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Benefits: How is eligibility determined?

Benefits paid to a claimant during a BY are based on wages paid in the base period, which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim.

In order to qualify as an insured worker, a claimant must:
  • Lose his/her job through no fault of the claimant OR quit for a valid reason related to the work or the employer.
  • Make at least $2,250—at least $1,500 during one of the calendar quarters, and at least $750 during the remainder of the year—from an insured employer during the base period (see chart above).
  • AND his/her total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times his/her highest quarter wages.
  • OR he/she must make at least $19,500 during two of the four quarters.

In order to remain eligible to receive UI benefits, a claimant also must be able to work and available for full-time work. In order to be considered available for work, the claimant must be actively and earnestly seeking employment. A claimant may be ineligible if unemployed because of a suspension for misconduct connected with work, a stoppage of work due to a labor dispute or while the claimant is receiving other remuneration, such as vacation pay, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN), pay, holiday pay, severance/termination pay or employer pension.

If the DES finds the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with work, the disqualification can only be terminated if the claimant earns six times his/her WBA in insured work after the date of discharge. If a claimant is disqualified on a subsequent discharge, the claimant shall be required to earn wages in an amount equal to or in excess of six times the claimant′s WBA for each disqualification.

If the claimant voluntarily left employment without good cause attributable to the employer or to the work, he/she may be disqualified until other employment is secured and at least 10 times the WBA in insured work is earned. This same disqualification may apply if the claimant refused to apply for or accept suitable employment offered through the DES, designated staff of a state or state-controlled public employment office, or a former employer.

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