Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits?


Quick Answer

According to the Department of Labor, unemployment benefits are offered to workers who are unemployed due to no fault of their own and that meet other requirements as listed by their state law, such as time worked or earned wages. Each state has a different set of requirements for a worker to become eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Full Answer

The United States Department of Labor government website offers resources to individuals who wish to learn about unemployment benefits. The page directs workers to their state pages to apply for benefits and determine if they are eligible for benefits as well as a toll free number to the Department of Labor's call center where questions can be answered about job loss, benefits, layoffs, job training and other services offered to assist the eligible workers.

The Unemployment Handbook website offers quick resources to determine if a worker is eligible for unemployment benefits. The link to the State Unemployment Directory takes individuals to their state where appropriate resource pages are displayed.

The LearnVest website gives examples of how states differ on the requirements for individuals to become eligible for unemployment. New York requires that an individual works no less than two quarters and earn at least $1,600 in one of those quarters. Other requirements include actively seeking new employment and many states determine that returning to school is no longer seeking employment. States like Oregon do allow workers to attend training programs and not seek employment while registered and making satisfactory progress in the training.

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