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Delaware Unemployment Eligibility

Delaware Unemployment Benefits

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Qualifying for Delaware unemployment benefits involves meeting several requirements. Some requirements are financial, while other requirements focus on your job history and the reason you became unemployed. There are also ongoing eligibility requirements to show that you’re willing and able to accept full-time work, and actively looking for work.

  • Monetary eligibility
  • Non-monetary eligibility
  • Ongoing eligibility

Monetary requirements

Your financial eligibility is determined by evaluating your earnings during the base period. The base period is the 1st four of the last five completed calendar quarters.

You can qualify for benefits if an insured employer paid you at least 36 times your weekly benefit amount during your base period. When calculating your benefits, your weekly benefit amount will equal 1/46 of your wages from the two quarters when you earned the most money in the base period.

The amount you get every week will be at least $20 and not more than $400 per week.

Number of weeks

The number of weeks you can receive benefits depends on your total wages during your base period. You can get a total amount of benefits equal to half of your base period wages or 26 times your weekly benefit amount, whichever is less. An unemployment extension be available during times of very high unemployment.

Benefit Year

Your benefit year starts on the Sunday of the first week when you file a claim that qualifies you for money. It lasts one year. If you use up all of your benefits from this state, you can’t get any more payments that year. After that benefit year ends, you might get more benefits if you’ve worked a new job and earned at least 10 times your new weekly benefit amount since your last benefit year started and meet other requirements.

Earnings Allowance

You can earn up to half of your weekly benefit amount without losing any of your weekly benefit payment. If you earn more than that, the extra gets taken out of your benefit, dollar for dollar. So, if your weekly benefit is $200, you can earn $100 in gross wages in a benefit week without losing any of your unemployment insurance benefit. If you earn more than $100, the extra amount gets taken out of your UI benefit, dollar for dollar.

Monetary Determination

After you apply for Delaware unemployment, the DOL will look at your past work and the money you earned.

You will receive a document that shows the names of your employers, how much you earned, and other details. This letter is called the monetary decision. This paper will tell you if you can get benefits, how much you’ll get each week, and for how long. This letter is not a guarantee of benefits – it only addresses whether you are monetarily eligible.

Non-monetary requirements

To qualify for Delaware unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet specific requirements.

Be unemployed through no fault of your own

You must be partially or completely out of work and not responsible for the loss of your job. If eligibility problems arise, such as the reason for leaving work, you won’t get benefits until the issue is fixed. If you file online, a questionnaire about your separation will be sent to you, and you must complete and return it to the division within 10 days of the mailing date.

Be able and available for work

You need to be capable of working and open to taking a job. If you become sick or disabled after filing your claim and are already receiving benefits, you can still get benefits unless you turn down a suitable job or work becomes available. If you keep claiming benefits after becoming sick or disabled, you must provide a doctor’s certificate and meet the program’s other requirements.

Be actively seeking work

You must actively look for work and record your new weekly contacts in the work search log found in your guide. Your work search log can be checked by the division at any time.

Be a United States citizen

To qualify for Delaware unemployment benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen or be legally authorized to work in the state of Delaware.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Once your Delaware unemployment application is approved, there are many steps you need to take to maintain eligibility.

  • Register at DelawareJobs
  • Upload your resume to DelawareJobs and update it every 3 months
  • Certify for benefits every week
  • Perform a weekly work search activity
  • Report weekly earnings
  • Attend any trainings or meetings if requested
  • Respond with additional information if requested

Register at DelawareJobs

You must register for job search help with the Division of Employment and Training (DET) within three days of benefits approval. You must also upload your resume to the Delaware JobLink website and keep it current.

Attend any trainings or meetings if requested

If the Delaware DOL sends you to DET, you must immediately take part in any required registration process, testing, or job training. Failing to participate or refusing a reasonable job offer may result in a denial of unemployment benefits.

Respond with additional information if requested

If the local office instructs you to call them, make sure to do so at the specified date and time. If you can’t call at that time, contact them as soon as you can. Failing to call as instructed may lead to a denial of benefits.

Certify for benefits every week

Before you can collect your weekly benefit payment, you must certify your eligibility by filing a weekly claim. This can be done online or over the phone.

During the certification process, you will be asked to report any earnings for the week, and if you received any job offers. Be sure to provide honest and accurate information to avoid issues with Delaware unemployment fraud.

You must also complete your work search requirements and maintain a log of your job contacts. If you are unable to produce your work search log when requested, your benefits will be denied.

Reasons your benefits were denied

There are several reasons why your benefits can be denied.

Reasons for a denial of benefits can include:

  • If you do not file your weekly UI benefit payment as required.
  • If you are unable to work or are unavailable for work.
  • If you are discharged from your job for just cause in connection with your work – such as lateness, unexcused absences, or violation of company rules.
  • If you are unemployed due to a labor dispute.
  • If you are a school employee between academic years.
  • If you put undue restrictions on the type of work, the number of hours, or amount of pay that you are willing to accept.
  • If you are not separated from your employer.
  • If you fail to contact your local office as required.
  • If you have failed to actively seek work.
  • If you are enrolled in an educational program that limits your availability for work.
  • If you refuse to accept a job offer for which you are reasonably fitted and which pays the general rate for that type of work.
  • If you do not respond promptly to an inquiry from any unit within the Delaware DOL.
  • If you fail to participate in reemployment services.
  • If you quit your job voluntarily without good cause attributable to your work.
  • If you are unemployed because you are in jail.


If you are denied benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. There are multiple levels to the appeal process. This means that if you disagree with the appeal decision, you can appeal again. You have 10 days to appeal from the date of the denial notice.

The first level of appeal is the Hearing Tribunal. You can present your case to an Appeals Referee. The next level of appeal is to go before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (UIAB). If you disagree with the Board’s decision, the next step is to appeal to the Superior Court. The final step is appealing to the Delaware Supreme Court. At this stage of the process, you will need an employment lawyer to represent you.

  1. I currently live in NJ and worked in DE. Before that I was laid off from my job in PA due to covid and was out of work for a year. I accepted a job in DE however, unfortunately I was again laid off a month later as the new DE firm received news of a fiduciary audit by the bar association and can longer keep me on. By most states requirements, I did make enough money during the short time I worked In DE, although when I called to file a claim they told me that I had to file in PA as my last claim was there. I wasted a ton of time waiting to hear back from PA, who just told me today I have to file in DE. I have been trying to search the internet for a more precise explanation of DE’s monetary eligibility requirements before I call them again. Going off of this information, am I eligible?

    • Hi, Nicole – based on the information presented here, it makes sense that you would apply for benefits in Delaware since that’s where unemployment taxes would have been paid on your behalf. Here’s what the state of Delaware has promoted in terms of monetary eligibility: “To be eligible for benefits, you must have been paid at least thirty-six times your weekly benefit amount by a covered employer in your base period. The amount of your benefit will be 1/46 of your wages in the two highest wage quarters in the base period. However, no one who is eligible for benefits will receive less than $20 or more than $400 a week, if eligible.”

      This information all comes from the Delaware UI claimant handbook, which is available here:

  2. Will I be able to claim unemployment if I quit because of mental health and the job areas were unsafe? Also, how long after quitting do I have to apply?

    • Hi, Richard – in some cases, you can be found eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job. You’ll need to show that workplace conditions were so harmful or dangerous to your physical or mental health that you had no reasonable choice but to quit your job. You should apply for benefits as soon after separating from employment as possible. You may also want to talk with an unemployment lawyer about your chances for winning your unemployment claim given the specifics of your situation.

  3. If I quit my job because with the new mask mandates being lifted and I work in the hospitality industry and not knowing who is vaccinated and I’m worried about covid affecting my family would I be eligible for unemployment benefits

    • Tony,

      You can be eligible to claim if the conditions are hostile/hazardous. Please visit the Unemployment Office for more info.

  4. My job has changed management and the new gm is a struggle to deal with. I find that I’m likely going to be forced to move out of state with my family as I do not make enough on my own to afford anything reasonable. If I quit my job will I be able to collect?

  5. The company I’ve worked at for 4 years us being sold if I stay with the new employers and then get gired am I eligible to collect unemployment from my original employer.

    • Kara,

      If your employment is being eliminated involuntarily due to reasons such as a layoff, you should be able to collect UI benefits.

  6. I was hired a year ago to work a 5 days a pay period job. I was given set days that I work every week. I accepted the offer. Now they have decided to try something new, they want to give us a new set schedule that they choose for us and have us start it immediately next week. I have already told my boss I can not work her scheduled days because I also go to school and have two children I already have set care arrangements for but she says I have no choice if I quit can I collect unemployment?

    • Ava,

      This may be considered voluntary on your part which means you might not qualify. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office in your state.

  7. I was hired and basically thrown into the position with lack of training or education. When I asked questions, I was told to review the manual. When I would review the manual, I was told I wasn’t working fast enough. After about 2 weeks, I was told by one of the other employees that I was the 5th or 6th person hired for the position and they were surprised I hadn’t quit yet. Yesterday, I was fired and the reason I was given – is because I was 4 minutes late to work that morning, that I misspelled a patient’s name on a chart – that someone else had written up, but I was handed the paper to scan into the system by the person who wrote it up. Although, the person that spelled the name incorrectly, had no write up or disciplinary action and because I added a new patient to the system and was not aware or told that there was already an open file in the patients mothers name. I understand the late was my mistake, however and not using it to justify the late, but there were several incidents where others were no show, no call and no write up or disciplinary action. I feel I was targeted and wrongfully fired. I am discussing this with a lawyer but in this type of situation, would I qualify for UI benefits?

    • Kelly,

      The reason for termination seems pretty strange. As long as you feel it was not your fault, you can claim UI benefits until you find employment. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. I ended up quitting my job due to the company eliminating my department and forcing me over to a different sector which definitely affected my earnings. I worked over 4 years with this company and never had a problem earning my commissions. Once the company switched out my manager to a new mgr, I was unable to maintain my standard production to earn my income. Additionally, I was not awarded the extra break time supposed to be received when a customer complimented me to the manager on duty. I also quit because I was told I was non compliant by disclosing the initial price of a rental van to the customer while waiting for the slow loading screens so I could get into the system to further help the customer. Because I confirmed the initial price of the rental prior to being able to get into the system screens they called me non compliant and that meant they were confiscating and not paying me any commissions for the entire upcoming week. I got denied unemployment and have filed an appeal. I have a hearing in 2 days and want to know if I have what is considered good cause to have quit my job.

    • Leonora,

      It all depends on you. If you think your exit was justified due to mishaps at work, please make sure to prove with supporting paperwork and argument when you’re called for hearing.

    • Aliyah,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are generally not considered. I suggest that you contact the Unemployment Office to explore your options.

  9. I moved to Pa. and I am looking for employment. I asked to be transferred but never heard anything. I quit after not hearing anything for 3 weeks. Would I be eligible for benefits?

  10. I filed for unemployment and today an agent called me to ask me why I left the job I told her that I was fired, though they never gave me an just reason why I was terminated just that the owner where I worked thought it was best to go our separate ways. when I told the agent this she said that the owner should call her by Friday and that she would make her final decision. So just wanted to know it that normal for them to call and ask questions do you think Ill get my unemployment benefits?

    • Yes, its normal. They call you as a part of the process.

      If you haven’t heard from them as of now, please chase by calling the claims center.

  11. If I am being laid off from my job December 31, and have a job offer starting January 25, am I eligible to collect unemployment for those 3 weeks, because I will not be working? Thanks!

      • I have ill family members that need to be taken care of . I was unable to receive documentation for my call outs/lateness due to Covid . If I am fired will I be able to receive unemployment while caring for that ill family member ?

        • Lina,

          Unfortunately, UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons.

  12. What do I need to take with me when I go to unemployment? And do i just tell them I want to file for the hours i’m missing?

  13. If my work is cutting hours majorly even though i’m part time, can i still be eligible for unemployment?

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