Unemployment Insurance

What is Unemployment Insurance? 

Unemployment Insurance is designed to provide benefits to eligible persons who are temporarily unemployed through no fault of their own. In all States, employers pay quarterly contributions to cover their workers against involuntary unemployment. Most employers are required to pay contributions. Benefits are funded by these contributions. The amount of benefits payable is intended to cover non-deferrable expenses such as housing, food, clothing, and necessary transportation. No deductions are made from the worker’s wages to finance Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits is based on wages earned not on family financial resources. Unemployment Insurance is not Welfare, Social Security, Workman’s Compensation, or Disability Assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for Unemployment Benefits, you must meet certain eligibility conditions. You must be totally or partially unemployed. You are considered totally unemployed any week in which you did not perform work and no wages were paid to you. YOU MUST REPORT ALL OF YOUR WORK AND EARNINGS, INCLUDING ANY SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME. You must report to the local office in person to file a claim for Unemployment Benefits. You are required to register for work at the Job Service office. You must participate in reemployment services offered through the Job Service office when you are selected.

Failure to report/participate in any reemployment services, in which you are required to participate, may result in the denial of benefits, unless you have justifiable cause that you have completed such services or are attending similar services. You must file a claim and meet these basic requirements:


1.) You must be able to perform full-time work which means that you must be physically and mentally able to work each work each day of the week. Benefits cannot be paid for any week during which you are unable to work. While claiming benefits, you must indicate on your claim form whether there were any days which you were not able to work due to illness, injury, or for any other reason.


2.) You must be available for full time work. It means you must be ready and willing to accept suitable work while you are claiming unemployment benefits. In general, work is suitable if it is within your training, capabilities and experience. You must not place undue restrictions on accepting offered work, such as limiting times and places for a job. Transportation and child care problems are not acceptable excuses for not being available for certain jobs that are otherwise suitable.

 3.) You are required to actively seek full-time work on your own and keep a list of employers you contact for jobs. You must not limit your search to part-time work. If you are only partially employed, you must make a continuing effort to find full time work. If work is not available in your regular occupation, you are expected to look for work in other areas for which you are qualified. The Job Service will make every effort to assist you in finding suitable work.

4.) You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. If your separation from your last employer was for anything other than lack of work we will have to conduct a fact-finding interview by secure information from you, your employer, and any other relevant parties before we can determine your eligibility. No payment can be made until we have issued a decision. If you are determined to be responsible for being unemployed a disqualification may be imposed.


Within one week after you filed your initial claim you will receive a Monetary Determination regarding eligibility. Only wages earned in “covered employment” can be used to establish benefits. The Determination will contain the following information:

1.) The Weekly Benefit Amount.
2.) The Total Potential Benefits.
3.) The Benefit Year beginning date of your claim.
4.) The Benefit Year ending date of your claim.
5.) A list of Base Period employers for whom you worked.
6.) The quarterly wages from each employer.

7.) Total Compensable Weeks. 

Review your Monetary Determination carefully. Check your mailing address and Social Security number. Be sure all employers you worked for during the base period are listed and all wages are listed in every quarter that you worked. If you do not have sufficient wages for a valid claim your Eligibility Report will show “Base Period wages less than minimum”. This means you can not receive benefits at this time and may file a new claim next quarter.


If you should disagree with any information on your Eligibility Report or if wages are missing you should notify the local office and request a re-determination within ten (10) days from the date of delivery. In order for a re-determination to be processed you will be required to provide evidence of earned wages, such as pay stubs or W-2 tax forms.

 Your wages from employment in other states may be combined to increase your Weekly Benefit Amount.

If you qualify for benefits, you will be assigned a benefit year, that is the one-year period beginning with the Sunday of the week in which you filed your initial claim for benefits.

 NOTE: Being monetarily eligible does not automatically entitle you to receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Separate decisions are made to determine your entitlement.

  1. Reporting Returning to Work

  2. Staying in Contact with Employment Services During Your Period of Unemployment

  3. Quick Tips from Employment Services

  4. Requirements for Receiving UI Benefits

  5. How My One-Stop Career Center Helped Me?

  6. Common Mistakes Made By UI Claimants

  7. What Is UI Fraud And What Are The Consequences?

  8. 10 Things You Should Know About the UI System When Filing Your Claim

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