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Learn about unemployment insurance

Find information about which employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits, and learn how benefits are calculated.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits is based upon three categories:

  • Wages
  • Reason for separation from job
  • Work search requirements

Wages and benefit amount

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, workers must have earned:

  • At least 30 times the potential weekly benefit amount (generally about 15 weeks of employment)
  • And $5,100 paid during the primary base period (last 4 completed calendar quarters before the effective date of a claim)

OR

  • At least 30 times the potential weekly benefit amount
  • And $5,100 during the alternate base period (last 3 completed calendar quarters and the partial calendar quarter up to the date the claim was filed) 

The total amount of benefits available to the worker is the lesser of 30 times the potential weekly benefit amount, or 36% of total base period wages. As of October 2020, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $855, and a worker can collect up to a maximum of 30 weeks. (capped at 26 weeks during periods of low unemployment rates and extended benefits.)

Reason for separation from job

A worker may be initially eligible for unemployment benefits if they:

  • Are separated due to layoffs
  • Are totally or partially unemployed
  • Are discharged for reasons not related to deliberate misconduct or violation of an employer rule or policy
  • Quit for reasons attributable to the employer, or for an urgent, compelling, necessitous reason

Work search requirements

To remain eligible for unemployment benefits, workers must certify that they are:

  • Capable of work
  • Available for work
  • Actively seeking work

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