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Idaho Unemployment Eligibility

The unemployment insurance in Idaho requires that you meet certain conditions before qualifying to receive payment.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own.  You must have been laid off due to lack of work
  • You must be physically able to work full-time, ready to go to work, and be willing and able to accept both full and part-time work.
  • You must quit voluntarily with good cause connected with the employment, or must get discharged not for misconduct
  • You must be registered with IdahoWorks System for work

Monetary Eligibility

The wages paid to you by employers who have contributed to the unemployment insurance fund during the regular base period (the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the beginning of your claim). The total amount you were paid in each quarter will be used to calculate your benefit amount.

Establish monetary entitlement to benefits by having sufficient earnings in the base period:

  1. You must have worked and been paid wages for employment in at least two of the quarters in your base period1;
  2. You must have been paid at least $1,872 in wages in one of those quarters;
  3. The total wages paid in your base period must equal one and a quarter times your highest quarter wages.

If you do not qualify using wages in the regular base period you may qualify using the alternate base period wages (the last four completed quarters before the beginning of your claim). If these wages qualify you for benefits, that statement will also show your weekly benefit amount and your total benefit amount. Your weekly benefit amount is the full amount you may receive for one week of unemployment. Your total benefit amount is the maximum amount you may collect during the 52 weeks of your claim. If you are eligible for benefits, your first payment should become available three to four weeks after you have filed your claim.

Note: You should immediately notify your local office if any of your wages are not shown, are not shown in the right quarter or if wages are listed which you did not earn.

Eligibility Questions

I was just fired. Can I collect unemployment insurance benefits?

Yes, you can receive unemployment insurance when you were fired, as long as you were not fired for “misconduct.” Misconduct can be many things, but your employer has to show that you willfully disregarded its interests. Your employer has to prove that you were fired for misconduct.

Some examples of misconduct are:

  1. Absences or tardiness
  2. Deliberate Violation of Employer Rule
  3. Insubordination or not following an employer’s instructions
  4. Failure to meet normal expectations of behavior

What happens if I am laid off?

Usually, in Idaho you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. It simply means that the company in which you worked doesn’t have enough work and could no longer afford to pay you for the job.

Once you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

Can I quit my job and collect unemployment insurance benefits?

The general rule is that a person, who voluntarily leaves suitable work without good cause, attributable to the employment, is not eligible for benefits.

For good cause to be attributable to the employment, it must relate to the wages, hours, or working conditions of the job. A change in conditions created by your employer or a breach of your employment agreement which is substantial and adversely affects you may be good cause to quit. Also, if the job itself adversely affects your health or aggravates or worsens a medical condition, it could be good cause to quit. Medical documentation may be required.

Regardless of the cause, in most cases, good cause attributable to the employment may only be found if you took reasonable steps to inform your employer of your dissatisfaction and sought to remedy the problem before you left. If you quit, you must prove that you had good cause for leaving.

Can I attend school or training and receive UI benefits?

Yes, if your schooling or training does not interfere with your availability for full time work. You may also qualify if your schooling or training is funded by WIA6 or TAA/NAFTA7 or is Director approved.

Does pregnancy affect my eligibility?

Pregnant claimants are eligible for benefits according to the same rules that apply to all other claimants. If you are ready, willing and able to work, and are actively searching for full time work, your pregnancy has no bearing on your collecting benefits.

Can I work and still collect unemployment insurance benefits?

If you work less than full-time during a calendar week, you can collect unemployment benefits for that week as long as your gross earnings are not equal to or greater than 1 1/2 times your weekly benefit amount. If you earn less than 1/2 of your weekly benefit amount, there will be no reduction in your unemployment insurance check. If you earn between 1/2 your weekly benefit amount and 1 1/2 times your weekly benefit amount, a dollar for dollar reduction will occur on your unemployment insurance benefit check.

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

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

  1. So I’m a collage student… or will be coming this next semester and because I am taking 16 credits, i can’t work a job. Am I able to apply or is that considered voluntary unemployment? I plan to go straight back to my previous place of work, in fact I’ve applied for student leave. But a student needs every penny, you know?

    • Dear Christina,

      You need to be actively seeking work, so it’s a bit of a contradiction if you can’t accept the work due to being a full-time student. However, If you do not qualify for a “work-search exemption,” you might still qualify while attending school. School attendance can affect eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, but there are several factors at play. The most important factor is availability for work.

      Check with the ID office on this by giving them a call.



  2. I am a key employee at a company that was just sold. The new owner is trying to make me sign a very strict noncompete. If I get fired for being unwilling to sign the noncompete can I collect unemployment benefits?
    Thank you!

  3. if I was late for work because there was a change made to my schedule that I wasn’t made aware of then on that day I was an hour late because I didn’t know the schedule had been changed after being posted. I was fired for tardiness but I was there on time, would that still be no fault of my own?

    • Thomas,

      From your post, it looks like it was not your fault. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  4. I am not working due to having surgery on my foot.I work in a retail store where we are on our feet all day.Presently unable to walkAre benefits available to me.

    • My husband worked at a company for nearly 3 months in Idaho, he came home Tuesday and said theyd fired him for being to slow went to get his paycheck today and the lady who does payroll told my husband to apply for unemployment and that she wouldn’t fight it, because they didn’t give him a chance to get any better just wrote him up three times as quickly as possible and then said see ya.
      Is he eligible for unemployment.

      • Nicki,

        Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please ask your husband to consider applying and go through the course of the application.

    • Greg,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please check with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  5. hi, my husband has been working at his job for over 12 years, I have end stage kidney disease. and we need to relocate to another state closer to salt lake for the medical care and transplant.we live in a very small town where yes there are doctors. but not the medical attention I need,,we want to move where the medical is good..would my husband be able to collect unemployment until he found a new job?

    • Lori,

      Hope things get better soon. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. Your husband may not be eligible. Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  6. I was put on suspension over 3 wks ago pending investigation I have no income.and still unsure why suspend.can i apply

    • Bonnie,

      I am not sure if you can claim during active employment. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. I was a sent a letter about over payment from a year and a half ago. It says my benefit eligible amount was $0.00? So why was I receiving money in the first place if I was never eligible for any money?

    • Karla,

      Please note this is a private forum. To know the reason and how you can work it out, please call the authorities on the phone numbers provided.

  8. I live in Idaho and have been teaching at a private college full-time since December 2014. I was recently moved from full-time to a adjunct (part-time) position, this was done as the student population has declined and due to financial concerns most of the teaching faculty was moved to adjunct. Since I am now under-employed and also seeking full time employment, can I qualify for UI?

    • Well, if it’s a temporary arrangement, you can be eligible for partial unemployment benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  9. I honorably retired from the United States Navy in 2012, after twenty years of service. Since then I have attended college as a full-time student, utilizing my post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. I am a resident of California, but I am moving to Idaho later this summer. In short, am I eligible to apply for unemployment monetary benefits in the state of Idaho. If so, when can I begin the application process?

    • If you’re looking for a job, please speak to the Unemployment Office in the new state and apply accordingly.

      UI benefits are only offered to those actively looking for employment.

  10. I have to have back surgery and will be off work for 3 months. I cannot continue working as I am a cook and must be on my feet moving and bending and the nuro surgeon says it is not something I can do without the surgery. I cannot have surgery without some financial help so is it possible to draw unemployment for the time I am off work. It is my intension to go back to my job upon release of my doctor.

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available to work. If the health condition is work related, please explore the provisions under the workers comp scheme.

  11. I have been on short term disability for a little over 4 months. My disability ended on 7/21 and on 7/22 I recieved a little by fed ex stating my position had been filled. At this time my doctor has not released me to go back to work due to me still attending treatment. I spoke with an HR rep for my employer and they stated the letter does not mean I am unemployed I am just on unpaid leave until my DR releases me and then it turns into Job search leave. I spoke to a representative at the unemployment office and I was told the letter was basically considered a discharge and for me to file my unemployment claim and send the letter from my employer along with a letter from my Doctor for them for review. Today I recieved a call asking for a letter of resignation but to me that would look like I just quit and the HR rep stated that if I don’t write the letter they would still tell the unemployment office that I was still employed there. They also indicated that the job search leave does not start until the doctor releases me. I have all the medical documentation that I need to support why my Dr has kept me out of work.I am looking for advise from you to see what my options are in order to collect unemployment but I dont want to write the resignation letter until I hear back from you. It seems a little shady to me. I also have read the requirements of collecting unemployment due to medical reasons but I just want to get a clear understanding of what steps I need to take. This employer is taking steps I think to not have to pay me unemployment if I decide to leave the company due to having no job to return and due to the fact my doctor has not released me as of now. Can you please advise me on if I would still qualify for unemployment if I leave the job due to medical reasons? And what would I need to send to you to verify this? I would appreciate it. Thank you

    • Thanks for writing in detail. First of all, we are not a govt. organisation but a advisory community on unemployment.

      Your condition is tricky.Generally,they do not consider medical and other personal reasons.If you’re now actively looking for jobs as your doctor has released you for work, consider applying for UI benefits. There is no harm in applying.

  12. if i was fired from my job. got another job but that job is only a few hours a week would i be eligible for unemployment benefits

    • Yes.You will be eligible to receive unemployment insurance for the hours lost in a week.Please go ahead and apply.

  13. Question: I recently resigned from my job, based on that my wife and children still lived in San Antonio, Texas. I left for reason that my wife needed me back in Texas to handle my son that was just recently released from rehab. The company knew I was having family issues, and after 6 months of this, I had decided to leave the employment to be with my family. Can I still apply and collect unemployment beneifits?

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