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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
When attempting to receive unemployment benefits in Indiana, you need to meet a set of basic criteria. Indiana unemployment benefits eligibility is decided by gauging if you worked long enough and made enough money during your period of employment.
Every state follows its own set of criteria, each of which is fine-tuned to the unique needs and demands of that state. As a result, the criteria rates will vary significantly, so exact and precise information is necessary when deciding if you qualify for Indiana unemployment.
Work Eligibility Criteria
In Indiana, the work eligibility criteria are very simple. You must have worked steadily during the last 12 to 18 months (12 being the minimum) and were either laid off or fired for reasons unrelated to personal misconduct.
For example, if you were fired for committing a crime (such as sexual harassment) at the workplace, you would not receive unemployment benefits.
Beyond these points, you must also be able and available to work each week that you are collecting benefits. The latter criteria points will be covered more in-depth in the work search section below.
Wages Eligibility Criteria
If you qualify for the work eligibility criteria for Indiana unemployment, you must then meet a basic wages criteria. It is necessary to earn at least $4,200 in your base period, with $2,500 of the amount being earned in the last six months of that period.
The base period for unemployment benefits in Indiana is the first four quarters of the last five quarters. A quarter is a three-month period. The fifth quarter is a “lag” quarter, and does not count towards your wages.
NOTE: The $2,500 monetary criteria applies to the last six months of the first four quarters of your base period. So if you were unemployed from January 2014 to December 2016, your base period would be from October 2015 to December 2016.
However, the last quarter months (October 2016 to December 2016) aren't included. So the last six months of your base period would be April 2016 to September 2016.
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Unemployment Availability Limits
If you start a full-time job or refuse an appropriate job offer (which is a full-time position that offers you at least 90 percent of the wages and benefits of your last job), your unemployment compensation will be halted. You will also lose weekly benefits if you don't follow the reporting guidelines mentioned in the section below.
However, you can still receive partial benefits if you begin working a part-time job. Any decrease in your weekly benefits will follow these simple rules:
- No decrease if you earn 20 percent or less of your benefit amount
- A dollar-by-dollar decrease for any amount in excess of 20 percent of your weekly benefits
EXAMPLE: If your weekly benefits are $300 and you earn $50 in a week, no benefits will be taken, since $50 is only 16 percent of $300. However, if you earn $100, you'll have earned 33 percent of your weekly benefits. You would then subtract the amount above 20 percent of $300 (which is $60) from the weekly benefit.
This would result in a decrease of $40 from your weekly benefits ($260). Note that adding up $260 and $100 still results in a higher total wage ($360) than if you just received unemployment benefits, making a part-time job beneficial in this situation.
However, if your part-time job provided $200 a week, you would subtract $140 from $300 to receive $160 in weekly weekly benefits. Add up this decreased amount with the $200 wages and you have $360, still an increase in funds.
In the past, Indiana received unemployment extensions from the federal government in times of high unemployment. Currently, no such provisions exist in the state.