If I get a lump sum severance package from my employer, can I collect unemployment right away or do I have to wait?

I am being offered a lump sum severance package since my job is being eliminated due to corporate downsizing. Can I collected unemployment benefits right away or will I be made to wait X amount of weeks. I will claim the amount when I get it during the week that I file. I just wonder how that affects benefits?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, you can collect unemployment if you're given a severance package. The reason is that severance pay is not considered to be “wages” that would otherwise count against your right to collect unemployment benefits. That having been said, sometimes there is a short term delay in eligibility in collecting such benefits depending on how the severance payout is stuctured. If severance is paid in a lump sum it will probably not affect your unemployment benefits; if severance is paid over time as if you are still on the payroll, then it may delay your ability to collect.

At this point, you should contact your local unemployment office for further information.

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