Kentucky Unemployment

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File for Unemployment Benefits

Filing for unemployment insurance in Kentucky is done through the Office of Employment and Training website. This site lets you file an initial claim, file your weekly claims, track your progress, learn how much you are eligible to receive during the life of your claim, and when to expect your payments.

If you need help filing for unemployment insurance benefits, there are a number of Unemployment Insurance Division offices spread throughout the state to assist you. This can ensure you avoid mistakes during the application process, which could affect your benefits. However, you can file for unemployment online anywhere as long as access to the internet is available.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

When you first file your claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you need to create a new personal login at the Office of Employment and Training website. You can only claim benefits if you were separated from your employer for a reason unrelated to personal misconduct at work. You are also ineligible if you quit your job without a good reason.

Your login and password should be something that you can easily remember. Be sure your login information does not feature your first or last name. You must also file within appropriate hours, including Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 pm. The system is closed on Saturdays.

Once you are ready to file, you will click on “File A New Claim” to begin the initial claim process:

  • Input your name, address, and contact information
  • Add the contact information of your employers from the last 18 months
  • Indicate why you lost your job (this will include a drop-down menu with various options)
  • Add your wages from each job (which include either hourly wages or salary wages)
  • Double-check all of your information for accuracy to make sure all information is true and entered correctly
  • Submit your application
  • Sign up for work registration on the Kentucky Career Center site

You can file online, in person at a local unemployment office, or by calling on your phone. Note that this number is not toll free, so any long-distance fees will apply.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

When submitting a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you need the following information readily at hand:

  • Name and complete mailing address
  • Contact information (telephone numbers, email addresses, etc.)
  • Social Security Number
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of your employers over the last 18 months (this includes all employers, even those who may not have paid unemployment taxes)
  • Information on your employment (such as the exact day you started and ended working for your employers)

Much of this vital information can be found on your W2 forms. If you no longer have these forms or need more specific information, contact your former employers for accurate wage information.

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Claim Weekly Benefits

As long as you remain eligible, unemployment insurance benefits are paid to you   every week. You are not awarded this money automatically. Claiming your weekly benefits requires requesting your first payment at least 16 days after you filed your claim and every 14 days after that.

If you fail meet the 14-day deadline, you have until the Friday of the following week to claim your weekly benefits.

The purpose of this process is to ensure that your employment situation is the same as it was when you originally filed. There's a chance that your benefits may be decreased after you file, especially if you earned wages during any week you chose to claim benefits.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

You can claim your weekly benefits online on the Kentucky unemployment site or by phone between 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday or 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Note that these times are set for Eastern Standard Time.

When you file, you need to input your Social Security Number and PIN. You will then need to provide the following information:

  • The date you returned to full-time work (if you have)
  • The number of hours you worked, if you were paid, when you will be paid, and the gross wages
  • Any holiday, vacation, or retirement pay you may have earned
  • Where you want your payment deposited (checking or savings account)
  • Whether you were available and able to work
  • Part-time work you may have performed
  • If you received a job offer and whether you turned it down (and if you did, why?)
  • The results of your job search (must make three job contacts per week)

Reporting this information on time will help ensure that you get your benefits as soon as possible.  

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

When your claim for unemployment insurance benefits is denied, you can appeal your claim and sort through any claim discrepancies by filing with the Appeals Branch.

This group gauges the appropriateness of unemployment insurance determinations and helps decide if your claim was wrongfully denied, or if you were overpaid (if your former employer appeals).

The appeals process is something like a trial, and requires filing a request in writing and sending it to the proper office. It also requires evidence and dressing and behaving appropriately during the hearing.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

Pick up an appeal form at any local unemployment office. Remember to include your name, Social Security Number, and an explanation of why you are submitting an appeal.

Send your completed form to the Appeals Branch at the address listed in the Contact section below. You will be notified by postal mail in about a week  when your hearing is scheduled.

You have 15 days to file your unemployment insurance appeal. Once you receive your hearing date and time, you will need to prepare by gathering evidence, including eyewitness testimony, that proves your case. You must continue to claim weekly benefits during the appeal process in order to collect benefits should you win the judgement.

During the hearing, you and your employer will present evidence, talk to witnesses, and cross-examine each other's witnesses. All of these efforts will help to build a case that may help to prove your denial was unjustified.

You can also hire an attorney to help present your case. You have the option file for payment assistance with the commission before the trial , should you need it.

Once the hearing is finished, you should receive your results in the mail in about a week. If your appeal was successful, all denied benefits are paid to you immediately. Failed appeals can be appealed to state and federal courts.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

Appeals Branch

275 East Main St. 2EB

Frankfort, KY 40621


Fax: 502-564-3925

UI Commission

275 East Main St.2WF

Frankfort, KY 40621