Utah Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
October 24, 2017

Get help with Utah unemployment benefits

To assist those who become unemployed by no fault of their own, each state runs its own unemployment insurance (UI) program. These benefits, in the form of weekly monetary payments, are available to anyone who is separated from work for a reason they could not control, most commonly a company closure or layoff, and are not based on need. Utah unemployment benefits are meant to replace lost income and keep individuals on their feet during the transition between jobs.

How Unemployment Works in Utah

And How To Get Unemployment in Utah

  1. To get started on a state of Utah unemployment claim, you must first file an application as soon as you are out of work. This can be done in-person, online, or through a Utah unemployment office.
  2. If you meet Utah unemployment benefits eligibility, you are on your way to claiming funds. If denied, you have the right to file an appeal with the Utah unemployment department.
  3. Utah unemployment compensation can be as much as $496 per week. Each person's claim is different, and the Utah unemployment amount of benefits you receive — between 10 and 26 weeks — varies on a case-by-case basis.
  4. After meeting Utah unemployment qualifications, you will be required to wait one week before your payments begin. In most cases, you will get your first payments within three weeks.
  5. You will be required to participate in the Utah unemployment claim filing process, which shows that you are searching for new work. This can be done through the Utah unemployment website or over the phone.
  6. In most cases, you will need to find work before your benefits end. In some situations, such as a high Utah unemployment rate, additional benefits may be granted through a Utah unemployment extension.

In Utah, unemployment insurance benefits are administered by the Unemployment Insurance Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). DWS strives to “be the best-managed state agency in Utah" by operating under four cornerstone principles: operational excellence, exceptional customer service, employee success and community connection.

The ultimate goal of Utah’s UI program is to get individuals back to work as quickly as possible with little income disruption. It is an employer-paid program, meaning individual workers do not pay into the benefits system.

How to Get Unemployment in Utah

  • File an initial claim
    You should file Utah unemployment paperwork as soon as you become unemployed. You can apply for Utah unemployment here.
  • Choose a payment method
    DWS offers two UI benefit payment methods—direct deposit or a U.S. Bank ReliaCard. You will choose your payment method when you file your initial claim.
  • Continue weekly claims
    Once your initial claim has been filed, you are required to submit weekly claims in order to continue receiving benefits and maintain your claim status as active. Weekly claims document your continued eligibility to receive benefits. You will be asked to report job search activities for the week. You will only be asked to answer a few questions per week and claims can easily be filed online at jobs.utah.gov.
  • Register with the Department of Workforce Services to look for work
    You will have 10 days to register for work with DWS after filing your initial claim. The simplest way to register is using the online system at jobs.utah.gov. Alternatively, you may register for work in person at one of DWS’ 30 employment centers. Find the location nearest you here.
  • Maintain an active job search
    UI is meant to supplement income for only as long as it takes to become reemployed. Because of this, an active job search is a key part of the program. In your weekly claims, your will be required to document a minimum of four new full-time job contacts by reporting:
    • Date contacted
    • Company name and job posting number (if applicable)
    • Work address, phone number, email, website or person contacted
    • Title of position
    • How they were contacted
    • Results
  • Report all performed work
    You may be able to find part-time work while receiving UI benefits and looking for full-time employment. If you do, you will keep your skills current and may still receive some benefits. In your weekly claim, you are required to report any and all work completed that week by recording your gross income for that time period.
  • For questions about Utah unemployment, contact the Utah Department of Workforce Services
    You are legally responsible for providing accurate information in your UI claims. Submitting accurate information to DWS is important as they conduct regular audits to verify eligibility. If you submit false information, you can be charged with fraud. As a penalty, you’ll be required to pay back double the amount you received in UI benefits, will not be eligible for benefits in the future, and will potentially face criminal charges that can result in jail time.

To avoid mistakes, be sure to read all UI materials provided to you and reach out to DWS should you have any questions. Contact the Claims Center nearest you for help:

  1. Counties of Salt Lake and Davis: (801) 526-4400
  2. Counties of Weber and North Davis: (801) 612-0877
  3. Utah County: (801) 375-4067
  4. All others, toll-free: (888)-848-9688

Choose option one then press 5 to speak with someone in your preferred language. To locate a local Utah unemployment office, see our list of local Utah unemployment office locations here.

What are the Utah unemployment requirements?

While Utah unemployment benefits are not paid based on need, there are still eligibility requirements that must be met and maintained in order to receive benefits. General Utah unemployment eligibility requirements include:

  • Live in the United States
  • A U.S. Citizen or legal right to work status in the U.S.
  • Able and available for work
  • Pursuing full-time work in the U.S.

Wage requirement

The base period in Utah is a 12-month period looked at to determine if you are eligible for UI and how much your benefit payments will be. To be eligible for UI benefits in Utah, you need to have earned wages in at least two calendar quarters in your base period. Your wages earned in the base period must be at least $3,600 and equal a minimum of 1.5 times the wages earned in your highest base period quarter for you to be eligible.

Reason for separation

UI benefits are only available to individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Generally, if you lost your job due to a company closure or layoff you will be eligible, but if you were fired or quit you will not be. Other reasons for separation that you will likely be denied benefits for include:

  • Unemployment due to a strike
  • Being unable to or choosing to not actively seek work
  • Refusal to apply for suitable work
  • Earnings equal to or more than your benefit amount, whether through part- or full-time work
  • Self-employment or commission based work

It’s important to note that meeting these eligibility requirements solely when making your initial claim is not enough to continue receiving benefits. You are required to maintain eligibility as long as you receive benefits and will maintain your eligibility through the Utah unemployment weekly claims process.

What are the work search requirements for receiving unemployment benefits in Utah?

A key component of remaining eligible to receive UI payments in Utah is to actively search for work. It is important to do so diligently as you will be required to report work search activities in your Utah unemployment weekly claim to maintain eligibility for the UI program.

You will be asked to make at least four new job contacts each week you are receiving unemployment. A new contact is communication with a company or regarding a position you have not inquired about previously. As noted in step 5 of How to Get Unemployment in Utah, you will need to report:

  • Date contacted
  • Company name and job posting number (if applicable)
  • Work address, phone number, email, website or person contacted
  • Title of position
  • How they were contacted
  • Results

These new employer contacts are just one part of a genuine effort to get reemployed as quickly as possible, a goal everyone receiving UI should have. Another resource available to you through DWS’ Unemployment Insurance Division is Workforce Services. Workforce Services oversees Employment Centers across the state, which offer job search resources at no cost, including:

  • Résumé reviews
  • Workshops
  • Training and education
  • Career counseling
  • Labor market information
  • Job search tools
  • Additional program information

While these services are open and suggested to all, some Employment Center activities, such as online workshops or an in-person orientation, may be a requirement to maintain eligibility. Find your nearest employment center here.

How do I apply for Utah unemployment benefits?

The quickest way to file your Utah unemployment claim is online. Click here to file a new claim. If you wish, you may file by telephone Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling the Utah unemployment number. Depending on demand, long hold times can be expected, especially on Mondays. To file a claim by phone, call:

  • Utah County: (801) 375-4067
  • Salt Lake County: (801) 526-4400
  • Weber and North Davis Counties: (801) 612-0877
  • Remainder of state/out of state, toll free: (888) 848-0688

When you are ready to file your initial claim, have the following information handy:

  • Social Security number or Alien Registration number and card
  • Driver’s license OR State issued ID
  • Employment information for all places you worked within the last 18 months
  • Company name
  • Company address with zip code
  • Company phone number
  • Dates of employment
  • Estimate wages earned
  • Reason for leaving

The Utah unemployment application takes approximately 30 minutes and includes four sections:

  • Personal information
  • Employment information
  • Eligibility information
  • Unemployment instruction

The online application is unavailable from 11:45 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day. Be sure to allow enough time to complete the application before 11:45 p.m. or you risk losing all your information and having to start over. Any information submitted after 11:45 p.m. will be lost. Your session will also timeout is you remain on any page for 20 minutes or more, causing you to restart the application from scratch. To ensure a smooth application process, have all information ready and leave yourself ample time to complete the process during the hours of availability.

How much will my unemployment insurance payments be?

How much an individual is eligible to receive in UI benefits in Utah is determined by the wages and amount of work performed in the 18 months prior to filing an unemployment claim. You can estimate your weekly benefit payments here.

To calculate the number yourself, divide the earnings amount in your highest baser period quarter by 26 then subtract $5.00. This is your weekly unemployment benefit payment amount, up to $524 for new claims made on or after January 1, 2017.

How soon will I get paid?

To receive benefits as quickly as possible, you are advised to submit your claim as soon as you become unemployed. Your claim does not become effective until the week it is filed, regardless of when the unemployment occurred.

That being said, Utah law requires a waiting week, meaning you will not be paid UI benefits for the first eligible week of your claim. You are required to file for this week and meet eligibility requirements to establish your claim before receiving UI payments.

Your first payment will arrive approximately three weeks after you apply for benefits. You will not receive your payment the same day each week and benefits will not be available in your account for at least two business days after they are released by DWS. If after four weeks you have not received a payment or disqualification letter you should contact the Claims Center.

How long can I receive benefits?

Utah uses a formula to determine the number of weeks you can receive benefits. Take 27% of the total insured wages earned during your base period and round to the nearest dollar. Divide that number by your weekly benefit amount, rounding again. This value is the estimated number of weeks you’ll be able to receive benefits. In Utah, this number is a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks. An estimate of this information is also available using the Preliminary Monetary Determination calculator and the true value will be documented in the mailed Monetary Determination you will receive after your initial claim is processed.


Can I appeal the decision if my Utah unemployment benefit claim is denied?

If you disagree with a decision made on your claim, Utah unemployment laws guarantee the right to appeal. Appeals must be submitted in writing and should document the reasons you believe the claim decision is wrong. Appeals can be filed online at jobs.utah.gov/appeals, by fax to (801) 526- 9242, or by mail to Appeals Unit, P.O. Box 45244, Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0244.

When you appeal, a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge will be scheduled. To continue with the process, you are asked to immediately contact the Appeals Unit to confirm your attendance at the hearing and provide a contact number. If you do not contact the Appeals Unit to confirm your hearing participation the hearing will be cancelled. The hearing notice also includes important information on preparing for your hearing by collecting documentation and preparing witnesses to support your case.

It is important to continue filing weekly claims during the appeals process. Failure to do so may result in you not being paid for those weeks of unemployment even if the appeal decision goes in your favor.

How to Contact the Utah Unemployment Insurance Program?

You may contact DWS regarding your unemployment insurance benefits by email at dws_uihelp@utah.gov.

To check on the status of you claim, log in here.

To reach someone by phone for questions about UI benefits in general or your current claim, contact a Claims Center by calling the Utah unemployment phone number most applicable to you:

  • Counties of Salt Lake and Davis: (801) 526-4400
  • Counties of Weber and North Davis: (801) 612-0877
  • Utah County: (801) 375-4067
  • All others, toll free: (888)-848-9688
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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