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Unemployment Eligibility and Qualifications
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
You must meet the work and wages eligibility criteria to qualify for Wyoming unemployment benefits. Each state sets up its own criteria that residents must meet. These criteria are often very similar but aren't exactly the same. For example, Wyoming unemployment requires wages criteria that are likely to be much different than those from New York City.
Why do these differences exist and why isn't there a national standard? State-specific criteria help the state governments create benefit amounts that are appropriate for each state. The funds for unemployment benefits are limited and letting states set their criteria helps ensure that these funds don't run out.
Work Eligibility Criteria
You will qualify under the work eligibility for Wyoming unemployment benefits if you:
- Worked at least two quarters in the last 18 months (necessary for wages criteria)
- Lost your job through no fault of your own
- Contact at least two different employers to meet work search requirements
- Are able and available to work full-time
- Actively search for work
- Meet a basic wages criteria
- Continually make weekly claims
- Don't collect unemployment benefits from another state
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Do you meet these requirements? Congratulations! You're one step closer to getting unemployment benefits. Now, you need to gauge your wages to see if you qualify.
Typically, it's not difficult to qualify under the Wyoming unemployment benefits wages criteria, but there’s a possibility you still may not, so make sure that you carefully check your wages before filing.
Wages Eligibility Criteria
Once you meet the work eligibility criteria, you can calculate your eligibility based on your wages. You must have earned wages during two quarters of your base period that total at least $3,350 and have a total base period wage of 1.4 times your highest quarter.
What is your base period? Typically, the Standard Base Period is the first four of the last five quarters before you filed your claim.
If you received temporary total disability from Wyoming, you can use the four most completed quarters prior to your injury date. There are no other Alternative Base Periods in Wyoming.
EXAMPLE: You earned $4,000 cumulatively in your two highest quarters. If your highest quarter was $2,500, you'd need to have earned at least $3,750 in your base period. Since you earned $4,000 in your two highest quarters, you easily qualify.
Unemployment Availability Limits
Your weekly benefits may be canceled or limited if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Quit your job or were fired for misconduct
- Lost your job due to a labor dispute
- Failure to file your weekly claims
- Inability or unavailability for work
- Work part-time and earn more than your Weekly Benefit Amount
When working a part-time job, you can earn up to half of your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) without affecting your unemployment benefits. However, any amount over that will be deducted from your WBA on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
EXAMPLE: You earned $400 as a WBA, but made $250 in wages. This is $50 over half of $400 ($200), so you could subtract $50 from $400 to get $350. Your total income for the week would be $600, including your adjusted WBA and your wages.
Please note that you must report gross, not net, wages. Gross wages are what you make before taxes.
NOTE: When reporting your wages in your biweekly claim (discussed below), you report for wages earned during the previous two weeks, even if they will be paid at a later date.
Currently, there are no unemployment extensions in Wyoming. Although unemployed individuals did receive federal extended benefits during the economic recession these benefits were canceled when Wyoming's unemployment rate improved.