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Updated : April 28th, 2020

Kentucky Unemployment Benefits

The unemployment insurance in Kentucky is issued to those who have lost their jobs for no cause or no fault of the employee. The unemployment insurance helps such individuals by providing them financial assistance until they find another career opportunity.

This page will the eligibility criteria, mode of submitting the application for unemployment benefits, and about other factors that you will need to know about unemployment insurance in the state of Kentucky.

Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Kentucky

The qualification for unemployment benefits in Kentucky depends on attaining three eligibility criteria- monetary benefits, job separation, and maintaining eligibility throughout the benefit period.

Monetary Eligibility

The state of Kentucky mandates that applicants must have sufficient wages in the base period. As per Kentucky’s laws, the first four of the five completed quarters is identified as the base period.

The applicants in the state of Kentucky must have worked for more than one year to be eligible for unemployment insurance and must have earned a minimum of $1500 during the base period to earn the monetary qualification.

The total wages earned during the base period will also influence how much maximum benefit amount and weekly benefit amount you may receive. The minimum weekly benefits claimants will receive in Kentucky is $39, and the maximum amount one may earn is $502.

The claimants are also mandated to serve the ‘Waiting Week’ if they become eligible for unemployment insurance. The waiting week is the first benefit week, for which the claimants will request for weekly benefits. The claimants, however, will not receive benefit amount during the waiting week.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

The applicants must prove to the Kentucky Career Center (KCC) that they did not lose their previous job due to their fault. The following are some of the reasons that will result in denial of qualification for UI benefits if:

  • You were fired from your previous employment due to misconduct
  • You resigned from your previous job due to lack of interest in work
  • You quit the job from your previous organization no attributable cause attached
  • You were involved in any illegal or illegitimate activities in your previous organizations
  • You were fired from your previous organization due to a prolonged medical illness that will affect your prospects of employment in the future as well

The reason you provide to the department for your job separation will be verified from the concerned officials. The department will also consult your previous employers to verify if the reason for job-separation given by you is supported by your previous employer.

Eligibility Calculator

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

The applicant will gain eligibility for UI benefits once they establish their monetary eligibility and their eligibility pertaining to job-separation criteria. The applicants must, however, follow all the rules and regulations to remain eligible for UI benefits throughout the benefit period.

In order to maintain the eligibility for unemployment benefits, the applicants must meet the following expectations:

  • You must be able to work throughout the benefit period. You must not be facing any medical challenges to work during the benefit period
  • You must be available to work at all times. You must not be on a break or vacation when you apply for benefits
  • You must be looking actively for employment opportunities throughout the benefit period
  • You must not reject any job opportunities offered to you at any point during the benefit period
  • You must explain in detail about your work search efforts while completing your online eligibility review
  • You must have contacted a minimum of three prospective employers each week

Find out on job search requirements

How to Apply For UI Benefits in Kentucky?

You can apply for UI benefits in Kentucky through the online portal or by placing a phone call to KCC. Prior to applying for benefits, you must make sure that you hold the following documents:

To apply for benefits, you may opt for one of the following options:


The preferred mode to apply for benefits in Kentucky is
by the online portal. You may log in to and submit the application to the Internet Claims System from Monday to Friday- 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and on Sunday- 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern Time.
You can also make use of the following services using the online portal:

  • File unemployment claim
  • Request bi-weekly continued unemployment claim (benefit payment)
  • Complete your eligibility review
  • Reset your PIN
  • Change payment method
  • Change mailing address
  • Change email address


If you are unable to submit your application online, you may reach the KCC call center by placing a call. Reach KCC call center on 502-875-0442. If in the event you are unable to complete your bi-weekly continued unemployment claim, reach out to KCC Voice Response Unit on 877-369-5984 for assistance.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefit Amount

The Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator will assist you in figuring out the approximate UI Benefits amount that you may receive in the state of Kentucky.

Benefits Calculator

Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Kentucky.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator


Select Number of Dependents:

0 12 3 4 5

Unemployment Benefits Calculator


Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?


$ 0
$ 25,000


$ 0
$ 25,000


$ 0
$ 25,000


$ 0
$ 25,000

Calculating your Benefits Amount …

Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things to Know After Filing An Application

The claimants are obligated to be informed about various rules and regulations applied for UI benefits program. Claimants will have to face the consequences of non-adherence with any rules are brought to the notice of KCC.

Also, the claimants should know about all the opportunities provided by the KCC to help claimants to become more competent in the job market.

Overpayments and Fraud

The issue of overpayments is taken very seriously in the state of Kentucky. KCC takes stringent steps to not only collect the overpaid funds to the claimants but also to reprimand the claimants who end up receiving overpayments.

Overpayments occur when the claimants end up receiving UI benefits that they were not qualified to receive. Overpayments are generally classified into two parts – Non-Fraud Overpayment and Fraud.

Non-Fraud Overpayment

There are ways and means in which a claimant may receive an overpayment without his/her knowledge. The claimants are mandated to pay back the excessive amount received to the department as soon as they receive a letter from the KCC informing them about the overpayment.

Some of the common reasons resulting in the occurrence of non-fraud overpayments are:

  • Overturning of appeals by the court judgments with respect to UI benefit amount. The claimants would be mandated to repay the excessive amount received if the court decides against his/her appeal
  • If the claimant proves that any wrong information submitted by him/her or the omission of crucial information was done because of an oversight

The applicants must repay the excessive amount received, but may not be subjected to the penalties for non-fraud overpayments.

If you receive a notice to repay the excessive amount, you may pay the amount by logging in to Or call 502-564-2387 to reach the ‘Overpayments of Benefits’ department to come up with your repayment plans.


A fraud overpayment occurs when a claimant intentionally deceives the KCC by either withholding or forging important information to get the UI benefits. The state considers overpayment fraud as an offense and this may lead to the prosecution of the claimant in court.

Some of the common examples of fraud overpayments are:

  • Claimant fails to report his/her weekly earnings
  • Claimant fails to report earnings from his/her part-time employment
  • Claimant fails to report any income or any expected income such as holiday pay, bonuses, severance pay, tips, commissions, military retirement pay, etc.
  • Claimant forges the weekly work search reports
  • Claimant withholds, forges, or willfully misinforms information about the wages earned during the base period

The claimants who have been found guilty of fraud will have have to pay the excessive amount back. The claimant will be ineligible to receive future UI benefits until the dues are cleared. The KCC will also levy the following penalties on claimants who are guilty of fraud

  • You will be disqualified from receiving UI benefits for up to 52 weeks
  • A penalty of 15 percent must be paid on all overpayments
  • You will be charged 1.5 percent of monthly interest on the principal amount
  • A lien will be filed against you, and it will not be released until the debt is paid in full
  • If you fail to repay the excessive amount, your state and federal income tax refunds will be intercepted as an offset towards your overpayment dues
  • You may be prosecuted by the court of law

Benefits Extension

The federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is not available in the state of Kentucky as of 2019.

Job Training Assistance

The state of Kentucky provides ample opportunities to those who are looking to improve their skill set for better employment opportunities. Some of the training programs provided for the job-seekers are:

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA: The WIOA is a federally funded training program which provides various services such as on-the-job training, apprenticeships, worker training, and individual training account.

Under WIOA, various training programs are offered to people with various needs, and therefore the eligibility criteria vary as per the nature of the respective training programs. Some programs are designed for individuals between 14-21 years old, while some are designed for people who are 21 years and above.

Various training providers in the state of Kentucky can be found in the listing published in

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA): Those who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade or due to outsourcing are eligible to apply for TAA. The program is designed to help individuals gain competence and get back to work.

To avail this service, a petition must be written to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance, seeking certification as ‘workers affected by foreign trade’. If the petition is certified, then workers must apply for TAA services through their local Kentucky Career Center office.

Federal Pell Grants: Individuals who have enrolled for a bachelor’s degree or a training program are eligible for the Federal Pell Grants financial aid. The process of application of this financial aid is simple and it also accepted in nearly all community colleges and universities. Contact your local KCC to find out more about the procedure to apply.

Know more job training opportunities in KY

Questions & Answers

  1. anyone no who i would have to contact for fraud someone went into my claim and started another which stop the one i had going which means i have a waiting period i cannot afford that i live in ky i dont no why they would do that any suggestions

  2. I received a letter stating how much I was going to receive each month , but I have not gotten a check to go in the bank for three weeks . What do I need to do?

  3. What box do you check when filing a claim and need to report severance pay but not listed as an option in drop down list

  4. I have questions because I work freelance… I can’t get any answers whatsoever because no one will answer the phone or it’s busy for weeks! Very “professional” system KY has set up.

    1. I filed a claim for unemployment on April 12 … And I still haven’t heard or received anything…it’s says under investigation…I need help or something…to get this issued solved…

      1. Shaun,

        There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  5. My office is being shut down due to the Corona Virus. Will I be eligible for unemployment while they are shut down ?

    1. We are sorry to hear about your difficulties. There is a huge shortage of staff across all unemployment offices due to a massive surge in UI applications. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response. Your state has activated the ‘emergency funding’ program authorized by the federal government. We recommend you to apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official website.

  6. I’m having trouble finding out if I can draw unemployment,can someone please help,I’ve log on the site but I’m getting no where

    1. My company shut down at Christmas for 2 weeks I was told I could get unemployment for those weeks So I filed and got approved I was told what days to call in and make my claim So I did so Now the automated system is saying I got credit but no check was issued Why not?

  7. I have been receiving my biweekly benifit for 10 weeks and I have maintained compliance, however 4 weeks ago my benifit ceased without notice, I was informed that my claim had expired however I had only drawn for 10 weeks.

    1. Billy,

      If you think you received fewer weeks that what you were approved for, you can contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. There is nowhere to list severance pay when I am filing for biweekly benefits There are several income options but nothing saying severance or resembling severance. How do I report it?
    I keep seeing on the internet that KENTUCKY doesn’t count severance against your UEI

  9. I have been let go from my present job. I am receiving a severance package from my employer for 24 weeks paid out biweekly. There is a portion of of my voluntary release and separation agreement that says I will not file or initiate any other complaints claims or charges. In the kentucky of kentucky is an employer permitted to negate a separation agreement for severance if you file unemployment benefits?

      1. Good morning, for more than two months I have been claiming unemployment and they have not deposited anything for me yet, I need the money I cannot work for the covid 19, I have a two-month-old baby and I have no one to take care of him, I have no entry of money and I can no longer pay my bills. Please review my case. Thank you.

        1. Tania,

          This is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

      1. Your comment said “Please wait until the severance payout ends. You can apply towards the end of it.” What if it is a 1 time pay out that is equal to 6 weeks pay. When are you allowed to apply for benefits?

        1. Michelle,

          If the payout is a lump sum and there are no further payments in the pipeline, please go ahead and consider applying for UI benefits.

    1. I received 6 weeks severance paid out in regular bi weekly payroll payments. I qualified for unemployment before my severance expires. So I would at least try. Just be honest with your answers.

  10. After receiving 26 weeks of unemployment, I believe you can file an additional claim if you still have not found a full time job, right? If you are able to find contract or prn work, would you be ineligible to restart unemployment through an additional claim?

  11. I work as a teacher aid and I am off on summers. I also work for a Medicaid home and community-based waiver program, which is excludable income (irs notice 2014-7 § 131.) so in summer I collect when I am off from the teacher aid job. Kentucky unemployment is trying to say it is fraud that I didn’t turn in the income from the waiver program. but, the Irs states that I do not turn in those wages. Any thoughts on my situation?? Thanks, Misty

    1. Misty,
      Income from Medicaid Programs such as Michelle P. Waiver via the Consumer Directed Option is tax-exempt. That said, it’s something NOT widely known and specifics are often confusing among those who are aware. For example, I believe the tax exemption is only applicable for those residing in the same home or even parents…..which conversely efforts are being made to prevent.
      Unless you get a diligent and well-informed staff person, your best route would be getting clarification from Revenue (KY) or the IRS.
      Good Luck….

  12. I have filed for unemployment for ky. my job closed down this month but they are doing a base period from jan 1st 2018 to dec 2018. since i didnt start work there untill march my income for last year isnt what i actually been making. i have made almost the same amount this year since jan than i did all year last year. so my question is “how can i file for an exception to base my unemployment for the last 12 months of work rather than the 12 months of last year?

    1. Amanda,

      The alternate base period you’re probably talking about is only applicable in cases where there is not enough earning during the actual base period. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  13. Hello,

    I have a question regarding meeting the qualifications for drawing unemployment. I am currently working as a maintenance coordinator. I am on salary, and I work from 8am to 5pm. I was approached by my boss yesterday, and he told me that I will have to start working from 7am to 4pm. This is not what I agreed to. I took an 8-5 job, because that is what works for me. I am a single parent, and I do not have anyone to watch my son in the mornings. I told my boss that I cannot work from 7-4, and he told me that I will have to. My question is, since they changed the times to something that does not work for me, and if they fire me because of this, would I be eligible for unemployment?

    1. Chris,

      This is a tricky situation. Your eligibility depends on thorough scrutiny. Before making a decision on your employment, please call the Unemployment Office.

  14. I filed in February everything was approved and even got the breakdown for payments but still haven’t received any payments

    1. Geoffrey,

      Please chase the Claims Center for an update on payment status. Make sure to chase at regular intervals until payments normalise.

  15. My company is shutting down, I was just curious, my 6th month mark being employed with them is 5 days before we’re being laid off, will I be eligible for unployment

    1. Ash,

      To claim UI benefits, employment/earnings from the last 4-5 calendar quarters is considered. Please use the “Base Period” calculator.

    2. Hello.
      My appeal telephone hearing was this morning. The employer failed to phone in for participation.
      Is it likely that the decision will be in my favor without their participation?

    1. Michaela,

      Any type of income will have a bearing. Please call the Unemployment Office to report the withdrawal and to learn its impact on your weekly claim amount.

  16. What do I do if someone i know is abusing their unemployment? They have a full time and part time job. They are paid under the table, so they can continue collecting benefits.

  17. I am currently receiving UI benefits after retiring from the military. I have yet to receive any of my retirement or VA payments so answering the certification questions have been easy. Soon I will start receiving both. When I do, how do I answer the question about increases to an annuity or retirement. I presume I need to say yes to the retirement question and enter the amount received. What category is VA compensation? It is not an annuity nor a retirement.

    1. Chris,

      To get precise answers to all your questions regarding the additional payments, please speak to a member of the Claims Center. You may call them on the telephone line.

  18. I worked in Illinois for 6 weeks and left that job to work in Kentucky for 2018. Can I claim in Illinois or Kentucky, I live in Illinois and I am back home waiting on work.

  19. In the past I had been receiving my UI check but I made the mistake of forgetting to file a few times and I still haven’t received anything for quite a while now, I’m trying to get a hold of someone in the office but every time I get someone on the line it drops the call or the lines are busy. I have been calling 502-564-2900, is there another number that I could call?

    1. Ricky,

      If you can prove that you got fired due to involuntary reasons in case of a dispute, please consider applying until you find employment.

    2. Would signing up for school, most of which is online classes, make me ineligible for benefits? I’m going to only have one class in person, a night class, and that schedule could be switched for work.

  20. My position is being eliminated due to headcount reduction. I will receive a severance package but have not been told what it will be. How will this effect applying for unemployment benefits?

    1. I went thru the basically the same thing, the severance package did not affect my unemployment. go ahead and file your claim immediately upon being laid off and report the severance package as severance pay . it will not affect your claim.

    1. Donald,

      You should be able to receive Unemployment Compensation without any hassles. Please call the Claims Center for details.

  21. I will be laid off for 6 weeks due to retooling at the Louisville Assembly plant. the dates will be June 18- Aug 7th , 2018. When can I apply for benefits? I also received benefits when they shutdown during christmas

    1. Marlene,

      Temporary off from work does not generally qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    2. Marlene:
      I do believe you CAN apply for unemployment when temporarily laid off. As long as you are able to work while being laid off, you did look for work and you have the funds in your UI to cover it.

  22. Hello and thank you for the opportunity to communicate. My last day of employment was April 18, 2018. Later I spoke to a representative at the unemployment office and she said she would follow up with me. I called back and was told they needed 10 weeks of employment from my previous employer and to fax it to 502-564-0065 with the contact person Ginny @ 1:21 today 5-14-2018. I faxed 19 pgs. and tried to call back to the 502-564-2900 and the line was busy most of the afternoon.Just wanted to make sure they received them all on their side and follow up with them.

    1. Lynne,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claims file. Please contact the Claims Center on the official phone numbers.

      1. I was trying to gain some clarification. I am currently receiving KY benefits from unemployment however working a part-time job that I was offered. I know they take 80% away from my unemployment because I am working. The question I am wondering is at what point would they terminate my benefits all together with unemployment. If I am only working a few hours at a contract job if I were to work more hours would I be disqualified from unemployment if I had one week where I worked 15 hours or would that just disqualify me for that week thanks for your assistance?

  23. When I try to log on to film a claim it says my pin is wrong. When I click forgot password, it says I’m not in the system. When I try to register as a new user it says I’m already in the system. The page that you point people to that you say allows you to reset your pin doesn’t give you that option!

    1. Jodi,

      Please call the Claims Center and look up for PIN reset option. If required, speak to a representative for further instructions.

  24. My daughter has been trying to file a claim for about 3 weeks now and keeps hitting a brick wall. The system says she has a pin number, but she doesn’t. When she calls, no one answers the phone. PLEASE HELP! She is in need of this unemployment insurance money. She needs someone to reset her pin number that she doesn’t have and see if someone is using her social.

    Thank you!

    1. I call my check in on past Sunday and it said my was 0.i haven’t requested a check seen I when back to work on April 18,2019.I looked at my account summary and somebody has been getting my money. From April 22,2019 to September 16,2019.What do I need to do?

  25. I found out my department is being laid off 3/31. The way I’m understanding it, the base period would be 1/01/17 to 12/31/17. Issue is I was on unpaid maternity leave for 7 weeks during this time and it will affect my eligible amount. It was during my last quarter. Is there anything that can be done about this? I have worked with no gaps between jobs for 14 years.

  26. I am doing my student teaching this spring semester in order to graduate in May with my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. I anticipate having a teaching position in July once I have my degree and apply for local schools. However, my current employer does not offer any suitable part time hours to accommodate my 7am-3:30pm school schedule. I have used all of my vacation hours to extent my employment, however I still have an excessive amount of absenteeism due to my obligations through my university. I am expected to be fired due to this attendance issue. Do I qualify for unemployment for the few months until my May graduation?

  27. I was given a date my position is being done away with after 16 years due to restructuring. If I apply for jobs within company and am offered one paying lower wages and don’t accept will that effect eligibility for unemployment?

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