Kentucky Unemployment Benefit Questions
How long and how much money can a person draw Kentucky unemployment benefits?
The maximum amount of benefits payable to any worker within any benefit year shall be the amount equal to whichever is the lesser of:
- Twenty-six (26) times his weekly benefit rate; or
- One-third (1/3) of your base-period wages, except that the maximum amount must be less than fifteen (15) times your weekly benefit rate.
What is the “Waiting Week”?
Due to recent changes in the Unemployment Insurance law you must now serve a one week waiting period per Benefit Year. Your waiting week will always be your first payable week. You will request benefits for a two week period. If you are otherwise eligible, the amount of your first check will only be for one week. Your maximum benefit amount will not change. For more information, please go to www.oet.ky.gov.
Am I eligible for Kentucky unemployment benefits?
Under Kentucky unemployment guidelines, a claimant must be a resident of Kentucky. In addition, eligible claimants must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, through layoffs, reductions in force, or other circumstances in which the employer does not have enough work to go around. In some cases, claimants may have been forced to quit their jobs because of harassment, a dangerous or hostile work environment, or other unfavorable conditions created by the employer.
Claimants should first familiarize themselves with the Kentucky unemployment eligibility criteria. If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, through a layoff or reduction in force, for example, you may submit a claim for unemployment benefits, and your chances of being approved are very high. However, you also may be eligible for unemployment benefits in some cases, even if you voluntarily quit your job. You’ll need to submit a claim for unemployment benefits and fully explain the circumstances that you believe left you no choice but to quit your job.
At that point, your unemployment application will be reviewed, and the Kentucky unemployment office will reach out to your former employer to gather information about the circumstances of your unemployment.
A representative of the state will conduct a full fact-finding review of your eligibility status, gathering information from both you and your employer. The state will then make a determination about how Kentucky unemployment law applies to your specific situation and issue a determination regarding whether your claim is approved.
How do I receive my UI benefits?
Once you’ve been approved for Kentucky unemployment benefits, you can choose how you’d like to receive them. You can choose either direct deposit into your bank account or have your benefits loaded onto a U.S. Bank ReliaCard, which functions like a debit card. If you choose the debit card option, you will receive your first benefits payment by paper check, and all subsequent benefit payments will be loaded onto your card, which should arrive in the mail within seven days of your first payment being processed.
If you would like to change the way you’re receiving your unemployment benefits, you may do so by logging into your account. Navigate to the Payment Method link within your claim and change the way you’d like your benefits to be paid. Please note that the default method of payment is the ReliaCard option, so if you do not actively change to direct deposit, you’ll begin receiving benefits via ReliaCard. Use the Kentucky unemployment calculator to make sure you’re getting the correct benefit amount.
How do I report my work search activities?
Part of your responsibility as a recipient of Kentucky unemployment benefits will be to submit weekly claims for your benefits. As part of this work search requirement, the state of Kentucky requires you to report your work search activities. You’ll be asked a series of questions about your activities for the benefit week, so make sure to keep a careful record of the organizations and individuals you’re reaching out to in order to investigate work opportunities.
What if I disagree with a decision?
If you receive an unfavorable decision, you are welcome to file a request for appeal. Your employer also is allowed to file an appeal if they disagree with the initial determination. Either of you must do so within 30 days of the date on which your determination letter was postmarked. At this request, your claim will be reviewed again by an Appeals Branch referee who did not participate in the original determination.
If either you or your employer finds fault with the referee’s determination, the next level of Kentucky unemployment appeal is to the Unemployment Insurance Commission. The requirement is to file a request for appeal within 30 days of receiving notice of the referee’s determination.
At this point, if either party would like to appeal the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Commission, they may do so by filing a request for appeal with the appropriate circuit court in the county in which the claimant held employment. This action must be taken within 20 days of the postmark on the commission’s determination letter. If neither party appeals, the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Commission becomes final and irrevocable after 35 days.
All requests for appeal must be submitted in writing and may be sent via mail, fax or email.
What is a base period?
The base period is the earnings period used to determine your unemployment benefit amount. In Kentucky, the base period constitutes the first four of the last five calendar quarters. The amount of wages you earn during your base period must meet Kentucky’s threshold for benefits in order for you to be eligible and must have been earned through covered employment, which excludes contract work, some types of self-employment work, National Guard work, and work performed for religious institutions.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Kentucky, your earnings during your base period must be at least $1,500 in at least one quarter and must be at least 1.5 times the wages in your highest quarter. In addition, your earnings outside of your highest quarter must equal at least $1,500, and your wages during your last two quarters must equal at least eight times your weekly benefit rate.
What is ID.me?
ID.me is an online identity network company that makes it possible for people to provide consistent proof of their legal identity across a wide variety of online platforms. The state of Kentucky has partnered with ID.me to allow claimants to set up digital credentials to access their Kentucky unemployment benefits information. Once established, ID.me credentials can be used across many state and federal government websites to verify your identity.
I just moved from California to Colorado and EDD interviewed me again, but I still qualify for it. I explained that I could not find work where I was.
If you are currently receiving benefits in one state and you move to another, you still receive benefits from the original state. You receive benefits from the state in which you worked for the past 18 months. All you have to do is provide your new address to your “original” state of residence and they will mark you as an interstate payee. You then continue to file your weekly certification as normal. You will receive the exact same amount of benefits, it does not change. You are required to seek employment in the new state you moved to.