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Nebraska Unemployment Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements –

To be eligible for benefits for any week, you must be:

  • Unemployed or Partially Unemployed
  • You may claim benefits if you have become unemployed or experienced reduced hours
  • Available for Work

You must be:

  • Available four or more days to accept immediate employment during the week claimed
  • Ready and willing to accept work in your usual occupation or other suitable employment, with no undue restrictions
  • Willing to seek and accept the hours, wage, commuting distance, and other conditions of employment that are normal for someone in your occupation with your skills and experience
  • Able to Work
  • You must be physically able to work at least four days a week
  • Registered for Employment Services, if required

If you are required to register for Employment Services, you must do so online.

Eligibility Questions

I quit my last job for personal reasons. Am I eligible to obtain benefits?

If a person has quit a job without good cause, a disqualification is assessed for the week of the quit plus 13 weeks, as determined by the Nebraska Department of Labor. In Nebraska, good cause for quitting must be limited to the conditions of work or compelling health reasons, or quitting to escape spousal abuse.
The burden of proof for showing good cause is placed on the employee. The disqualification for quitting to accept a better job may be only two weeks if certain conditions are met. Maximum benefits payable may also be reduced when a disqualification is assessed.

Can I claim benefits while attending school?

If you are regularly attending school, you may be disqualified from benefits unless you were a student at the time you earned the majority of the wages in your base period. An exception may apply if you are enrolled in a training program which has been approved by the Commissioner of Labor.

How will Vacation, Severance, or the receipt of Other Payments affect my eligibility to receive benefits?

Benefits may be denied or reduced for any week for which your employer has made or will make such payments. Certain other types of payment from employers may be disqualifying or deductible from benefit payments. Examples include holiday pay, bonus, sick pay or workers’ compensation.

I work at school. Can I claim benefits during regular school breaks?

If you are employed for or on behalf of an educational institution, benefits (based on wages earned from educational institutions) may be denied between terms and/or during regularly scheduled breaks.

I was fired for misconduct. Is there a chance to obtain unemployment benefits?

Discharge for Ordinary Misconduct

If a person is discharged from a job for misconduct, a disqualification is assessed for the week of the discharge plus 14 weeks, as determined by the Nebraska Department of Labor. In cases of misconduct, the burden of proof is on the employer.
The employer must prove that an employee was discharged for acts or omissions that
1) damaged the employer’s interest in relation to the employment;
2) the employee knew or reasonably should have known were contrary to the employer’s interests; and
3) were willful or within the employee’s control. Maximum benefits payable may also be reduced when a disqualification is assessed.

Discharge for Aggravated Misconduct

If a person is discharged for misconduct not considered to be willful and flagrant or unlawful, but which included being under the influence of any intoxicating beverage or being under the influence of any controlled substance not prescribed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, and when the person is under the influence on the work site or while engaged in work for the employer, then the disqualification includes a cancellation of wages from the employer.

Discharge for gross Misconduct

If a person is discharged due to an act or omission that is willful and flagrant or unlawful, that individual does not qualify for benefits on wages earned prior to the date of the act.


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More on Nebraska Unemployment –

Know more in detail about eligibility.
Click here to apply for eligibility benefits.

  1. If I am a para educator paid hourly at a public school (meaning I am not receiving pay during school breaks) am I eligible to receive unemployment during school breaks where I am not being paid? Had to work reduced hours for summer school in June (13.5 hours a week) and will not be working again until the school year starts in August? The FAQ section is not clear about this, looking for a clearer answer.

    • Sarah,

      As much as I am aware, gig workers (contract employment) are not eligible to claim UI benefits since employers do not remit UI taxes. Please check further on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  2. If I leave in another state and plan on moving can I recieve my benifits there. Also can I consider it good cause if I am raising my grandchildren and am moving them to be away from the situation of abuse from parents. I do have custody.

    • Diana,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm if its a “Good cause”.

  3. Be aware of the definition of vacation. Here in Nebraska vacation pay did not affect my unemployment benefits. After my layoff I received a vacation check equivalent to a 20 hour work week. I do belong to a union so the agreement between our bargaining unit and the employers may have had something to do with it.

  4. I took an unpaid leave of absence to be a full time caregiver to husband; he had surgery and needed a caregiver. According to his Doctor. Leave went on longer than expected; Employer could not hold job any longer and terminated me. Am I eligible for unemployment? I am still the caregiver and can not work yet.

    • Diane,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. UI benefits are only offered to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  5. I took an unpaid leave of absence to be a full time caregiver to husband; he had surgery and needed a caregiver. Leave went on longer than expected; due Employer could not hold job any longer and terminated me.

    • 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.

  6. I am currently employed full time but also receiving Social Security and an Army pension. I don’t want to stop working but I was just informed that my position is to be eliminated effective 1/1/17. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits while I look for another job?

    • You should be able to. In most states, SS and UI benefits can be drawn together.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  7. I am an union employer, If I hire someone for two weeks and they go on strike and I don’t bring them back do I have to pay their unemployment. Or is their benefit filed against me?

    • If you lay them off due to involuntary reasons and if the employee in question was hired on a permanent basis, you will have to pay the taxes.

      For further clarity, please contact the Unemployment Office in your state.

    • We do not have any information regarding this. You’re required to meet a min. number of work search logs each week.

      Please call the claims center for immediate assistance.

  8. Why do new claims after Oct 2015 require five contacts of employers per week? Harassment of employers is a very poor job search strategy. What if it takes, for example, 3-5 days just to prepare a professional resume? Are you then disqualified for benefits for that week because you didn’t want to blow your chances by sending something incomplete out the door?

    • Please note we are not associated with the labor dept in your state. These are rules laid down by them.

      If discontent, please contact the Unemployment Office.

  9. Trying to find out how much your weekly benefit gets reduced for part-time or temporary work, which is less than the weekly benefit amount. This vital required information does not seem to available.

    • Part time workers are generally not eligible. Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  10. Does vacation pay earned prior to termination but paid out after severance count towards wages for unemployment purposes

  11. I was just recently told I was denied for unemployment because I didn’t pay enough in during one of the quarters. I feel that I was 50 dollars shy of the minimum. I am currently waiting on my decision from my telephone conference.. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how do I go about this? What if I am denied by the tribunal. Can I pay the 50 dollars to become eligible? I am in need of unemployment until I find work..

    Thank you!

    • You can wait for the Tribunal’s decision and make requests in your favor if you feel it is something that you can accept.

      Please wait for it and follow up if you do not hear as per the timelines provided.

  12. okay i had two jobs working them at the sametime one was part time and the other was full time with family benefits
    the hours on my full time job change and my part time said that they couldnt guarantee that i would get off in time. so i put in my two weeks and now 6 months later i get laid off and they are cutting benefits from both jobs

  13. My husband called unemployment and they told him he would receive unemployment, but then called back later and said he was denied due to not having wages and being a full time student, but he goes to school from 5pm to 11:30pm. Why would they say yes then call back and say no…they told him he would have to drop out if he wanted his benefits. He was working at his job from November to June. And had started school in May. Is there any hope for us to get unemployment? He said the lady that has his case is rude and nasty with him. Should we talk to someone else about the matter?

    • If you feel this denial is not justified,please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state.

      You can always appeal the decision,details of which can be found on the website of the labor dept.

  14. My hours have been cut all winter but my supervisor told me I couldn’t apply for unemployment because I wasn’t “laid off”. I am available for work every day and we communicate by text if we are working that day or not. After researching, it appears that I can apply for benefits. Can unemployment go back and pick up the previous days I was off since my employer told me I couldn’t apply? Thank you.

    • This is a tricky situation.Since you’re working hours are mostly part time and uncertain,you should be looking at applying for UI benefits.Speak to a representative from the claims center of the labor department in your state for advice before applying.

    • Receiving social security benefits may come in way when you apply for UI benefits.Please contact the claims center in your state before applying.

  15. I injured myself at work and have been on restricted duty for past 90 days, employers is now forcing me to go out on LOA and workers compensation will be paying only 2/3 my average wages, can I file for unemployment to make up for the lost wages?

    • If you are unable to work, you do not qualify for unemployment. As you were on restricted duty – seems you are able to work somewhere. Please call the Nebraska Unemployment office.

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