To obtain unemployment benefits, a citizen must meet two basic requirements. The state of unemployment must be through no fault of the person who is applying, and the applicant must meet state requirements for length of time worked or wages earned.
There are specific requirements for meeting state unemployment requirements, but there are also additional federal requirements that apply to the entire country. First of all, the reason for the unemployment must be out of the control of the applicant. This applies to cases such as mass layoffs or no-fault termination of contract. If the applicant for unemployment benefit has lost his job due to gross misconduct, he is denied unemployment benefits. Gross misconduct means illegal or immoral activity or dangerous acts on the job.
The second major federal requirement is that the applicant meets the state requirements for the length of time worked or the total value of wages earned. This varies, but in the majority of states, the total required length is based off a minimum quarterly wage multiplied by a period of time.
Finally, it is necessary to actively pursue a job while receiving unemployment benefits. This means that the majority of students are ineligible for unemployment.