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Kentucky Unemployment Eligibility

To qualify for unemployment in Kentucky, applicants must meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must be willing, physically able to work and be actively seeking employment
  • You must register for work when you file your claim
  • You must not be fired for misconduct or resign without an acceptable reason
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or resident alien authorized to work in the U.S.

Those who are employed on a part-time basis but desire full-time employment may also be qualified to receive unemployment benefits if they meet income requirements as determined by the state of Kentucky.

Monetary Eligibility

Another requirement for Kentucky unemployment benefits is the salary you made as an employee during your base period. Your base period is the first four of the past five calendar quarters before your application date. To collect unemployment,

  • You must have made at least $750 during your base period
  • Your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times your total wages in your highest earning quarter
  • Finally, your wages outside your highest quarter must total more than $750 to qualify

Applicants employed part time must be making less than 1 1/4 what their potential weekly unemployment benefits would be.

Eligibility Questions

Can I draw UI if I am fired?

Assuming you have sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, you may be qualified to receive benefits if you were discharged for reasons other than misconduct or dishonesty in connection with the work and there are no other eligibility issues present.

Those fired due to excessive absences, insubordination or tardiness are considered to have engaged in misconduct and are ineligible for benefits.

How can a person draw UI from me when they were fired from another employer?

If you are the most recent ten (10) week employer on the claim and the worker left your employment under non-disqualifying conditions or you failed to file a timely protest to the initial claim for benefits, then you may be charged for the benefits.

Can a person draw UI if they quit?

Assuming the claimant has sufficient wage credits to establish a claim, he or she may be qualified to receive benefits if they voluntarily left their employment with good cause attributable to the employment and there are no other eligibility issues present.

In Kentucky, if you quit your job, you must have done so for just cause. When you apply to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET), it will verify that you quit your job and request information proving the situation falls under the just cause requirement.

What happens if I am laid off?

In a tough economic climate, many employers have to make tough choices about their staff, including who is necessary to the company and who to let go. If laid off from a Kentucky state employer, you can collect unemployment benefits from the state’s Department of Labor. However, if there is any question as to whether you were laid off or fired, you may have to show proof of the reason for your job separation.

If I fire an employee for absenteeism is he or she eligible for UI benefits?

If an employee’s absences amount to misconduct connected with the work, they will be disqualified. Generally, good cause for missing work is not misconduct. Simple numbers of days or percentages of lost time cannot show a worker is guilty of misconduct.

Am I eligible for Worker’s Compensation?

If you missed at least seven weeks of earnings due to injury in any quarter during your base period, and were eligible for Workers’ Compensation (whether or not you drew it), you may be able to use wages earned before your injury to qualify for unemployment benefits. To qualify, you must file your claim within the first four weeks that you a re unemployed following the period covered by Workers’ Compensation. Contact your nearest Unemployment Insurance office for more information.

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

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

Questions & Answers

  1. Lisa says:

    Can you draw unemployment if you only work 1 job and it is part time

    • Sam says:


      Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website. You may also call the Unemployment Office to find out about your eligibility.

  2. Kellie says:

    I was let go because employer felt someone else would close month faster. I worked extra hours and tried my best to meet the new demands

  3. Tammy says:

    If I lose my job due to illness can I receive benefits

    • Sam says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  4. Sarah says:

    If you are a college student enrolled doing online classes and working 40 hours a week- once laid off are unemployment benefits available? I have been told that because of being enrolled at local university that benefits are not available. Is there any truth if student is available to work anytime?
    Thank you

    • Sam says:


      If you’re going to seek full-time employment in the future, I am guessing you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

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