How Do I Qualify For Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

The law sets qualifying requirements in three main areas: your past wages, your job separation, and ongoing availability and work search requirements. You must meet all of the following qualifying requirements in order to receive benefits.

Past Wages: You must have earned enough wages in your base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you filed your claim. Wages earned during the base period must be at least $1200 and equal to at least 1 1/2 times the high quarter wages.

Reason for separation from your last work: You must be unemployed or partially unemployed through no fault of your own in order to receive benefits.

Ongoing availability and work search: You must be physically able and available to work. You must also be actively seeking work. If you are temporarily laid off and have a definite return­to­work date, your work search requirements may be waived.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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