If you recently finished school or are newly unemployed, you might be thinking about taking your unwanted free time to travel abroad.
And if you were also recently fired through no fault of your own, you're probably also wondering if it's possible to collect unemployment while traveling.
Unfortunately for those grand plans, unemployment benefits are probably not in your future. At least not legally, that is.
Unemployment is intended as a temporary safety net for people who are in the process of finding work. It is not meant to fund your Great European Adventure.
Therefore, to collect unemployment, you need to be able to show that you are (a) actively seeking work, and (b) available to work.
What it means to actively seek work depends on your previous position and just what it takes to find a comparable job. In other words, if you worked at McDonald's, you need to apply for everything, and if you were a professional, you need only apply in your field in the commonly accepted manner.
Sure, you can seek work while abroad, but you probably won't meat availability criteria.
To be available to work usually means that, should you be offered a full-time position, you can begin work immediately. Generally speaking, this means that you are physically nearby, not on vacation.
There may be two exceptions to this. First, if you can come back within a day's notice, you may be able to collect unemployment while traveling. And second is if your field is of the telecommuting variety and you are able to work while abroad.
If you fall into one of these exceptions, and you desperately want unemployment while traveling, you'll probably need the help of an attorney to make your case.
- Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation Benefits (FindLaw)
- Unemployment Insurance Hearing (FindLaw)
- Top 6 Posts on Unemployment (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)