Rules for Receiving Unemployment Benefits


Unemployment is a form of insurance employers pay to allow unemployed workers to collect wages during a phase of unemployment. The amount received is typically only a portion of the wages earned at your job. Unemployment insurance is required of all employers by the government as a means of protecting unemployed workers who lose a job through no fault of their own.

Quarterly Employment Record

Unemployment is determined by the quarters you work. Two quarters is the minimum requirement to collect unemployment insurance, although your benefits will not be substantial at the minimum employed requirement. The quarterly determination is made by all of the jobs you've held in a year, not just on the job you become unemployed from when you file to collect unemployment benefits.


You must be completely unemployed to receive full benefits. It is also possible to collect partial benefits in some cases, depending upon your state, if your income is drastically reduced. Being temporarily laid off counts as being unemployed and makes you eligible for unemployment. To collect unemployment, you cannot have lost your job for theft, fraud, or any other reason deemed by the unemployment office as your own fault. You may still be eligible for benefits if you willingly leave a job, but you may be penalized and have a waiting period for up to six weeks.

Eligibilty Requirements

The basic rules for being eligible for unemployment are simple. You must be physically and mentally capable of working and you must be actively seeking employment while you claim unemployment. This typically requires that you contact three employers a week.

Weekly Check-in

To receive continued benefits, you must check in to the unemployment office once a week. You can do this by calling the phone number provided by your local unemployment office. The phone check in lasts about three minutes, during which time you answer questions from an automated system to verify that you are actively seeking employment and are willing and able to work.

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