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 the eligibility criteria, how to file for unemployment benefits in Kentucky, 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.
You 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.
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 $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. You, however, will not receive a benefit amount during the waiting week.
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 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.
You will gain eligibility for UI benefits once you establish your monetary eligibility and your eligibility pertaining to job-separation criteria. You 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 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 about your work search efforts while completing your online eligibility review
- You must have contacted a minimum of three prospective employers each week
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 https://uiclaims.des.ky.gov/ebenefit/eben.htm 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.
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.
Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Kentucky.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
You are obligated to be informed about various rules and regulations applied for 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 to become more competent in the job market.
Overpayments and Fraud
The issue of overpayments is taken very seriously in the state of Kentucky and takes stringent steps to not only collect your overpaid funds.
Overpayments occur when you end up receiving UI benefits that they were not qualified to receive. Overpayments are generally classified into two parts – Non-Fraud Overpayment and Fraud.
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 with respect to 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 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 https://kcc.ky.gov/career/Pages/Make-a-Payment.aspx. 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 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
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 cleared. The KCC will also levy the following penalties if you 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
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 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 https://kcc.ky.gov/training/Pages/Providers.aspx.
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 is also accepted in nearly all community colleges and universities. Contact your local KCC to find out more about the procedure to apply.