Unemployment Insurance Common Questions


What is the base period?

What is covered employment?

What should I do in case if I am not eligible for Monetary Benefit?

What is Unemployment Insurance and who is eligible for it?

What are the basic eligibility requirements to obtain unemployment benefits?

What is an Alternate Base Period and how is it calculated?

Benefits Amount

How much can I expect from an unemployment benefit?

How can I know the monetary eligibility?

What is benefit year and how long does it will be active?

What is Disability Insurance?

What is Unemployment Fraud?

Claims Paperwork

What details I need to have before filing the claim?

How do I file the Unemployment Insurance Claim?

When should I file the claim and what are the per-requisites essential?

Unemployment Extension

How to renew the benefit year claims and is it possible to apply for another benefit year before completing the prior one?

How long I may receive benefits?

What is Extended Benefits and when does this program start or come to consideration?


What details do I need to have before filing the claim?

Before filing the claim you need to be ready with the following details:

  1. Your name, social security number, addresses and telephone number.
  2. In case if you are filing a claim for dependents, then you need to have their names, birth dates and social security numbers.
  3. Complete payroll address and reason for separation from all the employers you worked for the last 18 months before filing the claim.

  How do I file for Unemployment Insurance?

You can file for Unemployment Benefits in two ways:

  1. You can file the claim through the Internet where you can just log on to your State’s Unemployment Insurance home page, fill up the details and process it.
  2. You can also file the Insurance claim via telephone using the numbers provided on the State’s Unemployment Insurance Home Page.

  When should I file the claim and what are the per-requisites?

In case you are unemployed, you need to file your claim as soon as possible. Your claiming eligibility benefits begins the week in which you file your claim. Remember if you file your claim between Sundays to Wednesday, your claim will be effective the week you filed. But in case if you file the claim between Thursdays to Saturday then your claim will be effective in the following week.

Eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance benefit:

  • You must be unemployed through no faults of yours.
  • You should be efficient and available to work.
  • You should be actively searching for full time work unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part time worker.
  • You should be willing to accept a job for which you are qualified.

  How much can I expect from unemployment benefits?

A. Benefits are solely based on the wages earned prior to you loosing your job. Amount is calculated by dividing the average of your wages in the 2 highest quarters of your base period by 22. The maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $400.00. In addition $10 will be paid per dependent per week. Unemployment benefits varies from State to State.

  How can I know about the monetary eligibility?

Generally you will receive a form from your State Unemployment concerning your eligibility called Determination of Monetary Eligibility which includes the details of all the employer for whom you worked for, your social security number during base period wages, weekly benefit amount and also your monetary eligibility.

The methods used to determine monetary eligibility vary from state to state and are stated below:

  •     Multiple of High-Quarter Wages
  •     Multiple of Weekly Benefit Amount
  •     Flat Qualifying Amount
  •     Weeks/Hours of Employment

  What should I do in case I am not monetarily eligible for Benefits?

If you are not eligible for any unemployment insurance based on the standard base period explained above, then the form will contain instructions on how to apply for the alternate base period. You will need to contact the agency within 15 days as explained in the preceding paragraph and continue to file claims in a timely fashion and request for the payment.

  What is benefit year and how long will it be active?

If you have qualified for the benefits, then your benefit year starts up. Benefit year will be for the period of one year or fifty-two weeks. It is calculated as the period beginning with Sunday of the first week in which you file your new claim. For instance, if you have filed your new claim on Friday then your benefit year would start  the preceding Sunday and would be considered as effective date of your benefit year and it will be active for the period of exactly one year. During a benefit year you may receive up to 26 times your weekly benefit amount under normal circumstances.

  How to renew the benefit year claims and is it possible to apply for another benefit year before completing the prior one?

You may not start another benefit year until the first one is completed. However, if you have also worked in another state during your base period and have received all your benefits in your benefit year, you may file against the other state in which you worked and you may be eligible for benefits from that state. You may also check with the Claimant Information Service for more details.

At the end of your benefit year, you may be eligible to establish a new benefit year with the extension of unemployment benefits, if you have been employed during the current benefit year and earned at least 10 times the weekly benefit amount for which you would be eligible during the new benefit year. Call the Claimant Information Service for further information on establishing a new benefit year.

  What is Unemployment Insurance and who is eligible for it?

A. Unemployment Insurance in short is termed as UI and is the temporary  income for
Eligible workers, Who have lost their jobs through no fault of theirs.

In order to  qualify for unemployment benefits, you have to be ready, willing, available, and able to work. 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 turn down a position if it meets certain standards.

Eligibility for benefits is determined by the following factors:

  • 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.

  What are the basic criteria for Monetary and Non-Monetary Eligibility of unemployment benefits?

Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits:
Unemployment Insurance is the compensation amount projected to pay as a momentary or temporary economical assistance. It is the total sum of the monetary and non-monetary amount which is offered to an employee by his or her employer in return for work performed.

Monetary Payments

Monetary payments include the compensation of the expenditure costs like bonus, recognition rewards and checks, overtime payment and checks including profit sharing.

Non-Monetary Payments

Compensation paid as non-monetary benefit includes the advantage payment such as providing company paid housing or car for the company’s employee.

  How long may I receive benefits?

The number of weeks for which you receive benefits is determined at the beginning of your benefit period. This amount depends on your individual earnings and is limited to a maximum of 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. You may also qualify for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits under a temporary Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefit program. Additional benefits may also be available under Special Programs.

  What is covered employment?

Covered employment is the job carried out for employers who are qualified to unemployment compensation law. Covered employment from other states may also be used under certain conditions.

  What is the base period?

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately proceeding the first day of your benefit year. The last four completed quarters will be used if you are not eligible using the regular base period quarters.

  What are the features of Disability Insurance?

Disability Insurance is the type of insurance that can be claimed under conditions like mental or physical illness or injury which avoids you to work and makes you jobless. In other words, it is offered by the employers if an individual cannot work due to mental or physical injury. If you are away from your customary work due to illness, non-industrial injury, pregnancy or family concerned situations then you may expect for the partial income to be paid.

  What is Extended Benefits and when does this program start or come to consideration?

Extended Benefits is the addition benefit claims that becomes effective during the period of high unemployment rate in particular state. Extended Benefits is paid just after an individual has exhausted his/her benefits on their regular claim of last tier and Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

  What is an Alternate Base Period and how is it calculated?

If you fail to claim the benefits under regular Base period then you are permitted to apply for Alternate Base Period considering the updated system for tracking on the latest income. This program expects the workers to fulfill same overall earning requirements.

  What is Unemployment Fraud?

If you knowingly receive benefits based on false information that you purposely provided when you registered your claim, you are committing unemployment fraud. Anyone who commits unemployment insurance fraud is liable to be punished by law and could even face a variety of serious penalties and consequences. Unemployment fraud can also include telling a white lie to extend their benefits or it can also include the fake policies being sold.


  1. Mark Kosloske says:

    My company is closing the store I work at. The only opening they are offering me is 73 miles from my current location. I do not want to commute that far to work. I loose money. Can I turn down the offer due to the distance and then collect unemployment? Thanks for your help in this matter. Mark

  2. Marcie says:

    Is it true that u can collect unemployment if you decide to leave the business after a year of employment (Nebraska)?

    • Martin says:

      Generally, Unemployment Insurance is not provided to those who leave voluntarily.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  3. Beverly says:

    can I collect unemployment if I get laid off and receive severance pay. I live in NJ

  4. Brandi says:

    Hi, I just recently found out my work is shutting down for a month coming soon, leaving me temporarily out of work. Would I qualify for unemployment even though I technically still have a job waiting for me after the end of the month?

    • Martin says:

      If it is a scheduled time off like a seasonal job, you may not qualify.

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

  5. Daryl King says:

    Can you claim benefits if you take a voluntary laid off from your employer,due to a reduction in work.

  6. Virginia Uli says:

    If I have forgotten my PIN number, how do I reset it?

  7. Rachel says:

    We have a family owned business in Minnesota that is not required to have unemployment insurance for family members, all of whom are partners. There is a significant change taking place and some of these family members will now be at will employees instead of partners; does the business now have to cover these individuals with unemployment insurance?

    • Martin says:

      We do not have specific information in this regard for your state.

      Please inquire further with the labor contacts in your state.

  8. Nancy Schmidt says:

    i work for a resort in CA. I am in the Banquet Department and while I am considered full time I don’t work everyday. We are all scheduled according to seniority with having 1-5 shifts per week. Had had no shifts this week and none next. Am I eligible 4 benefits?

    • Jeff says:

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

      You may not be eligible for scheduled time off.

  9. Crystal Harris says:

    The state I’m in is Alabama . I was laid off from my job on June 30th. I filled out application for UC immediately after assignment ended. The same job called for me to come work one day August 3rd. Will I be disqualified for working on this day. I worked 8 hours. I agreed because I figured I would get penalized for refusing to work. So right now I’m restless in Alabama. Besides I have yet to receive any UC from June 30th.

  10. lori anderson says:

    I was in the hospital for Saturday and Sunday during my unemployment period. I had to certify and they penalized me a week for the time I was in the hospital so I won’t get a check for two weeks. I don’t have anything to live on and wonder why I am losing a week for that two days I was in the hospital.

    • Adrian says:

      Please call the claims center of the labor department in your state to check further.

      Perhaps, you can ask a close member in the family or a friend to file on your behalf if a similar situation comes up in the future.

  11. EA says:

    I work for a State agency and have been under a physician’s care since Feb. 18th. I was told my FMLA ran out in March, and I had abused my leave in May while I was under a physician’s care. I had lower back surgery the first of May due to a ruptured disc that caused nerve damage, and my Dr. provided my supervisor with FMLA papers stating I would not be released to go back to work until June 29th before I had my surgery. I was granted 3 months leave without pay until July 26. I am resigning my position due to Dr recommendation. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

      Not sure if you can be eligible for unemployment compensation.

      Medical reasons are not considered as compensation is only provided to those who lose job due to involuntary reasons.

  12. Cindy Rioux says:

    Employed in IL 8 months, hired to be supporting 1 account. Company is now taking me off 1 account and having me support multiple accounts which is not what I applied for and was hired to do. If I quit because of the companies ‘switch’, can I collect UE in IL?

    • Adrian says:

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

  13. nona king says:

    my mother is on unemployment and will soon be receiving a pension from Kansas Personnel Retirement System. Will this keep her from receiving unemployment benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      Depends. Some states allow both while some don’t.

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

  14. manal says:

    So I applied for unemployment in late Jan.and have been receiving till this week instead of the 2week I only got 1 week what happened??

    • Adrian says:

      Please note that we do not have access to your claim information.

      Kindly call the customer service of the labor dept immediately for update on status.

  15. Nicole says:

    I was working at a car dealership for over a year. I quit that job to start a new one I worked there for 2 weeks and came down with pneumonia and missed 3 days I asked if I could come back to work and she said she would let me know the next day. The next day she called and she said my position is no longer needed. I live in Oklahoma and have a 5 month old daughter and im actively looking for a job. Do you think I would qualify?

    • Adrian says:

      Looks like your job was wrongfully terminated.

      Please consider applying for UI benefits until you find a new job.

  16. PEARL says:


  17. Shonda says:

    My husband is active duty military and being transferred to Fl, we now live in Va. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits because I have to quit my job and do I file thru Fl or Va.?

    • Adrian says:

      Each state has specific rules regarding this.

      Please contact the labor dept in your state for further info.

  18. Maria says:

    My daughter works for a mental health agency in Mass, My question is can she file for 12 weeks of unemployment for maternity leave her job doesn’t pay for maternity leave and once she has the baby she will have no income.

  19. russ platt says:

    just recieved new debit card have not drew unemployment for nearly 3 years whatshould i do with the new card??

  20. kristen says:

    after 25 years my mom who works as a nursery for a nj college was told she they needed to cut one million from budget. all supervisors 55yrs or older and had worked 10 yrs or more could choose to voluntarily early retire with 3 woks severance and $500 for each year worked or face a lay off. if she takes the vol early retire package can she collect unemployment? she would be looking for a new job as she is not ready to retire. she only has a short time 2wks
    to answer as packages are funded by only so much money and first come first served to be paid.

    • Adrian says:

      Yes, she should be eligible as long as she meets the eligibility requirement.

      Please consider applying and look for a new job.

      • Kristen says:

        HI Adrian, thanks for your response however I am confused as her work HR told her yes she would be eligible like you said but when she called and spoke to Unemployment they said NO., how is she to know who is telling the truth? and what to do?

        • Adrian says:

          Hello Kristen,

          Thank you for coming back to us.

          If the labor dept in your state says “No”,that may be it. Please call them again and take a second opinion from a supervisor at the call center.

  21. maria says:

    I have a quick question. I was recently laid off and need to file unemployement. I also teach yoga on the side (one of the classes is on the weekend) – only 4 hours a week and do not make more than $50 or so a month. I want to be compliant while completing the application and it asks if I have any other employment. Would this side project impact me? It is not done for profit as any little income returns to purchase items for the class. thank you kindly.

  22. Deborah Gibbs says:

    My daughter is working for a gymnastic center that seems to be doing very poorly due to management. Management recently let an employee go however when this employee applied for unemployment she was told that no unemployment had been paid by this individual. I thought all business had to pay for unemployment benefits. This company also is not taking state taxes out on my daughter. What is her recourse?

  23. Jeremy Byrd says:

    Need help that my benefit card how do I get a deposit on there how do I claim my weeks and it’s only been awake since I started this whole unemployment

  24. Pat says:

    I was in the National Guard and my day job was as a Federal Technician. The National Guard retired me because I turned age 60 which is mandatory. I was terminated from my Federal Technician job involuntarily. My position was in Boise.

    Can I file in Washington State even though I still live in Boise?

    • Adrian says:

      There are specific rules with regard to dealing with federal employees.Please consider filing from the state where you were last employed.

  25. Jenny Snow says:

    If I am enrolled in online classes for school will I qualify for unemployment? These are classes I can take at night, as they are online classes & I was taking these while working full-time. How do I answer question when filing online for unemployment of are you attending school or have an enrollment date within 30 days? As I said, these classes are online & will not affect my ability to search for work or take a new job.

  26. thomas j bednarski says:

    why can I not file for my waiting week 2 weeks in a row. online says I did the telephone service says I havent

    • Adrian says:

      Please speak to a representative from the claims dept/Customer service in your state to get more clarification on this.
      When you speak to them,let them know that the online tool has confirmed an application from you.

  27. Cathy Phillips says:

    When are the w2’s mailed out for 2013

  28. sharon Willis says:

    I have a questionI applied for unemployment benefits and litterly got a job 2 days later how do I stop my claim I haven’t heard if i even got accepted dont want to commit fraud

  29. Fred Nair says:

    Can you receive back pay from unemployment if you should not have been denied unemployment benefits.

  30. Alexandra Young says:

    I filed last week for unemployment benefits and received my benefit package, but never received my unemployment debt card. Do I need to contact someone about this? every time I call the contact number I never seem to get a person and I get disconnected. How do I fix this?

    Thank you

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  32. Ron says:

    My son has been looking for work with no luck. He has signed up for unemployment benefits. In the meantime he has decided to go to college. Does he still qualify for benefits? He needs help. College is not cheap?

  33. dakota says:

    I am a college student and have only been working since June of this year
    if i’m laid off can I draw unemployment. I will have earned enough money
    but I don’t understand about base periods

  34. Whitney says:

    If I have to quit my job because I just ha a baby a month ago and don’t have child care can I still get unemployment?

  35. David says:

    My first benefit check for one week was received on 8/9/13, does that mean my 1 year of benefits will end on 8/9/2014?
    Thank you.


  36. wesley floyd says:

    I have called numerous location and there same to be no system in place for identity theft. who do I call or get in contact when my information be stolen.

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  38. Don says:

    We are moving from NC to SC and I want to know what I need to do to continue receiving my unemployment benefits when I move.
    What steps should I take to insure this is handled properly.

  39. Janice Lawrence says:

    I am going to be having surgery and I was told that being off for the 6-8 weeks with no pay I could collect temporary unemployment for this period of time. Is there any truth to this

  40. Kara says:

    I have been waiting in my card for 3 weeks how long does it take to get your card in and how can you see where it is. Also if you have been claiming your weekly benefits and still have nut received your card do you still get the amounts you claimed or what happens?

  41. james m smith jr says:

    I filed for benefits on 6/28/13 was approved for benefits its been 8wks and one day have not receved any payments yet tried to reach you by phone never can get thru I live 490 miles away if would also impossible to drive up to you please let me know what the problem is if it is something I can do thankyou jams m smith jr

  42. J.W. says:

    My last day of work was 5/19/2013 but I was fired on 7/29/2013. I filed for Unemployment on 7/30/2013. I just received my decision by mail saying my benefits were denied from 5/19/2013-8/3/2013 because I was unable to work….What does that mean?

    • kathy says:

      If you are unable to work, you are ineligible for unemployment. Perhaps you were out due to illness or accident? Family emergency… Something that prevented you from working anywhere. If you filed 7/30/13, your claim year could have begun 7/28/13. So I am not sure if it is an error or if there was a reason they did not do so – vacation days? Still unable to work? Did they give you a date to begin filing claims for benefits? If so, it would appear they are starting your benefit year 8/4/13, the benefit year always begins on a Sunday.

      If you were out on a disciplinary leave, when was it schedule to end? That could explain the 8/3/13 date even though you were fired 7/29/13.

      Never hesitate to call the local unemployment office with questions.

      • J.W. says:

        Thanks for your reply! My benefit year is from 7/27/13 – 2014.. I wasn’t trying to receive retro pay that’s why I waited til I was fired until I filed..However since I was denied from 5/19- 8/3 does that mean I need to file another claim or will all new certifications be counted! Thanks again

  43. Charles Dellaira says:

    i have applied a while ago and never heard anything. can you reply so i know whats going on

  44. Ronald says:

    Im trying to ask what grounds do I have to fileunempolyment benifits. I was currently working with my boss who carry a concealed weapon that was loaded at all times. And I am a convicted felon. I am located in Florida. I have been employed there for 5 months.

  45. Jessica says:

    I live in IL and work in Missouri. The company will be closing in a month. In which state will I claim unemployment or do I have an option?? Also in MO do you get any additional pay if you have dependant children?

  46. Michelle Boggs says:

    Can you file for unemployment in the state of Florida if you are fired and you are 71 years old? My Mother is working full time and feels like she is getting ready to be fired. We are scared that her age will disqualify her?

    • Baggie says:

      Hi Michelle,

      If your mother is fired for no work related fault or any error from her side, she is mostly eligible for unemployment compensation. It is required to be able and available to work and she will also be asked to look for jobs each week.

  47. R Gottschalk says:

    I am working at a full time grant funded position. The grant will end soon. Will I be eligible for unemployment even if it was a short termed grant.

  48. Linda Conrad says:

    I have been working for 6 months for a temp. agency. This position is ending after being here for 6 mos. Whould I still be able to file for unemployment until they find me another job. I would still be lookin myself.
    Thanks you

    • cindy alverson says:

      I was fired from my job and started getting unemployment I found a new job a few weeks later and unemployment made me pay it back but I don’t get 40hrs a weeklike I did at my last job can I still get unemployment

  49. Paul says:

    I am retired from the military and currently working at a home improvement store. Due to medical reasons I may end up quitting as the accomodations work is trying to provide aren’t making things tolerable enough. Would my military pension keep me from getting unemployment or would it just reduce how much I’d get?

  50. sharlene says:

    what is the time schedule to place claims on line for payment. is it from 8 to 5pm or no time limit like you do when filing by phone.

    • neha says:

      If you have lost your job you may be able to file for unemployment online without visiting an unemployment office. You can visit the unemployment benefits website of your state to file a new unemployment claim.

      Since you have not mentioned your state, I can’t tell the exact time schedule to place your claims.

      • Shelley says:

        I was notified that my position at my employer will be eliminated and I will be laid off. I have worked there for 20 years this year. I was told that Washington State unemployement has a retraining program for displaced employees and they will get unemployement benefits while they go to school to be re-educated in a new field. Can you please give me information that this is accurate and/or how can I optain information. I am currently still working for 4 more weeks to my release date . Thank you

    • Jeremy Byrd says:

      I got my card for unemployment I’ve already been eligible and I’m not receiving payments but I don’t know how to make a claim or how do I claim my weeks and when do I get first payment

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