Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
January 13, 2016

Unemployment insurance benefits are reserved for individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own and also meet other eligibility requirements. Every year, countless unemployment insurance benefits go unclaimed by individuals who qualify for the program. We're here to help you get the facts straight so your don’t miss out on your benefits. In general, you will qualify for unemployment benefits if:

You’ve become unemployed through no fault of your own

"Through no fault of your own" means that actions that weren’t your own are what led to unemployment. This usually happens when an employee is laid off or a company closes its doors. Those who quit their jobs or are fired are not often eligible to receive unemployment.

You meet your state’s minimum income and time worked requirements

Each state has control over the income and time-worked eligibility criteria for their respective program. For example, in Florida, you must earn wages in at least two base period quarters and have earned a total of at least 1.5 times the wages earned in your highest quarter during the entire base period. Though this may seem complicated, the income and time worked requirements are generally quite simple to understand. If you lose a solid, long-term job, it is highly likely that you’ve met your state’s requirements. The tools here on are can help answer your questions regarding your eligibility in a few short clicks.

You are willing and able to work

Those receiving unemployment benefit payments must be willing, physically able and to be actively seeking to become employed again. For example, someone with a disability that prevents them from working again or someone who leaves their job to attend school would not be eligible for unemployment benefits, but someone who is looking to find another job to replace the one they lost would be.

The Unemployment Insurance program is one of the few federally-funded programs not based on financial need. This means that your total household income is not considered when determining eligibility—even those with sufficient total family income can qualify.

It is a good idea to contact your local unemployment agency as soon as you become unemployed. Determining eligibility for yourself can be complicated. Staff are available to help you navigate the process and get your claim filed in a timely manner.

Eligibility Team
Written by
Eligibility Team
We are a team of experts dedicated to finding the right government programs for you. Our mission is simple: help people quickly and easily understand which programs they might be eligible for—all in one place. Our team is dedicated to researching and providing you with the most relevant information. We compile only the most trusted information from government sources into one place so you can find the facts you need and skip what you don’t.
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