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Unemployment Benefit Disqualifications: Know The Top 5 Reasons

Updated : February 24th, 2021

The federal government provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to those who lost their jobs. However, not all unemployed are eligible for the benefits. There are several requirements which one must meet in order to receive the benefits, failing to which they can be disqualified from receiving the benefits. Here, we will walk you through some of the reasons for unemployment benefit disqualifications.

Unemployment Benefit Disqualifications

Some of the circumstances that lead to unemployment benefit disqualifications include:   

1. Quit Without Good Cause

In most cases, you will be disqualified from receiving the unemployment benefits if you quit your job voluntarily or without a good cause. 

For instance, you might have quit your job because you are not happy with your pay, you want to change careers, or your job is unfulfilling, and you want to try something new. All of these might be good reasons for you to quit the job and move on, but you will be disqualified from collecting your unemployment insurance benefits.

Note that the definition of “good cause” varies with states. For example, under Texas law, good cause is the employee’s failure to carry out his/her duties that a person of ordinary prudence would carry out under similar circumstances. 

2. Insufficient Earnings

Another common reason for unemployment benefit disqualifications is insufficient earnings and length of employment. To qualify for the benefits, you must earn a minimum amount set by your state in your standard or alternate base period and have worked for your employer for at least one year. Additionally, if your state requires, you may also be required to meet the minimum work hours.  

3. Provide Inaccurate Information

When filing a claim, you are required to enter several details such as your address, contact details, employers’ details, social security number, and many more. If you have missed out on any details, or have entered incorrect information, and the authorities have figured it out, you may be disqualified from receiving the unemployment benefits. 

4. Fired For Justifiable Cause

You would be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if you were fired for justifiable cause. The causes include, but not limited to, failing a drug or alcohol test, stealing, falsifying records, lying, insubordination, criminal conduct, fraud, disclosing confidential information or trade secrets, or violating company rules or policies.

When you are terminated for a justifiable cause, your employer is not required to give you a notice. The employer is required to give notice only in the case of mass layoffs, corporate or large plant closures as per the policies of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

5. Not Looking For A Job

This is one of the most common reasons for unemployment benefit disqualifications. The Department of Unemployment Insurance requires applicants to be able and available to work and actively look for work. While filing for a claim, an applicant must submit his/her work search reports. The report should include the address of employers’ approached, interviews attended, etc., failing to which the claimant will be disqualified from receiving the unemployment benefits.  

Note that many times, despite meeting the eligibility requirements, your claim may be denied. In such circumstances, you have the right to appeal your UI benefits. 

How To File An Unemployment Appeal?

The guidelines to file an appeal will be included in your disqualification notice or state’s Department Of Labor website. Also, many times, an appeal application will be sent to you along with the notice of disqualification. Fill the form and send it to the concerned authorities. 

The authorities will review your application and schedule a hearing where you will be allowed to submit evidence that proves you lost your job through no fault of your own. Therefore, gather all documents and collect proof as much as possible. 

Note – You need to be present during the hearing. If you are unable to attend, keep the authorities informed in advance, failing to which you will lose the hearing. 

Closing Thoughts

Eligibility requirements for filing a claim may vary with states. For more information check your state’s Department of Unemployment Insurance website or contact authorities.



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  1. can not get on line to file claim keeps saying incorrect user name or password will not work with temporary password and pin number either can you please clear everything under my name so i can start registration from scratch can not ever get through to contact center thank you

    • Landon,

      Please try finding a way out online since phone lines will be busy for some time considering the number of pending applications.

  2. hello, I work in Indiana and live in Michigan. I was laid off a few months back and went through Michigan unemployment instead. can I still get the payback I am owed through indiana?

    • Timmy,

      Please reach out to the Unemployment Office in Indiana to find out. They may have moved your file to Michigan.

  3. The system will not let me certify!!! I have been trying there is always a recording call back in 24 hours. I have been trying for weeks. I applied online have a conformation code and bye but will not let me certify. This is so horrible.

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