All States » Kentucky

Kentucky Unemployment Eligibility

To qualify for unemployment in Kentucky, applicants must meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must be willing, physically able to work and be actively seeking employment
  • You must register for work when you file your claim
  • You must not be fired for misconduct or resign without an acceptable reason
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or resident alien authorized to work in the U.S.

Those who are employed on a part-time basis but desire full-time employment may also be qualified to receive unemployment benefits if they meet income requirements as determined by the state of Kentucky.

Monetary Eligibility

Another requirement for Kentucky unemployment benefits is the salary you made as an employee during your base period. Your base period is the first four of the past five calendar quarters before your application date. To collect unemployment,

  • You must have made at least $750 during your base period
  • Your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times your total wages in your highest earning quarter
  • Finally, your wages outside your highest quarter must total more than $750 to qualify

Applicants employed part time must be making less than 1 1/4 what their potential weekly unemployment benefits would be.

Eligibility Questions

Can I draw UI if I am fired?

Assuming you have sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, you may be qualified to receive benefits if you were discharged for reasons other than misconduct or dishonesty in connection with the work and there are no other eligibility issues present.

Those fired due to excessive absences, insubordination or tardiness are considered to have engaged in misconduct and are ineligible for benefits.

How can a person draw UI from me when they were fired from another employer?

If you are the most recent ten (10) week employer on the claim and the worker left your employment under non-disqualifying conditions or you failed to file a timely protest to the initial claim for benefits, then you may be charged for the benefits.

Can a person draw UI if they quit?

Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they voluntarily left their employment with good cause attributable to the employment and there are no other eligibility issues present.

In Kentucky, if you quit your job, you must have done so for just cause. When you apply to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET), it will verify that you quit your job and request information proving the situation falls under the just cause requirement.

What happens if I am laid off?

In a tough economic climate, many employers have to make tough choices about their staff, including who is necessary to the company and who to let go. If laid off from a Kentucky state employer, you can collect unemployment benefits from the state’s Department of Labor. However, if there is any question as to whether you were laid off or fired, you may have to show proof of the reason for your job separation.

If I fire an employee for absenteeism is he or she eligible for UI benefits?

If an employee’s absences amount to misconduct connected with the work, they will be disqualified. Generally, good cause for missing work is not misconduct. Simple numbers of days or percentages of lost time cannot show a worker is guilty of misconduct.

Am I eligible for Worker’s Compensation?

If you missed at least seven weeks of earnings due to injury in any quarter during your base period, and were eligible for Workers’ Compensation (whether or not you drew it), you may be able to use wages earned before your injury to qualify for unemployment benefits. To qualify, you must file your claim within the first four weeks that you a re unemployed following the period covered by Workers’ Compensation. Contact your nearest Unemployment Insurance office for more information.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

Questions & Answers

  1. Lynn says:

    I am on short disability with benefits about to run out in 2 weeks. I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and will either have surgery or be on medication for the rest of my life. the tumor will never go away and am contemplating Disability claim. If I am terminated or have to quit due to this medical diagnosis, will I be approved for UI till a determination is made fro disability claim?

    • Sam says:


      Hope you get well soon. Generally, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered.

      Please check with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  2. Tim Marza says:

    I submitted my two week notice to resign from my current company and the next day the escorted me from the property. I got a new job but it doesn’t begin until the day after my notice that I submitted. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits for this two week gap?

    • Sam says:


      It looks like you were separated from the employment due to voluntary reasons. Under these circumstances, you may not qualify.

  3. Hellen Clair says:

    The contract I was working under was from 2 Apr 17 until 15 Apr 17. The last time I worked was Jun 2015. Am I eligible for unemployment?

  4. Leslee says:

    I am needing to move due to being evicted from my house. Where I am able to move is too far from work. Would I be able to draw unemployment for this reason?

    • Sam says:

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  5. Sheryl philpot says:

    I took a voluntary retirement from my last job. Am I eligible to draw unemployment?

  6. James says:

    In April, I was offered the option of an early retirement severance or be laid off. Am I eligible for unemployment even though I accepted the severance? Would I be eligible when the severance runs out?

  7. Ky says:

    I have worked a year an one month but have to quit due to car issues where I have no more transportation, do I qualify

    • Sam says:

      I am not sure what you mean by “Car issues”. If the job separation was involuntary, you can be eligible.

  8. Mark Dunn says:

    If you work in Louisville Kentucky and the company relocates to Jeffersonville Indiana across the state line and it is a longer drive than you are willing or capable of making, can you draw Kentucky unemployment benefits. This is a very hot topic at work, many of us would have to by a new car. The company says they will pay our bridge toils for a year, but after that we are on our own. That means we will have to pay for the privilege of working there

    • Sam says:


      You can be eligible to resign and claim UI benefits under such circumstances. Please make sure to speak to the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  9. Robin says:

    I have exceeded FMLA leave time,due to an ongoing illness, then waiting on a surgery scheduled two weeks after FMLA deadline. My employment was terminated one week after surgery, because I was unable to perform duties of job. Am I qualified for unemployment?

    • Sam says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  10. Trent says:

    I have had medical issues that required me to be out on Short Term Disability. I was released by my physician to return to work with long term physical restrictions. We are required to pass a work physical to be employed at this company. Prior to my illness I was able to meet all standards. If my company is unable to find me another position due to the Dr restrictions and I am let go by the company, will I be eligible for unemployment compensation?

    • Sam says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons for separation from the job are not considered. You may not qualify.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  11. Tabethia says:

    The company I work for has been bought out and my last day will be June 30th. I started this job on January 5th of this year. So it is just shy of 6 months. Will I still be eligible for UI since I was laid off?

    • Sam says:

      You can use the Benefits Calculator available on this website to ascertain eligibility.

      To validate, please contact the Unemployment Office before applying.

  12. Mickey says:

    I was just told that my work is closing down for 5 days can I collect unemployment for those 5 days? I live in Kentucky.

    • Sam says:

      If it’s a seasonal/scheduled downtime, you may not qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  13. Chanelle says:

    I’m currently working full time at a factory and part time at a fast food restaurant. During the summer I’ll be on shut down at my factory job. Can I claim my unemployment benefit and still work at my part time job? Thanks

    • Sam says:

      If your employment at the factory is seasonal, you may not qualify to claim Unemployment Benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  14. Mimi says:

    I have been working for a big, well known company for around 10 years. Almost 1 year ago they changed the security company to a different one and offered me a position extremely high up with almost double pay and a whole lot of responsibility. The management over me has decided to fire me for no fault of my own except not kissing you know what and put someone else in my position. Will I be able to draw UI?

    • Sam says:

      This is a tricky situation. When you apply, it goes to your employer for verification and they may dispute your claim.

      If you’re able to provide supporting documents, you can be eligible.

  15. Rach says:

    I got fired because I had been on probation and still didn’t do as told. Will I get unemployment? Will my work place be involved?

    • Sam says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. The employer will be contacted for verification after you apply.

  16. Bob mills says:

    The company i work for is being bought. If the new company wants me to take a big pay cut would I would I be able to draw unemployment if I did not want to except a pay cut.

    • Martin says:

      I think you should be able to claim, though quitting voluntarily does not.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm before making a decision.

  17. Tina says:

    So I have been employed for almost 8 years at the same job I was just informed on Friday that I may be getting fired because records was sent to an insurance company that was not Hipaa compliant. If I am to be fired will I be eligible to file for unemployment?

  18. James says:

    I’ve been working at Jasmine’s since 5-13-16 with the same schedule for 5 months, a new GM came in recently I misunderstood an order from her as a question in response she reprimanded me by taking away all my dishwasher shifts(8$/hr) and placed me on buss boy(5$/hr) while continuing to harass me by making me do other crew members jobs while on busser status/pay in an attempt to get me to voluntarily quit. I was earning roughly just under 270$ per two weeks now I earn a little over 50$ every two weeks am I eligible to apply for partial unemployment in Kentucky? I still questi the legality of her actions…

    • Martin says:

      Partial unemployment is generally provided to those who have reduced hours. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to determine eligibility.

  19. Jakeisha says:

    I have been working for a company for almost a year now. I have outstanding diagnosed mental issues that have made it extremely hard for me to work this job anymore. I spoke with my manager about my options. He said I could do one of two things, quit, or go on a leave so that I can still keep a relationship with the company just in case I do decide to come back. Because I am quitting due to this job aggravating my mental health would I be eligible for UI? And would you recommend doing the leave or resigning all together?

    • Martin says:

      Please do not resign immediately without giving it a detailed thought. UI benefits are only provided to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.Having said this, there are exceptions where a jobless worker can claim UI benefits if he/she quits due to hostile work environment.

      If the mental issues are resultant of the existing job, you can be eligible. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  20. Michael says:

    I was not employed for more than a year before my job here in KY. But have worked here since 5-16-16. They are starting to get rid of employees due to low revenue and company costs. Will I be eligible for unemployment? I brought home on ave $1500 every 2 weeks.

    • Martin says:

      Not sure if you will be eligible to claim with just under 4 months of employment since the claimant needs to active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  21. nina says:

    The hotel i work for was sold and they did not take an application from me am I eligible for unemployment in ky?

  22. ben says:

    I was hired by “ruby tuesday” just before the extreme close down. Do I have any rights? During my short time I was told that my skills were good. I DID NOT GIVE UP!!!! I found another job. But do I have any regard for the fact that “i spent my time on a company that KNEW it was going out of business. What is the law regarding this circumstance in Kentucky? This is really weird to be hired & fired in the same breath based on a biz on the brink of going out. Do I have any rights to unemployment in this case? So be it if so! Otherwise it is just another lesson learned regarding the trust of anyone. 9

    • Martin says:

      With regard to seeking UC benefits, you can be eligible to apply if you got separated from the job due to involuntary reasons. On the labor law front, we have little information in this regard.

      I suggest that you speak to the Labor Authorities to ascertain the provisions.

  23. Heather says:

    I quit my job of 5 years and went to work somewhere else for 4 months then was let go from that employer will I be eligible for UI benefits?

    • Martin says:

      As long as separation from the previous job was not voluntary, you can be eligible.

      Please consider applying until you find a job.

  24. Mary says:

    My son was fired because he got a DUI. he is required to drive a company truck for his job so they fired him, even tho they could have put him with another driver, they chose not to. He’s 31 and has been steadily employed since he was 17. Can he draw unemployment until he finds another job?

    • Martin says:

      Personal/Voluntary reasons such as DUI does not qualify. Your son will not be able to draw UI benefits under such conditions.

  25. Melissa says:

    My husband and his employer came to an agreement that he should resign b/c their working relationship wasn’t what the employer hoped for. This was just about 2 months ago. So it was a mutual decision. Would he be able to qualify for unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      He can be eligible as long as it’s not considered voluntary.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details in this regard.

  26. Chris says:

    I had to resign from my job because of my medical reasons. PTSD, anxiety and depression from being deployed while I was in the army. I thought I could handle a job but a lot of my conditions where in the way like my lack of sleep to my medications and all my appointments that I had to goto for the VA.

    • Martin says:

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please check further with the authorities.

  27. lana mccluskey says:

    we will be laid off week of the 11th, then work a week then laid off week of the25th.i was told I could draw for the week of the 25th. when am I suppose to apply if this is true

    • Martin says:

      Depends on the reason for lay off. Not sure if you can claim for temporary time off from work.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  28. Pam says:

    I have currently worked for the same physician for 13.5 years. Three months ago he decided to leave the entity he was currently workng for and will join a new entity in 4 weeks. The new entity is offering me my position but at a significantly lower pay rate (4.00 less an hour). I have also applied for 3 positions at the current entity only to be told they were given to other applicants. If I dont take the offer from the new entity due to the decrease in my pay will I be eligible to draw unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      Well, if you decide not to accept, you may not qualify.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state by calling them.

  29. sherry says:

    Am I eligible for unemployment? I quit my job, I was staffing coordinator for a nursing home, I done nurses and CNAs scheduling. we had a nurse to leave because she got sick, the Director of nursing came to me and said that I had to work the cart (med cart) I told her I will do my job and find someone to come in, she told me to go to the administrator office because no one tells her no, they both are new, the director and administrator. They are the ones that ask to me give up my unit manager and do this job. When the administrator told me that I was being insubornate to my supervisor, no matter what I said, they would not here me. so I quit. our census was low and we had a unit manager and treatment there and I did inform both of them of that.

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further clarification.

  30. mark says:

    A lead sead I cust her when I wouldn’t do another employs job to and lid an got me walkd out am I’m cam I drow unemployment

  31. Laura says:

    If I was hired as a substitute but I have been working steadily since September and my position will end at the end of May will I be eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

    • Martin says:

      As long as the employment is not contractual and the employer is remitting the relevant taxes into the UI fund, you can be eligible to receive UI benefits for loss of job due to involuntary reasons.

  32. Irene says:

    My husband took a job driving for a potato chip company. He is salaried and expected a 40 hour week. Now they are expecting him to work 10 and 11 hours a day, 5 days a week.
    Physically, now, it is too much for him. He is 64 and is in constant pain from the long hours, and trying to get the chips out of the truck. He has worked 6 months for them and given it his best shot. Is he entitled to unemployment benefits if he quits?

    • Martin says:

      He will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

  33. Thomas cates says:

    Direct deposit info

  34. jason says:

    I live in KY, have not worked inside KY in 4 years, but have been steadily employed in OHIO. Am I eligible for Ky UIC?

  35. tim says:

    Another company took over my department at work. Since the take over my hours have been cut from seventy-five to fifty-four even though I’m still classified as a full time employee. Am I entitled to any compensation?

    • Martin says:

      You should be able to claim the lost hours.

      Please check with the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  36. Tracy says:

    I have gone from 12 hours a week at my job, to 5 hours every other week. Am I eligible for any kind of unemployment compensation to make up the major difference in my wage change?

  37. Christopher Ware says:

    Why, in calculating unemployment eligibility, is period for prior year’s last quarter through 3rd quarter of current year instead of through 1st through 4th quarter of current year?

    • Martin says:

      That is because the last completed quarter is not considered.

      It is 4 of the last 5 calendar quarters of employment, excluding the recent most one.

  38. Rob says:

    I live in KY but have been working on WV. I have put off work for medical disability and now I am finding out that I have exhausted the available FMLA and my short term disability has been exhausted as well. If, for some reason my long term disability does not pick up but loose my job for not meeting the attendance requirements due to being put off work by my doctor, would I be eligible for unemployment?

  39. Tina says:

    My employer closed the office in Kentucky that I worked at and my job was transferred to a city over 100 miles away still in KY. For 7 months I commuted to the other city to help train replacement employees. During that time the company paid for hotel, meals and mileage. At the end of the job I received a severance package. Now I am going to file for in UI but am not sure if the reason needs to be listed as lack of work, quit or discharged. Also all new hires after me were hired in at a hire pay rate and position and my job was eliminated. What would be the most appropriate choice?

    • Martin says:

      Choose the one that is the closest.

      Do bear in mind that you will only be able to apply after the severance pay period is over.

  40. Tony W. says:

    If I take a vacation and my employer does not pay for vacation can I receive unemployment. I have been working for them for over 2.5 years.

    • Jeff says:

      You will not be eligible for Unemployment Compensation during the unpaid vacation.

      It is only provided to those who’re fully unemployed without a job.

  41. Michele says:

    Iam a hard working military spouse, every duty station, I never collect unemployment and I always find a job, well my husband has orders for Germany. Iam not to crazy about this, Iam afraid it take some time to find a job there but iam willing to do it, will I be eligible for unemployment for a short while, while I fond a new job? I will have all his military orders and such to look at? Ive never done this before and iam just so lost.

    • Adrian says:

      You may consider applying. Please check with the customer service of the labor dept first and then apply.

  42. deena says:

    i am a state employee working for the djj since 2005. im told that my absences due to pain from degenerative joint and disc disease has been excessive and violates the attendance policy, however, when i asked to see the attendance policy they cannot show me one, they just tell me that the superintendant decides the policy. if the attendance policy changes you are not told about it, nor is it made known. at one time they said six occasions in six months was excessive, now its changed to three occasions in six months, but to my knowledge the workers were not informed of the change, including myself. i had provided a statement from my doctor that my condition would be exacerbated at 3-6 month intervals and of course i have had other absences for more ordinary illnesses like bronchitis and broken ribs from a fall in the shower. if i am not made aware of changes in policy i cannot adhere to policy, therefore i have given my 2 week notice without waiting to find another job first because i dont want to be fired for attendance because that looks really bad to prospective employers and i never know when my back will go out. i am 58 and wonder if im not being targeted. if i was made aware of changes in policy i would certainly try to adhere to it. my question of course is whether or not i would be able to draw unemployment if i dont find another job soon that would not cause so many problems with my back?

    • Adrian says:

      Depends.If you were wrongfully terminated, you can fight for UI benefits.

      Remember,UI is only extended to those who are physically fit to work and are willing to accept a suitable job offer that comes their way.

  43. Tamara says:

    My husband has orders to move to Hawaii in July. I will have to quit my job in order to move with him. Will I qualify for unemployment? Do I need to file in Kentucky or Hawaii?

    • Adrian says:

      Your eligibility depends on a range of factors.

      Please consider applying from the state where you last worked.

  44. Susan Dobson says:

    Can I received Unemployment if I received a SEVERANCE PACKAGE?

  45. Amy says:

    I was stopped at the end of my workday by my supervisor. I was told that due to a theft allegation by a guest in our hotel I had to read/sign the hotel drug policy and go immediately with my supervisor to take a drug test. I refused because I was not made aware of or agreed to this policy prier to that day. Can I collect unemployment?

  46. Scott says:

    I have a question about being eligible for unemployment. I have missed work for six weeks due to sickness and surgury. I have had doctor and hospital statements showing that I could not work. I was told my job was fine through the entire time, and that I was not to worry. But, now I have been informed they would let me know if I still had a job. Not sure what we will do. We already are very behind on bills without my income. And I am afraid to ask about my short term disability pay, because I know they probably would fire me then. Will it be possible to draw or get any assistance if I have to?

    Thank you

    • Adrian says:

      First of all,you must be looking at disability compensation as an option as your situation has a backdrop of surgery and sickness.If you are laid off,then you may please consider the option of applying for unemployment insurance with the state,provided you’re able to and available to work.

  47. Dani says:

    My boss has been my ride to work since I started the job 10 months ago. He has never complained nor told me that I needed to find other arrangements. Today he did not show up to get me and when I called him he told me that he was at my house but I was not ready. I was ready and waiting for him so I know that it was a lie. I told him that it was fine that I would call my mother-in-law and get a ride from her and that I would simply make up the hour of missed time by not taking my lunch. He told me not to bother, to take the day off and that we would talk about it tomorrow. In two days it is Thanksgiving and I requested, and was awarded, Friday off. I have to travel to the UP of Michigan because I have a court order that says that I must share holidays with my daughters mother. I am afraid that my boss is going to say that I now have to work on Friday. Will I be elgible to qualify for unemployment if I am fired for not being able to work on Friday?

  48. bonnie says:

    What are the reasons an employee would not be able to draw unemployment?

    • Darla Hernandez says:

      Is a permanent resident of the United States able to collect unemployment benefits if their permanent resident card is expired? He has a legal social security card and number.

  49. iris says:

    Can I get unemployment because I hurt my self off the job and I’m not working because they don’t have light duty.. In gonna be off for months

  50. Debbie says:

    We are getting a layoff for two weeks in about 2 weeks. We are being told that we have to use the vacation days that we have for these layoffs. Can I still get unemployment?

    • Baggie says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I suppose you cannot avail unemployment benefits while on a vacation. You should be able and available to work and must actively search for a job (unless specified otherwise).

Post Your Question

forum link

Please answer a simple Math question: *