A reduction in force (RIF) is the permanent termination of employees due to restructuring, the elimination of their department, or a lack of funding or available work to support those employees. A layoff, on the other hand, technically means that the termination is only temporary. However, it has come to mean a permanent termination in recent years, and in many cases, employers use it to mean exactly that. Individuals who lose their jobs to RIF and layoffs are entitled to collect unemployment benefits. In addition, if your employment contract included a severance pay clause, you are entitled to receive this payment.