Recent events may have led to you losing your job. Your employer offered you a severance package, but you hesitate in signing it because you are uncertain whether it is fair.

Forbes offers several severance package items to look for. Learn how to protect your rights and ensure you get a fair severance offer.

Severance pay

Of course, you must ensure you receive a fair final payment. If you can, find out what other employees in your position received for their severance pay, so you know whether your offer is fair. Your employer may offer you either several payments spread out over time, but you may want to see if you can get a single lump-sum payment upfront.

Medical benefits 

Having access to proper health care is more essential than ever, and you want your benefits to continue for as long as possible after leaving your employer. According to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, you can retain your company health coverage for as many as 18 months after leaving. You must keep up with premium payments during that time. Ask about your tax responsibilities while you continue to receive coverage.

Vacation/PTO

Do you have unused or unpaid vacation time or PTO? If so, check to see if your severance agreement includes those details.

References

If your severance agreement does not include it, ask your employer for a reference section on the documents. That way, you can count on positive references for future potential employers. At the very least, look into securing positive letters of recommendation before you wrap things up with your current employer.

Severance packages need not be difficult to sift through. Take steps to secure everything you deserve to safeguard your professional and personal peace of mind.