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Unemployment Insurance Common Questions

Updated : December 9th, 2022


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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    • Lisa,

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

  1. I have been unemployed for 6 weeks and have filed a claim. How do I get to talk to a live person? Help

    • 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.

  2. 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.?

    • Erin,

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

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

    • Dawn,

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

  5. 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?

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

    • 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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?

  12. 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

    • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

  13. 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?

    • 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.

  14. I was on WC for 18 mo in NJ I returned to work and after 6 weeks was laid off will u employment take that into consideration and allow me to collect based on my salary before my injury?

    • Michele,

      I am not sure if you can come back from WC and receive UI benefits in your state.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  15. what can I do if an employer owes me past pay checks but I am still working . I currently am owed 10 pay checks and no attempt to pay me to date

    • Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire if you’re able to file for UI benefits under such circumstances.

  16. If you have been filing claims each week, and am accepted, what will happen if I find work. Will I be entitled to benefits for the weeks I have filed. And do I have to report immediately that I will be starting work, but will not receive a check for two weeks.

    • You should be able to continue claiming until the employment starts.

      Please call the Claims Center for further instructions.

  17. I live in Illinois but my employer is located in Indiana, where do I apply for unempoyment benefits?

    • Please apply from the state where your employment was based.

      You may want to check and confirm with your employer before applying for UI benefits.

  18. My last day of employment was January 31st. I am getting paid severance until April 26th. planning on filing April 27th. Is that the correct way to do it

  19. I am trying to file my weekly claim on the computer and i get rhis error message saying that ether logged me out for inactive or othe issues. What do i do?

    • Please clear the browser cache and try again. If the problem persists, please call the Claims Center for further assistance.

  20. Hi Martin, I have worked from 02/22/17 until the end of this week which will be 03/31/2017. What are my base periods. I don’t understand the calculator and what are the alternative base periods? Also do I put in my gross income for each quarter or just what I got paid after deductions?

  21. what happens if I become employed after collecting unemployment benefits and the job is not a good fit due to a hostile environment. can I quit and reapply for benefits if I was on the job less than 3 weeks?

    • If you have benefit weeks left in your account, you can be eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for details.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    • Please call the “Claims Center” for further instructions regarding resetting the password. You can also look out for assistance on the official website.

  22. I was just terminated from my position as a director of nursing in a nursing home after 8 years. previous to that I had worked at the parent hospital for 28years. The past year I had FMLA for chronic migraines that was brought on by the unrealistic demands of the job. My FMLA ran out in NOV and I was not given new papers even after I requested 3 times, nor was I advised about short term disability. I was terminated due to attendance and performance–will I be able to get unemployment just until I can find another job? (after Nov I had cancer on my nose that required a skin flap and then I had a heart arrhythmia and was in the hospital–these counted against me, plus the meds they put me on made it difficult for me to get up on time)

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. Unemployment Benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available for work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  23. I moved out of FL to be near my family in WI. I worked in WI for 2 months before I was “let go” for no reason other than I was no longer needed. I tried to apply for unemployment in WI, but they said I had to try to get it from FL since I haven’t worked in WI long enough. How do I go about getting unemployment from FL while living in WI? I’d appreciate any info.
    Thank You,

  24. Hello need help with benefits calculation. I thought I was advised that my amount would be 60% of my pay (I worked 34 years before layoff). When I do the math I get 60% of 60% which doesn’t seem fair. But when I plug in my quarterly amounts in the above estimator I get close to what my first payment was (which equates to 60% of 60%) which is much less than 60% of my base salary. Was I incorrect in thinking I should be getting 60% to begin with?

  25. I received Iowa Benefits for January to February 2016, I have since moved and I have been trying to inform Iowa Unemployment department of my new address so that I can receive the proper paperwork for tax reporting. I have been trying to contact someone in multiple offices to try to give this information but my calls have not been returned, what should I do?

    Thank You

    • Please try to locate the nearest office to walk in. Alternatively, you can also log-in online to check if you have the option to change the address and upload supporting documents.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  26. I tried to do my first weekly claim for job searches on the computer and the pin number was not correct and the site locked my out because to many attempts to put pin in. It is Saturday and my job searches need to be in by Sunday. I can’t call the customers service to reset my pin until Monday. How will this effect my benefits? This was going to be my first weekly claim for job searches. Am I disqualified because I am late?

    • You’re required to claim as per the timelines. If you fail to do so, you may have to wait until they open the window for the next week.

      Please speak to a representative for precise information.

  27. i recently filed an unemployment claim in indiana and under the “claim issues” tab it says “qualified w/relief” and when i click on it all it says is no decision documents found… does this mean that my previous employer is relieved of payment toward my unemployment benefits?? i cant imagine this is a good thing for me. thank you for your help.

    • Please call the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided to understand the exact meaning of the relevant tab under your account.

  28. the company I worked for .. Home Office is in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the Terminal I am assigned to is (My Direct Boss)is Theodore Al.and he enters my pay in to system for Milwaukee to pay ….. I live and work out of Pensacola, FL ! What State do I apply for unemployment In, I was Layed-off !

    • Please apply from the state where your employment was based. You may want to check and confirm with your employer before applying.

  29. I’ve only worked 3 months and I earned 4K per month with a total of 12k for that quarter before quitting the job. I got another job for a month and was laid off. Do I have enough earnings to qualify for the benefit???

    • To be eligible for UI benefits, your income from the last 4-5 calendar quarters will be considered. The determination will be based on this base period.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  30. My fiancé lost his job in TN due to downsizing/outsourcing. He was offered a job in AZ, which begins in two weeks. If I leave my job in TN to go with him to AZ, am I able to draw UI benefits; and if so which state would I apply in? Thank you for your help!

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  31. Can the officers of an s corp draw unemployment benefits if they have to close their business? They have been being paid like a regular employee(withholding taxes and social security have been being taking out of their wages and unemployment taxes have been being paid on their wages)

  32. My wife will probably lose her job in the next two weeks. We believe she is eligible for unemployment. Can she travel to Europe for two weeks while on unemployment?

    • She should be able to, as long as she is fulfilling the requirements including reporting the job searches.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  33. I have been on medical leave since December 2014 for Cancer. I had six months of chemo treatment and radiation. I attempted to return to work in June 2016 but only managed 2 hours. I have been terminated from my employment because of lack of stamina and unable to perform duties. Can I collect unemployment benefits?

    • You can be eligible under such circumstances as long as you’re able and available for work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details in this regard.

  34. I gave a two week notice after I had taken a new job elsewhere (not a competitor) and later that afternoon my employer chose to go ahead and terminate me. The job I thought I had fell through and now I have no job but seeking employment. Do I qualify for UI in Arkansas?

    • You can be as long as it’s not your fault and you’re able to prove it.

      Please consider applying for UI benefits.

  35. I reside in NY and work from home there. My diver’s License is still based out of Florida where I lived about a year ago. I travel back and fourth to visit family, but work from home in NY. I was just terminated. How can I apply for benefits in NYS without a NY driver’s license?

    • I don’t think a Driver’s License has anything to do with UI benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state.

  36. I live in Fla and have received benefits since April but my available funds are now only enough for 1 more week…..what happens after my available balance runs out,,,,are there additional programs currently active in Fla?

  37. My job is asking for volintary lay offs for 2 months. They say i can apply for unemployment. Is this true?

    • I guess, you should be eligible.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

    • If the claim was denied by the employer and you feel you’re eligible for it, please ask for an adjudicator.

    • Well, generally you will not be eligible for obvious reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm.

  38. If I am in am laid off due to lack of work and company called me in for 2 days of work am I still eligible for benefits.

    • You can be eligible if you have earned the required income and worked the required duration.

      Please use the Eligibility Calculator available on this site to ascertain eligibility.

  39. Can I work For UBER part-time while still collecting unemployment benefits? According to UBER I am an independent contractor.

    • Not sure if you will continue to be eligible.

      Please check with the Unemployment Office in your state as each one has its own rules.

  40. My work place just made a requirement that no phones could be had in the work place I have five children two of which have special needs and do not feel safe with them not being able to contact me reliably in case of emergency. I discussed this with my employer and was told that if I brought my phone in the building I could not be an employ any more and needed to leave imediatly. Will I qualify for unemployment insurance ?

    • Well, if you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible. However, there can be exceptions such as your case.

      I would suggest you to speak to the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision.

  41. I resigned from my job in January 2016 – I had worked there since October 2014. I started a new job April 5, 2016 and it is not a good job for safety and stress related reasons. If I quit my job will I be able to receive unemployment benefits? I’m presently looking for another job but I need to leave my current job immediately for stress related issues. I took last Thursday and Friday off with a doctor’s note. Please advise – I want to do the right thing but need to take care of my health. I have never been in
    this position before.

    • Well, if the “work conditions” has led to grave health issues, you can quit and draw UI benefits.

      General stress due to reasons such as extended working hours will not qualify. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state.

  42. I had to resign due to job performance issues, my job changed and required technical training I did not possess
    and was not required when I originally got the job. am I eligible for unemployment?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Performance is considered voluntary.

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