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Max Weekly Benefit Amount
Max Weeks of benefits
Current Jobless rate

Updated : April 7th, 2022

Kentucky Unemployment Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) 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 discuss how to file for unemployment benefits in Kentucky, eligibility criteria, and other factors you will need to know about Unemployment Insurance in Kentucky.

Eligibility To Apply for UI Benefits in Kentucky

To receive Kentucky unemployment benefits, you should meet three eligibility criteria- monetary benefits, job separation, and maintaining eligibility throughout the benefit period.

Monetary Eligibility

You must have sufficient wages in the base period. As per Kentucky’s laws, the first four of the five completed quarters are identified as the base period.

You 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 $552.

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 weekly benefits. You, however, will not receive a benefit amount during the waiting week.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

You must prove to the Kentucky Career Center (KCC) that you did not lose your previous job due to your 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 a lack of interest in work
  • You quit the job from your previous organization with 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 by the concerned officials. The department will also consult your previous employers to verify if the reason for the job separation given by you is supported by your previous employer.

Eligibility Calculator

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

You will gain eligibility for UI benefits once you establish your monetary eligibility and your eligibility for job-separation criteria. You must, however, follow all the rules and regulations to remain eligible for UI benefits throughout the benefit period.

To maintain the eligibility for unemployment benefits in Kentucky, you 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 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. Before 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 apply on 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 the 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.

Note – If you face any trouble while applying for benefits or have any queries, you can visit the Kentucky unemployment office or call customer service 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
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Kentucky
Number of Dependents: 0

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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

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

You should also know about all the opportunities provided by the KCC to help claimants so that they become more competent in the job market.

How Do I Get Paid?

There are two ways the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (KOUI) issues your unemployment benefit payments: direct deposit and debit card. Note, however, that no matter which option you select, your very first unemployment benefit payment will be issued in paper check form. You can always change the method used to issue payments by logging on to the portal where you file claims. However, the default method is via debit card.

If you want to set up the direct deposit, you will need to input information like your bank account number and routing number. You do not need to provide a driver’s license number as you do in some states, which makes the direct deposit option more accessible for Kentucky residents.

Direct deposit is free, secure, and timely. Please note that UI customer service can help you set the direct deposit up over the phone and answer questions about troubleshooting it, but they cannot see your account and routing number for security reasons.

The other option is to receive payments on a UI debit card, which is the ReliaCard issued by U.S. Bank (this card is used in several states). This method replaces the paper check option which was available until June 15, 2021.

The ReliaCard is not a credit card, but it is a debit card that can be used to make payments anywhere a VISA would be accepted, along with taking out cash from an ATM or through a bank teller. You need to file a claim for unemployment benefits on a bi-weekly basis to get paid, whether you’re getting direct deposit or using a ReliaCard.

The KOUI cannot guarantee back pay for weeks that you’ve missed, although there is the possibility of obtaining said funds by calling 502-564-2900 or emailing [email protected]. Your best bet for collecting weekly benefits is to make sure you are filing your bi-weekly claims on time in the portal.

How Much Money Will I Get?

The exact amount you receive will depend on how much money you made in your previous work, but the maximum amount receivable is generally $522. At the very least you will receive $39 for 26 weeks. You may have received unemployment for a longer period due to the pandemic.

Overpayments and Fraud

The issue of overpayments is taken very seriously in Kentucky by taking serious actions to collect overpaid funds.

Non-Fraud Overpayment

There are ways and means in which you may receive an overpayment without your knowledge. You 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 concerning UI benefit amount. You would be mandated to repay the excessive amount received if the court decides against your appeal
  • You have given any wrong information or the omitted crucial information because of an oversight

You must repay if any excess amount is 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 you intentionally deceive the KCC by either withholding or forging crucial information to get the UI benefits. The state considers overpayment fraud as an offense, and it may lead to the prosecution of the claimant in court.

Some of the common examples of fraud overpayments are:

  • Claimant fails to report weekly earnings
  • Claimant fails to report earnings from part-time employment
  • Claimant fails to report any income or 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

If you have been found guilty of fraud, you will have to pay the excessive amount back. You will be ineligible to receive future UI benefits until the dues are clear. The KCC will also levy the following penalties if you are guilty of fraud:

  • You will get 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 whole debt is paid
  • If you fail to repay the excessive amount, your state and federal income tax refunds will intercept as an offset towards your overpayment dues
  • You may be prosecuted by the court of law

Benefits Extension

The state offers benefits extension if there is an economic downturn or the unemployment rate is too high. Visit KCC to know more about benefits extension in Kentucky.

Job Training Assistance

The state of Kentucky provides ample opportunities to improve their skill set for better employment opportunities.

Some of the training programs provided:

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA: The WIOA is a federally funded training program that 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 outsourcing are eligible for TAA. This program is designed to help individuals gain competence and get back to work.

To avail of this service, a petition must be written to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance to seek certification under ‘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 applying for this financial aid is simple, and it is also accepted in nearly all community colleges and universities. Contact your local KCC to find out more about the procedure to apply.

More Kentucky Benefits

Kentucky Disability

If the nature of your unemployment is long-term due to injury or illness, you may be eligible for Kentucky disability benefits. These SSDI payments (Social Security Disability Payments) require recipients to apply and have their disability vetted by the DDS (Department of Disability Services) to determine that it does indeed prevent gainful employment.

The application process for SSDI has long wait times and many claims require appeals, so it is often a good idea to solicit legal help for your claim. A disability lawyer cannot charge more than 25% of your disability back pay or $6,000 (whichever amount is lower), so hiring legal counsel may well be worth it.

Kentucky Medicaid

There is also Kentucky Medicaid for low-income individuals and those who are pregnant, disabled, or taking care of dependents. Whether or not your household can fall into the low-income category is determined by a table of gross wages before taxes. For example, a family of 5 can make no more than $41,284 per year. Thanks to the ACA Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky, low-income people without disabilities, dependents, or a pregnancy might also qualify for Medicaid.

Know more job training opportunities in KY

Questions & Answers

  1. I worked for amazon and got fired today. March 23,216. I got fired for time off task. basically them saying that I wasn’t doing anything for a certain amount of time. So apparently I had 2 hours and 9 minuets of time off task. But the way the system is I don’t think is right because I had top rate in my department for that day. I was given no warning of being fired that day and they waited till the end of my shift to tell me. My manager knew about my termination the whole work day. Will I be able to draw unemployment until I can find another job? Im also appealing this termination. I have a child and was already struggling to make ends meet. Please help…

    • You can apply and claim as long as your job was terminated wrongfully.

      If your employer disputes, be ready with supporting documents to prove your stance.

  2. I will be displaced from my company after 26 years. I will receive a severance package. Can I claim unemployment while receiving a severance?

    • Some states do consider immediate family members to enhance the benefit value.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  3. On Friday I was let go from my employment because of irreconcilable differences with my direct manager.We both agreed at the time, that we have not been a “right fit.” Since the manager has let me go with this reason, will I be able to draw unemployment in the State of Kentucky? I have been employed with this company for one year.

    • Well, if it relates to your performance and is considered separation due to voluntary reasons, you will not be eligible.

  4. I have an employee who went on unemployment in september and went to work for another company 10/26. I was curious if i can receive verification that he is no longer receiving benefits as it effects may rates

    • I don’t think they have specific rules relating to your situation.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  5. I worked for 6 months in Kentucky and we moved to florida can i collect unemployment benefits while looking for work in florida? I was working 40+ hours aweek,then we got cut to 2 days aweek.

  6. I was terminated from a 10 year job yesterday. I have several weeks of vacation time that I will be paid for. Should I apply for UI now or after I have exhausted my accrued vacation time? Will my delay in applying affect the number of weeks for which I will can draw my UI benefits?

    • If you were paid for the vacation time as a chunk, please consider applying immediately. Delay in applying should not affect the weeks approved for.

  7. I was fired from my job and I filed an appeal and won. It has been almost 3 months. Since I was initially declined benefits and unsure whether I would win the appeal, I had to take a much lower paying job or risk losing everything. Now that I won and unemployment will pay more than the current job I have, can I quit this job and continue to collect until I find something more compatible with what I was making?

    • Please consult the labor authorities before making a decision. They may not be ok with you quitting your job outright.

  8. I have been unemployed since Jan 2014 I worked 9 years at my job. I was laid off due to downsizing of company it is July 2014 I have not yet found a job. Am I still eligible to draw Ky unemployment since I have been drawing for 6 months. Do I need to file some kind of extension? Please help

    • Please check your account to see if you have any additional weeks of benefits left.

      Extended benefits is not available at this time.

    • Depends. Some states encourage both whilst some don’t.

      Please check with the customer service of the labor dept in your state.

  9. If my friend quits his full time job and stays at his part time job that he has worked for a yr. and something comes up that they lay him off can he draw unemployment? He just wanted to make sure he would have income if this was to happen to him.

    • If he continues to work part time, he can apply for partial benefits.This will be a reduced weekly benefit.

  10. I started work Jun of 2013 and was fired Feb 2014 is there an way i can get unemployment while i look for a new job.

    • Generally, you must have worked for at least an year before you can start claiming for UI benefits.Hope you were employed before this.

  11. I was laid off this week but am receiving a severance until the end of February. Can I apply for unemployment now or do I have to wait until March?

  12. My job hasn’t schedule me to work this whole week and all next week due to slow business in my department. I have asked to be place in another department for hours but nothing has been done, I even called and asked my store Manager could I come worked some hours he gave me a flat “No” and that was it. I tried to reach the manager who makes the schedule but she’s never around and my bills are getting close. Would I be able for unemployment?

    • Looks like you’re in active employment but not getting sufficient work and wages.Please contact your local claims center to confirm if you can file for UI benefits.

  13. Tennessee unemployment. I was unable to complete my on line application on August 2 , 2013. I received application error before I was assigned a pin#. I have called every number listed for State of TN unemployment. All automated requires pin #. How or who can assist me in getting my application out of suspended status.? I have called all the following telephone number numerous times.

  14. worked for fountain circle nursing home in Winchester was on vacation was texted by supervisor on Sunday before coming back to work was still on vacation and told I was on call and I had to come in I had no choice was told to call d.o.n. done that and he was unavailable so I spook with the supervisor that had texted me was told that I had to come in I told him that I was still out of town on vacation and that the don knew I was out of town he told me that was not his problem and I said to him well I guess they will fire me then and he said yep! last I heard from them until the corporate lady called me 5 days later to ask me what happened and I told her she told me sorry that that happened but didn’t give me my job back

  15. Most self-employed workers who lose their source of income are not eligible for unemployment benefits. This is because unemployment insurance is funded by contributions from employers, and most self-employed workers do not make these contributions.

    However, there are some situations where self-employed workers may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You may be eligible, for example, if your business is incorporated and made unemployment contributions, or if you are unemployed as the result of a disaster, or if you are misclassified as self-employed.

    You should check with your unemployment office if you are not sure of your eligibility status.

  16. I have been self employed for the past ten years. Due to current economic conditions I am now unemployed. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation as I have no current income source?

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