What Are Some Rules to Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?


Quick Answer

Employees must be citizens of the United States or provide proof of the legal right to work in the United States to qualify for unemployment benefits, according to FindLaw. Every state's rules vary, but in general, qualified employees must meet certain conditions to receive unemployment compensation benefits in their state.

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Full Answer

The individual must have been employed for a certain period of time, earned a certain amount in wages before becoming unemployed, be available for work immediately and be physically able to work, explains FindLaw. Part-time workers and temporary workers may qualify for unemployment compensation benefits if they are able to meet the conditions of their state.

Depending on the circumstances, a terminated employee may still qualify for unemployment compensation benefits, reports Findlaw. An employee termination for financial reasons, for unintentional actions or because of a layoff, for example, may not exclude him from receiving benefits. If an employer fires an employee for deliberate and repeated misconduct, the employee may be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits.

Misconduct does not include behavior that amounts only to poor performance such as carelessness, lack of skill or errors made in good faith, states FindLaw. An employee who quits a job is typically ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits unless he left for "good cause." Most states define good cause as a condition that would have resulted in harm or injury if the employee did not quit.

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