Every state runs its own unemployment insurance program, taking money from the payroll taxes employers pay and putting it toward cash benefits for individuals who lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control. If you file an unemployment claim, you may have a number of reasons to cancel it to either end your benefits or prevent them from coming in the first place.
One of the most common reasons to cancel an unemployment claim is to avoid rejection because you have found work. Unemployment benefits are only available to people who are without work and looking for it. This means that if you find a job between the time you file a claim and receive your first payment, you can cancel your claim to hasten your inevitable ineligibility for benefits. However, you may still be eligible for benefits for the period of time you were unemployed, so canceling your claim before you are actually working may cost you money.
Discovering an Error
If you discover an error in your paperwork or eligibility estimation, you can cancel your claim to either resubmit it or avoid sending in an incorrect application. For example, each state has minimum income standards that you must have reached while working to qualify for unemployment. If you review your income history and find that you are in fact not eligible, you can cancel your claim. The same holds true if you learn that the reason for your termination disqualifies you from receiving benefits, such as voluntary retirement before a potential layoff.
Canceling an unemployment claim also can be a matter of strategic planning on your part. For example, if you expect to need unemployment insurance benefits in the future, and think you have a better chance of getting a new job now than you will later, you can cancel your application to prevent yourself from starting the clock on your benefits, which will expire after a set amount of time. Likewise, if you have a high-paying, temporary job coming up, canceling a claim now and reapplying once you complete that job will result in a higher benefit, since your income history will feature the money from that job.
If you file for unemployment benefits through a social worker or state welfare agent, your first step to cancel your claim should be to contact that person directly. If your agent has already filed your claim, or if you've already filed directly, you can contact your state's unemployment office by phone or email. If you are already receiving benefits, the process for canceling your claim involves simply not submitting a claim for the next weekly or bimonthly period and allowing your benefits to expire naturally.