Unemployment Insurance Common Questions

Author : Jeff

Updated : June 11th, 2019


What is the base period?

What is covered employment?

What should I do in case if I am not eligible for Monetary Benefit?

What is Unemployment Insurance and who is eligible for it?

What are the basic eligibility requirements to obtain unemployment benefits?

What is an Alternate Base Period and how is it calculated?

Benefits Amount

How much can I expect from an unemployment benefit?

How can I know the monetary eligibility?

What is benefit year and how long does it will be active?

What is Disability Insurance?

What is Unemployment Fraud?

Claims Paperwork

What details I need to have before filing the claim?

How do I file the Unemployment Insurance Claim?

When should I file the claim and what are the per-requisites essential?

Unemployment Extension

How to renew the benefit year claims and is it possible to apply for another benefit year before completing the prior one?

How long I may receive benefits?

What is Extended Benefits and when does this program start or come to consideration?


What details do I need to have before filing the claim?

Before filing the claim you need to be ready with the following details:

  1. Your name, social security number, addresses and telephone number.
  2. In case if you are filing a claim for dependents, then you need to have their names, birth dates and social security numbers.
  3. Complete payroll address and reason for separation from all the employers you worked for the last 18 months before filing the claim.

  How do I file for Unemployment Insurance?

You can file for Unemployment Benefits in two ways:

  1. You can file the claim through the Internet where you can just log on to your State’s Unemployment Insurance home page, fill up the details and process it.
  2. You can also file the Insurance claim via telephone using the numbers provided on the State’s Unemployment Insurance Home Page.

  When should I file the claim and what are the per-requisites?

In case you are unemployed, you need to file your claim as soon as possible. Your claiming eligibility benefits begins the week in which you file your claim. Remember if you file your claim between Sundays to Wednesday, your claim will be effective the week you filed. But in case if you file the claim between Thursdays to Saturday then your claim will be effective in the following week.

Eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance benefit:

  • You must be unemployed through no faults of yours.
  • You should be efficient and available to work.
  • You should be actively searching for full time work unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part time worker.
  • You should be willing to accept a job for which you are qualified.

  How much can I expect from unemployment benefits?

A. Benefits are solely based on the wages earned prior to you loosing your job. Amount is calculated by dividing the average of your wages in the 2 highest quarters of your base period by 22. The maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $400.00. In addition $10 will be paid per dependent per week. Unemployment benefits varies from State to State.

  How can I know about the monetary eligibility?

Generally you will receive a form from your State Unemployment concerning your eligibility called Determination of Monetary Eligibility which includes the details of all the employer for whom you worked for, your social security number during base period wages, weekly benefit amount and also your monetary eligibility.

The methods used to determine monetary eligibility vary from state to state and are stated below:

  •     Multiple of High-Quarter Wages
  •     Multiple of Weekly Benefit Amount
  •     Flat Qualifying Amount
  •     Weeks/Hours of Employment

  What should I do in case I am not monetarily eligible for Benefits?

If you are not eligible for any unemployment insurance based on the standard base period explained above, then the form will contain instructions on how to apply for the alternate base period. You will need to contact the agency within 15 days as explained in the preceding paragraph and continue to file claims in a timely fashion and request for the payment.

  What is benefit year and how long will it be active?

If you have qualified for the benefits, then your benefit year starts up. Benefit year will be for the period of one year or fifty-two weeks. It is calculated as the period beginning with Sunday of the first week in which you file your new claim. For instance, if you have filed your new claim on Friday then your benefit year would start  the preceding Sunday and would be considered as effective date of your benefit year and it will be active for the period of exactly one year. During a benefit year you may receive up to 26 times your weekly benefit amount under normal circumstances.

  How to renew the benefit year claims and is it possible to apply for another benefit year before completing the prior one?

You may not start another benefit year until the first one is completed. However, if you have also worked in another state during your base period and have received all your benefits in your benefit year, you may file against the other state in which you worked and you may be eligible for benefits from that state. You may also check with the Claimant Information Service for more details.

At the end of your benefit year, you may be eligible to establish a new benefit year with the extension of unemployment benefits, if you have been employed during the current benefit year and earned at least 10 times the weekly benefit amount for which you would be eligible during the new benefit year. Call the Claimant Information Service for further information on establishing a new benefit year.

  What is Unemployment Insurance and who is eligible for it?

A. Unemployment Insurance in short is termed as UI and is the temporary  income for
Eligible workers, Who have lost their jobs through no fault of theirs.

In order to  qualify for unemployment benefits, you have to be ready, willing, available, and able to work. Based on your state there may be eligibility requirements for unemployment coverage including having worked for a definite period of time. The Job Service may need job seekers to apply for jobs, submit resumes, and turn down a position if it meets certain standards.

Eligibility for benefits is determined by the following factors:

  • Must be monetary eligible
  • Past earnings activity (labor force attachment)
  • Conditions of job separation
  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • If you are identified as likely to tire out unemployment benefits and are registered in the worker profiling and reemployment services program, you have to fully participate in all assessment interviews, orientation, and referred reemployment services.

  What are the basic criteria for Monetary and Non-Monetary Eligibility of unemployment benefits?

Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Unemployment Insurance is the compensation amount projected to pay as a momentary or temporary economical assistance. It is the total sum of the monetary and non-monetary amount which is offered to an employee by his or her employer in return for work performed.

Monetary Payments

Monetary payments include the compensation of the expenditure costs like bonus, recognition rewards and checks, overtime payment and checks including profit sharing.

Non-Monetary Payments

Compensation paid as non-monetary benefit includes the advantage payment such as providing company paid housing or car for the company’s employee.

  How long may I receive benefits?

The number of weeks for which you receive benefits is determined at the beginning of your benefit period. This amount depends on your individual earnings and is limited to a maximum of 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. You may also qualify for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits under a temporary Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefit program. Additional benefits may also be available under Special Programs.

  What is covered employment?

Covered employment is the job carried out for employers who are qualified to unemployment compensation law. Covered employment from other states may also be used under certain conditions.

  What is the base period?

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately proceeding the first day of your benefit year. The last four completed quarters will be used if you are not eligible using the regular base period quarters.

  What are the features of Disability Insurance?

Disability Insurance is the type of insurance that can be claimed under conditions like mental or physical illness or injury which avoids you to work and makes you jobless. In other words, it is offered by the employers if an individual cannot work due to mental or physical injury. If you are away from your customary work due to illness, non-industrial injury, pregnancy or family concerned situations then you may expect for the partial income to be paid.

  What is Extended Benefits and when does this program start or come to consideration?

Extended Benefits is the addition benefit claims that becomes effective during the period of high unemployment rate in particular state. Extended Benefits is paid just after an individual has exhausted his/her benefits on their regular claim of last tier and Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

  What is an Alternate Base Period and how is it calculated?

If you fail to claim the benefits under regular Base period then you are permitted to apply for Alternate Base Period considering the updated system for tracking on the latest income. This program expects the workers to fulfill same overall earning requirements.

  What is Unemployment Fraud?

If you knowingly receive benefits based on false information that you purposely provided when you registered your claim, you are committing unemployment fraud. Anyone who commits unemployment insurance fraud is liable to be punished by law and could even face a variety of serious penalties and consequences. Unemployment fraud can also include telling a white lie to extend their benefits or it can also include the fake policies being sold.

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    1. Lisa,

      If you’re facing issues with the online claims system, please call the Claims Center and speak with a representative.

    1. Fred,

      You should have received an update on your claim by now. Please visit the official website of the Unemployment Office to check the status online. You will also find related phone numbers on the website.

  1. Hi, I have been working at my job for 3 1/2 years and they have announced that they are relocating 55 miles from my house. It will take me an hour and 10 minutes to get to the new job site. That is too far for me as I would need to get a new car as my car is an SUV and bad on gas with 165,000 miles. They have refused to work with me as my position could be offsite for most of the week, but they want me on site. Would I be able to collect unemplyment at all while I am looking for a new job.?

    1. Erin,

      You might be eligible to claim UI benefits for this reason. Before deciding on the job, please call the Unemployment Office.

  2. I quit my job due to my mental health issues of depression and anxiety and now I’m ready to get back to work and seeking employment. Am I able to collect unemployment? I’m currently still undergoing treatment and under medication. I’m in N.C.

    1. Angela,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who lost their job due to involuntary reasons. If you left the job due to the bad working conditions, you might be eligible. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  3. Can’t get thru on phone.Been calling every day for help on work search location.Single Mom work for same company for 6 years.Work a lot of hours until to much snow or mud.I did work search on Joblinkmaine.No computer at home just cheap cell phone.

    1. Dawn,

      I suggest you get access to a computer and manage your claims on the internet since its hassle free that way.

  4. i have been out of work with a back injury past the length of time my employer could hold my job open for me. i told them to go ahead and fil it as i was unsure when id be able to come back. i have been recieving temp disability which has now ended. am i able to apply for unemployment?

    1. Adren,

      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.

  5. i’m retired drawing a small vets disability, small pension and soc security, do these have to be reported on unemployment claim applications, i had been working fulltime untill 2 weeks ago when laid off, i am 71, would i still be qualified to collect.

  6. I worked June 2017 to Dec. 2017 quit this job for a much better position was laid off after 3 days. Do I qualify for benefits

  7. I worked for a company HomeCare.Com taxes are taking out at the end of the year, also 5.00 comes out every pay for unemployment insurance, i have my quarterly wages invoice can i apply for unemployment

  8. I am eligible for Pennsylvania Unemployment benefits. Ive decided to start by own business. Can I form an LLC now while collecting unemployment even though my business wont be up and running for approximately 4 months?

  9. I have a friend who received one check for unemployment, weeks ago and has not receive anymore, why is she not receiving her other checks on a weekly bases, when she was approved to get more than 1100 a month? How do I get ahold of a person to speak to rather than an answering machine?

    1. Diane,

      Since we’re a private forum, we do not have access to your claim file to check. Please ask your friend to log on the official website of the Unemployment Office in your state to find out.

  10. Working for a company for 3 years. Was guaranteed 40 hours at 36.00a hour. Business has fallen off in the last year and am only working 20 to 30 hours a week. My pay has been cut in half. Can I collect unemployment for the lost wages.

    1. Good Morning. I have been trying to get through to someone at unemployment now for over two weeks straight. I have not been able to visit the office. I am unsure of when my benefits end. I had a claim last Aug. 2016 for 12 weeks and had to re-open the claim in May of 2017. That was still from my 2016 claim. So I was told to open a new claim since my year went from Aug to Aug. I did this and it is a new claim, however I am not sure if this is an additional 26 weeks on top of what I had or if it is only four more weeks. I desperately need to know especially being a single Mother with no child support. I am panicking and can not get anyone on the phone. Please can someone assist me with a phone number or e-mail other than the main four on NJ unemployment?

  11. Yes, we have an employee who is overbearing, arrogant, totally disrespectful to management, and thinks she is irreplaceable. She has angered all the staff where they do not want to deal with her. We have spoken to her on many occasions, verbally, to change her attitude it does not work. She is disruptive. We are told, if we fire her, she can still collect unemployment. Is this true

    1. Bee,

      That depends. If you’re going to fire her for something that is considered “acceptable”, she can receive UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for further information in this regard.

    2. If you quit because u feel threatened by another employee after being threatened numerous times Via text and verbal. She still works there I on the other hand have quit because I don’t feel safe for fear of being jumped by 3 or more people

      1. Lisa,

        If you have documentary evidence and confident to prove the same in case of a dispute from your employer, you can receive UI benefits.

  12. I work for a company that may go out of business,we have several employees that have pensions and are over 65 and get a monthly check,does that count for umemployment benefits?

    1. Ann,

      You can be eligible to claim UI benefits if you continue looking for employment. Please speak to the Unemployment Office to ascertain the impact of pension amount.

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