If I am monetarily eligible (I have the required wages in my base period), will I receive benefits?

It depends. Monetarily eligibility means that you have earned enough wages to start a claim. Like with other types of insurance, you must also be personally eligible to qualify for payments.

» Read more about monetary eligibility requirements

What makes me personally eligible for benefits?

Each week you claim, you must meet requirements to be personally eligible for payment. These requirements are:

  1. You Are Able to Work

    You must be physically and mentally able to work full time.

    Tell us if you cannot work because of illness, injury or any other condition. Most health problems won’t affect your claim if you are looking for the type of full-time work you can do.

  2. You Are Available for Work

    You must be ready to go to work.

    You must be willing to accept both full-time and part-time work for the hours and locations in which the job is done.

    Availability for work is very important. You must arrange childcare, a way to get to work and other personal needs that might stop you from working. You must also stay in your work-seeking area.

  3. You Are Actively Seeking Work

    You must look for full-time work each week.

    Follow the work-seeking instructions you get when you apply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. If you have a Work Seeking status, you must contact 2 employers each week.

    Keep a personal record of your job contacts. This must include:

    • Employer name.
    • Employer contact information (address and phone number).
    • Name of contact.
    • Date of contact.
    • Next steps for employment.

    Keep looking for work as long as you are unemployed. If you can’t find your normal kind of work, look for any other kind of work you can do. Expand your work search and don’t contact the same employer every week. You may have to accept lower pay or search in other locations for a job.

    If you are job attached, you must maintain contact with your employer and return as soon as work becomes available. Tell us if you can no longer return to work for an attached employer or union.

    The local office can help you find work. Ask us how or go to IdahoWorks.

  4. You Are Out of Work Through No Fault of Your Own

    You must not be at fault for being unemployed to get UI benefits.

    You must have been laid off due to lack of work, quit with good cause or been fired but not for misconduct. If your reason for job loss is other than lack of work, we will investigate. Idaho Labor will send you a written decision about your personal eligibility.

Can I quit my job and collect benefits?

No, but there are exceptions. If you chose to leave a job, you won’t be eligible for benefits unless you left with good cause. This may happen because of changes in your employment.

To be considered good cause, your reason for leaving must relate to wages, hours or working conditions of the job. Good cause reasons may include:

  • Your employer broke your employment agreement.
  • The job poorly affects your health or worsens a medical condition.

In most cases, you must have told your employer about the problem and tried to fix it before quitting. You’ll have to prove you had good cause for leaving. Medical documentation may be needed.

I was just fired. Can I collect unemployment insurance benefits?

Possibly. You can collect UI benefits if you were fired through no fault of your own. If your employer can prove you were fired for work-related misconduct, you will be denied benefits.

Does pregnancy affect my eligibility?

No. Your pregnancy doesn’t affect your UI benefits. If you are ready, willing, able and actively seeking work, you may qualify for benefits.

Can I attend school or training and receive unemployment insurance benefits?

Yes. If you are still able to work full time while attending school or training, you may be eligible for UI benefits. You may also qualify if your class is Director approved or funded by WIOA or TAA/NAFTA.

For more information about these programs, call your local Labor office.

If I am receiving benefits, what could stop or deny them?

There are many reasons your benefits payments could be stopped or denied. If an issue comes up, Idaho Labor will investigate. Continue to file weekly certifications while you wait for a decision, or your payments will be delayed even longer.

Some of these issues that might stop your benefits include:

  • You quit a job without good cause.
  • You were fired from a job because of job-related misconduct.
  • You miss or refuse suitable work. You can’t get benefits if you refuse a job for which you are qualified and pays a common wage.
  • You are unable to work. You must show that you are able and actively seeking work to qualify for benefits.
  • You leave the local labor market. You must be present to take an available job or you will lose benefits.
  • You attend school. If taking classes stops you from accepting work, you will be denied benefits. File a claim again when you are available for full-time work.
  • You are in jail or prison. You won’t get benefits until you are available and actively seeking work again.
  • You fail to seek work or report your work search contacts.
  • You fail to give information Idaho Labor needs to pay you benefits.
  • You fail to contact an Idaho Labor office when asked to do so.
  • You fail to take reemployment eligibility tests or help as needed.
  • You make a false statement or withhold information to get benefits.
  • You earn enough or aren’t available because of self-employment work.
  • You are unemployed due to a strike in which you are actively involved.

If I was denied, how do I requalify?

If you were denied benefits, you may requalify in some cases. You may requalify if:

  • You return to work, earn at least 14 times your weekly benefit amount and become unemployed again through no fault of your own.
  • You are willing to work part time while looking for full-time work. You must have transportation that can get you to work and care for your dependents so that you can accept suitable work. You can’t put unreasonable limits on the work you’ll accept. For example, you can’t demand higher pay than is normal for the area.
  • You contact Idaho Labor and take care of the issues causing the denial. You will be denied for each week you fail to contact the office.
  • You attend planned re-employment events, interviews or assessments.
  • You repay any overpayment. In cases of fraud, you must wait 52 weeks and repay all overpayments, including penalties and interest.
  • You continue searching for work and report valid work search contacts.

I was denied benefits because of the separation with my employer. Can I use self-employment earnings to requalify?

Yes. Proof of self-employment income can usually be used to requalify. If you are eligible for Extended Benefits, you must requalify with wages earned from an employer other than yourself.

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