Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a temporary income protection program for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Funding for UI benefits comes from quarterly contributions paid by the state's employers to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA); no deductions are made from employees' pay checks. Each employer's contribution rate is based on the employer's experience with layoffs and UI benefits paid to former workers in the prior year.


Employees Covered by UI Law

Under the law, most workers are covered by the Unemployment Insurance program. However, workers in the following categories are not eligible to collect benefits:

• Employees of churches and certain religious organizations

• Worker trainees in a program administered by a nonprofit or public institution

• Real estate brokers or insurance agents who work on commission basis only

• Consultants working independently

• Elected officials and certain government officials in policy-making and advisory positions

• Members of a legislative body or the judiciary

Eligibility for UI Program

Initial eligibility for benefits is based on your earnings and the reason for separation from your employment.

You must have earned at least $3,500 during a period of time specified by law and at least 30 times the amount you would be eligible to collect weekly in UI benefits.

Ongoing requirements include being able to work, being available for work and conducting an active search for new employment. Your eligibility for weekly benefits may be affected if:

• You refuse, quit or are fired from a job

• You are receiving any kind of pension (Receipt of a Social Security retirement benefit not affect your eligibility)

• The amount of your pension changes

• You are attending school, college or training full-time without obtaining DUA approval

• You received vacation pay

• You are receiving Workers' Compensation

• You apply for or receive UI benefits from any other state or federal program

• You become self-employed

• You have a previous overpayment

• You requested that your claim be predated

Your benefits may be interrupted for any of these reasons and a service representative will contact you and complete the necessary fact-finding and make a determination on your eligibility. If you are disqualified, you have the right to appeal the decision and to have a hearing.