Does the severance look exactly like a regular check (i.e. taxes are being pulled and will be included on a W2) = then they should wait until the severance period has ended.
If they are getting a check but it will on a 1099 = there is no need to wait.
If they have been getting paid roughly the same amount over the past 18 months, there would be no difference is filing if they filed on the day they were let go or waited.
In most states the base period is:
- not the current quarter earnings (i.e. this money is not being reported to the state until the quarter ends)
- not the prior quarter earnings (i.e. in general, this money is not reported to the state until 30 days after the quarter ends)
- the 4 prior quarters = right now, being April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011
When filing you just want to make sure you didn't wait so long, that the oldest quarter doesn't drop off.