Unemployment Benefits FAQs

What Is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment insurance is a federal and state joint program intended for unemployed workers to receive temporary monetary compensation while they search for employment. Each state administers its own program, but follows federally mandated guidelines as instituted by federal law.

What Are Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment insurance compensation is a government program for individuals who are employable, but out of work by no fault of their own. Qualifying recipients collect a weekly stipend while they continue to search for new employment. Learn more about unemployment insurance, here (hyperlink to /unemployment-benefits/unemployment-insurance).

How Does Unemployment Work?

When you are terminated from employment, you are entitled to file a claim to collect unemployment benefits. To collect these benefits, you will need to meet certain work and wage eligibility criteria, meet work search requirements, and apply for claim benefits each week.

Do I Have to Pay for Unemployment Insurance?

This depends on the state in which you work and their unemployment legislation. When you are employed in most states, you are required to pay a premium tax that goes into an unemployment insurance fund. Some states require that the employer be responsible for paying this tax and in other states, both you and your employer pay into the fund. Learn more about your state’s specific unemployment benefits program, here (hyperlink to /unemployment-benefits/unemployment-eligibility-and-qualifications).

Who Can File for Unemployment

Anyone who has been employed for a specific timeframe is eligible to file for unemployment insurance benefits through their state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This eligibility timeframe varies by state. Learn more about unemployment eligibility and qualifications here (link to eligibility and qualifications page).

How Do I File for Unemployment

Most states have recently adopted systems for individuals to apply for benefits via phone or online through a secure state website. You should contact your state’s Unemployment Insurance Program immediately after becoming unemployed for information on how your state conducts claims for unemployment benefits.

Can I File for Unemployment Online?

Most states have now adopted some form of an online unemployment insurance filing system. Methods vary from state to state.

Can You Collect Unemployment If You Quit?

No. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits compensation in any state, you must have been separated from employment by no fault of your own; you cannot have quit for personal reasons. If you quit due to unbearable or unsafe working conditions, contact your state Department of Labor for information on measures you can take to prove just cause for quitting.

Can You Get Unemployment If You Are Fired?

Yes. It is considered “no fault” if you are fired for poor job performance. However, if you are fired because of misconduct or insubordinate behavior, you may not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

How Long Do You Have to Work to Collect Unemployment?

Although it differs by state, in most cases the working timeframe required to collect unemployment benefits is the first four out of the last five calendar quarters.

What Do I Do If I Was Denied Unemployment?

If you are disqualified from collecting unemployment benefits, you can file an appeal through your state Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program. Contact your state UI Program for details on the appeals process and for any other necessary measures you should take.

Where Do I File If I Have Moved or Worked in Multiple States?

Filing for unemployment should be conducted in the state in which you were employed. If you live in a different state from which you worked, or have since moved out of the state from where you worked, you should file your claim for unemployment benefits within the state in which you were employed.