked with.

I’ve worked for AMO since 2002 and at times have collected unemployment benefits. I worked for one company for seven straight years and collected all those years without any problems. At that I do know people who filed and failed too while mine was accepted. It almost seems like OPCO was using it to retain you. Of course for that company whenever they called for work I never left them needing anyone else. I moved onto other company’s in AMO and it was rejected everytime, there is really no cut and dry answer.

[QUOTE=CE Shawn;53385]I moved onto other company’s in AMO and it was rejected everytime, there is really no cut and dry answer.[/QUOTE]

Having an unemployment claim challenged by an employer and being blackballed because of it are two different things…

You may as well try it! I know a lot of guys that do it all the time, but when they get it challenge they go ahead and drop it.