Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

Eligibility for unemployment insurance is determined by state law. More than half of jobless workers do not claim unemployment benefits because either they do not qualify or feel the filing process to be very complex. Contrary to this, numerous people meet the criteria for benefits and state unemployment offices have also reduced the amount of necessary paperwork over a period of time. This article will make eligibility criteria clear for filing unemployment benefits.

Want to know if you are eligible? Use our Eligibility Calculator

Unemployment Eligibility Requirements

eligibility requirements

Based on your state there may be eligibility requirements for unemployment coverage including having worked for a definite period of time. The Job Service may need job seekers to apply for jobs, submit resumes, and not turn down a position if it meets certain standards.

Other Eligibility Factors to determine benefits are:

  • Must be monetary eligible
  • Past earnings activity (labor force attachment)
  • Conditions of job separation
  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • If you are identified as likely to tire out unemployment benefits and are registered in the worker profiling and reemployment services program, you have to fully participate in all assessment interviews, orientation, and referred reemployment services.

The State Job Service Offices are brilliant resources to aid with a job search. Many free services are provided including career counseling, job listings, resume and cover letter writing help, and training. Take benefit of the assistance state job service offices can give you –it will make your job easier.

Monetary Eligibility

Estimate Benefits

Unemployment Calculator

After filing an initial application for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you will obtain a Determination of Unemployment Compensation with facts about your monetary eligibility. The monetary determination is not an assurance of payment. It is to give advice to you and your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed, if qualified, what the weekly benefit rate will be and upon which earnings that rate is based.

Use our unemployment calculator to determine your eligibility.

Example 1:

Let’s take an example from the state of California. Anyone may file a claim for jobless benefits in California. However, not all those who file will be entitled. In order to be qualified you must first have adequate work and earnings to set up a claim (what’s recognized as Monetary Eligibility). The wages may be from work in California only, in California and another state(s), or from work with the federal government or U.S. military service in any state.

If in doubt, file the claim and allow the Employment Development Department (EDD) make the conclusion. If you cannot establish a valid California claim the EDD will tell you what your options are for getting a valid claim.

California glances at earnings grouped by calendar quarter. A quarter consists of three precise months; January, February, and March from the 1st quarter of the year, and so on. By law, the Employment Development Department can only employ the four quarters that ended before the last quarter to assess earnings. These four earnings are called the Base period of the claim; it is the only period of earnings that can be used to decide present eligibility.

How the Base Period is Determined?

Wages are drawn from a one-year period (four calendar quarters) to compute eligibility. This one-year period is called the Base Period.

If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: January, February, or March - The Base Period will be the first nine months (Jan-Sept) of last year and the last three months (Oct-Dec) of the year before last;

If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: April, May, or June – The Base Period will be all twelve months (Jan-Dec) of last year;

If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: July, August, or September – The Base Period will be the first three months of the current year (Jan-Mar) and the last nine months (Apr-Dec) of the last year;

If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: October, November, or December – The Base Period will be the first six months (Jan-June) of the current year and last six months (Jul- Dec) of the last year.

The quarter you file and the previous quarter (the months in red and white) do NOT count at all toward the Base Period, regardless of how much you earned. Neither does any time before the Base Period, even if you worked for fifty years. Benefits are only depending on the Base Period, which is, in turn, decided by the date you file for benefits.

Example 2:
Let’s consider the earnings requirements in California for example
You can establish a legal claim in two ways in the state of California:

  • Earn no less than $1300 in any one quarter of the Base Period, or
  • Earn no less than $900 in your uppermost quarter of earnings during the Base Period plus in the rest of the Base Period earn no less than 25% of the highest quarter earnings.

For instance, if you received $1000 in your highest quarter, the claim would only be legal if your total earnings all through the other three quarters amounted to $250, for a Base Period total of $1,250:

$1000 + (25% x $1000) = $1250 in total Base Period earnings.

So even though you earned $100,000 in your highest quarter, but did not earn as a minimum $25,000 all through the rest of the Base Period, you would not be qualified! Or if you only earned $899.99 in each quarter, you will fail by one penny. That is the rule.

When you file a claim the EDD will send back you a printed copy of the determination of monetary eligibility. Test out cautiously to settle on if your employer(s) reported your earnings properly. You can constantly request a recomputation if the data appears wrong.

EDD will also offer the following information:

  • The beginning and ending date of the claim
  • Weekly Benefit Amount
  • Maximum Benefit Amount

Weekly Benefit Amount

The sum of money to which a claimant may be entitled each week, based on the claimant’s covered wages paid during the base period.

Let’s consider an example from the state Mississippi:

The maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) allowed in Mississippi at this time is $235.00. Your WBA for unemployment insurance benefits depends on the total wages in the highest quarter of your Base Period and by dividing that amount by 26. The minimum WBA in Mississippi is $30.00. To estimate your WBA you must first determine what your wages are for the highest quarter during your Base Period.

To be eligible for benefits, you:

  • Must have worked in no less than two quarters of your base period,
  • Must have earned no less than $780.00 in the highest quarter of your base period, and
  • Must have earned 40 times your WBA in your base period.

The highest amount of benefits that can be paid to you during your Benefit Year is 26 times your WBA, or one-third of your total Base Period wages, whichever is the lesser.

If you file a claim for benefits and it is determined that you do not have enough wages in your base period to be eligible, you may reapply again after the quarter changes, if you are still jobless. The quarters used to decide the base period change every three months, on the first Sunday of January, April, July, and October.

Who can be claimed as a dependent?

If you do not meet the criteria for the maximum weekly benefit rate, you may be entitled to a dependency allowance. Dependant’s allowance is additional money added to a claimant’s weekly benefit amount if the claimant supports a dependent.

If you would like to claim a dependency allowance when you file your claim, you will be inquired to give the social security numbers of your dependent children.

Your dependent child or children must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Under 18 years of age.
  • Under 21 years of age and a full-time student.
  • A mentally or physically handicapped child of any age

You are required to give proof of dependency.

While you are receiving benefits, you must inform DUA (Department of Unemployment Assistance) if there is any change in the number of your dependent children or in your status of providing support. In total, 12 states pay dependency allowance.

For Example:

Total dependency allowance for Connecticut cannot be paid for more than five dependents ($75). California does not pay dependency allowances.

When to File for Unemployment?

Filing for unemployment must be the initial item on your plan when you have been laid-off. It might take a few weeks to collect a check, so the quicker you file, the faster you’ll get paid. A delay in filing will mean a wait in collecting unemployment benefits.

How to Claim Your Benefits?

In order to obtain unemployment compensation, workers must meet the unemployment eligibility requirements for wages earned or duration worked during an established (one year) period of time. Besides, workers must be firm to be unemployed through no fault of their own, so if you were fired or quit you may not be qualified for unemployment compensation.

Confirm with your State Unemployment Office for briefing on what benefits you are entitled to. You may be able to file over the phone. In various states, you can file online for unemployment.

In general, to file a claim you will need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Card if you’re not a US citizen
  • Mailing address including zip code
  • Phone number
  • Names, addresses and dates of employment of all your past employers for the last two years

Disqualification from Unemployment

The following conditions may disqualify you from collecting unemployment benefits depending on state law:

  • Quit without good cause
  • Fired for misconduct
  • Resigned because of illness (check on disability benefits)
  • Left to get married
  • Self-employed
  • Caught up in a labor dispute
  • Attending school

Check with the Unemployment Office if you have the above or any other special circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions For Eligibility Criteria

Can I collect for voluntary termination of a job?

Yes, if the reason for leaving is justifiable and related to work or, in some circumstances, to domestic issues. Check with your state’s employment security office for clarification.

Will I qualify for unemployment if I was allowed to resign but received a severance package?

If you quit or get fired, then you are not eligible. Only hope is that you explain the situation to unemployment office (after you lose the job) and they consider your case under “good cause” provision.

If I start collecting social security does this stop my unemployment?

Unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. However, the unemployment benefit amount of an individual may be reduced by the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including Social Security and Retirement benefits.

You should contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.

Are elected officials eligible for unemployment compensation when terminated by a different employer?

The law does not allow using some types of wages to establish claims which include working as an elected official. Hence, may not be eligible to claim the benefit.

Can I file a claim if I already lost a week’s pay from my job?

Yes, because most states pay unemployment compensation benefits based on the amount of earnings for a particular week. However, it all depends upon your weekly benefit amount and, possibly, other factors. File the claim and see.

If I was contracted to work through a company and was let go due to loss of work can I file for unemployment?

Periods of self-employment don’t generally qualify for unemployment insurance claiming, as you’re not paying into the system. The other question likely is, do you qualify based upon your earnings from ex-employment other than the self-employment income? Depending on these factors it will be decided whether you are eligible or not.

Responses

  1. ray b says:

    my Illinois unemployment benefits ran out but my claim is still active till the end of December i’m also getting child dependency allowance my question is can i still receive the dependency allowance even if my benefits is exhausted

  2. josephine says:

    I would like to know if I quit my job per my doctors request because of a heart condition and very high blood pressure. I receive social security and my age is 69 years old. My doctor says if I continue I will die there. Please advise jo in Nevada.

  3. angie says:

    If my florida unemployment benefits have been put on hold for reporting requirements how long will they be delayed or what’s the probability I will be denied? I did not receive the letter to report for the interview and I did not become aware of it until I logged in to file my claim and my money was placed on hold now I have to wait for an adjudication but that’s the only income I have right now so what’s the probability that they will deny my benefits or how long will they be delayed?

    • Adrian says:

      Please note that we are not a govt. website.

      Kindly call the customer service of the labor dept in your state for an update on status.

  4. Dominique says:

    how do I apply if I have never had a job

    • Adrian says:

      Generally,they consider your previous work experience to ascertain the benefit amount and other criteria.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi,

    I will be laid off 6/23/14. How do I calculate my “base period”. I’m very confused on the amount to enter on the calculator. I get paid bi-weekly. So how do I calculate this?

    • Adrian says:

      If you’re using the calculator on this website, please sum up the total income for a specific quarter.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Hello,

    I’m almost to zero on my claim balance, but my unemployment benefits (aka my year) doesn’t expire until this October. I keep reading about extensions in CA not happening. I was wonder does it apply to those who have finished their claim year only or to those who still have 6 months left on their claim as well?

    Thanks,
    Steph

    • Adrian says:

      You will receive full benefits you’ve been approved for. Extension is not available through out the country.

  7. martha says:

    i didnt see my severance amount displayed on my personal information letter that i received from EDD and i already mailed my first certification.. is to late to change it? i believe there was a time limit to make any changes but it has now been more than 10 days since.
    what are the actions i should take to fix this

  8. Darlene says:

    i recently exhausted my unemployment benefits.is there any benefits that i can apply for?is there moneys out there for my situation?

  9. Elishia Ortiz says:

    I moved to San Diego after graduation from college to start my new job August 2013 and on May 30th 2014 my position was eliminated, and I was fired and given a severance letter. Can I file for unemployment and receive benefits until I locate another job? Can you assist me?

  10. gail barber says:

    I didn’t quite understand should I open a new claim or not. Laid off May19th of last year and my year is up.

  11. gail says:

    I was laid off May 19th of last year. My benefit year ends May 17th 2014. I worked January thru May 18th 2013. Will I be able to open a new claim or do I just need to keep filing and hope for the extension.

    • Adrian says:

      The benefits provided are just one time and are not revolving.

      Please keep a track of news on extension and apply if/when extended.

  12. Heather says:

    I am moving from CA to Montana pursuant to my husbands wishes. I have made attempts to telecommute with my employer, but he is unwilling. My last day of work is scheduled for July 15th. Will i be eligible to receive unemployment benefits and when should I file?

    • Adrian says:

      Your eligibility is dependent on a range of criteria.Please note that UI is provided to those who are unemployed involuntarily.

      Please consider applying after your last working day.

  13. Joellen says:

    The known last day of work (laid off) is in 3 weeks. My state (Georgia) takes 17 days to make a decision. Can I go ahead and file now, so that I won’t have to be without income for two weeks(+) after I’m laid off?

    • Adrian says:

      Please call the customer service for specific advice if you can file before the last working day.

  14. connie says:

    I am in the state of Florida. Can I still collect unemployment? If layoff date is June 30 and severance package will not be paid until the following year March 2015? And if I file for Social Security will that disqualify me?

    • Adrian says:

      You can file for UI post termination of employment.

      Please check with the relevant authority on social security disqualification.

  15. Geno says:

    I was on unemployment from March of 2013 until Feb of this year, unfortunately I was recently laid off. Would I qualify for unemployment based on the Alternate Base Period.

  16. David says:

    I’ve been working full time at the same company for 32 years. 2days ago they tell me that my possicion as a tech was close due to lost of severals accounts. So they want to demoted me to labor and reduce my pay 25%. I can not work as a labor due to my age 57 and my health (diabetic)

    • Adrian says:

      I can understand your situation.

      Please speak to a senior executive from your company and make them aware of the service you’ve provided.If you decide to resign,your qualification is subject to many factors.

  17. Suzanne says:

    I was “let go” from my company after 10.5 years ( my position was eliminated ). I live in California and I established a company before I was laid off. My company has not made any money and I am planning on either dissolving or merging it at the end of this year. Am I eligible for unemployment or is my failing business considered self employed and therefore makes me ineligible to work in the eyes of the unemployment office. Thank you ;)

    • Adrian says:

      If your company paid the relevant state taxes and if you meet all other eligibility requirements, you can consider applying for benefits.

  18. Terra says:

    I was on unemployment last year from January through mid-October, then my extensions ran out. I got a job at the end of October and was employed until yesterday when I was laid off. Will I qualify for unemployment based on my collecting unemployment almost all of last year and then being employed for the last 6 months? I am in California.

    • Adrian says:

      Not sure if you re qualify as you seem to have claimed and received full benefits.

      You can look forward to EUC(emergency unemployment compensation) which is currently debated for extension by the congress.

  19. Irene says:

    I have been at the same job for 18 year. Recently they have been talking budget cuts. It looks like they will be cutting my hours due to doctors taking off & patient load. I currently only work part time 24 hours a week. So just cutting 1 day really hurts. I was wondering if I leave my job because of lack of hours, if I’d be eligibilable to collect. Also would I be eligiblable to go back to school while on uneployment.

    • Adrian says:

      Yo can be eligible for reduced hours of work. Instead of quitting,please consider applying for the lost hours.

      You may not eligible if you go back to school.

  20. patty says:

    My unemployment ended Dec 28th in the 2nd tier. Will I receive any more benefits if the extension is passed. I live in CA.

  21. Jojo says:

    My weeks have finally been processed, how long does it usually take to be put on my debit card?? Processed on April 14 2014.

  22. David says:

    my 26 weeks of unemployment runs out in april, if the federal government does not pass the emergency unemployment compensation package,will I be eligible for NJ extended benefits? If yes, for how long?

    • Adrian says:

      There is not further extension available at this point of time.

      There is positive news of extension being passed. Please take stock of national news in this regard.

  23. Sherry says:

    I’ve been working full time at the same company for 30 years. In the past year I been going to school to get my associates degree and I also have a part time job on the weekends (12 hours a week). There has been some talk of lay offs at my full time job. If I would get laid off from the full time job, would I still be eligible for benefits because I go to school and have a part time job?

    • Adrian says:

      Regular schooling is generally considered a barrier as one cannot work a regular job and you’re I believe, not a full timer.

      If you’re laid off, please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state to ascertain rules relating to your situation.Each state has its own provisions.

Leave a Reply


Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/negotiat/public_html/fileunemployment/wp-content/themes/corporateplus2/comments.php on line 93
Table 'negotiat_filemp.xf_node' doesn't exist
Warning: mysql_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/negotiat/public_html/fileunemployment/wp-content/themes/corporateplus2/comments.php on line 99

− four = 5