Find Out Who Is Ineligible to Collect Unemployment Benefits

Types of Workers Excluded From Unemployment Benefits

Are Changes Afoot?

Considering the staggering number of unemployed Americans it’s even more shocking to consider the volume of unemployed workers ineligible to collect unemployment benefits based on various state UI rules. Here are some situations that could make you ineligible for state unemployment benefits.

Keep in mind, though that many states are taking heat for shutting out so many unemployed workers. In response more than a few are in the process of making revisions to their UIB eligibility rules. And you can always try using your state UIB appeals process.

Ineligible Part-Time Workers

As we’ve covered here again and again, every state has its own particular guidelines for unemployment insurance collection. If you’re laid off from a part-time job the assumption often is that you’re not eligible to file for your state’s unemployment benefits. This may or may not be the case, again due in large part to variables such as your state UI guidelines, the wages you were earning prior to lay-off, and more.

For example, in Colorado you may be eligible to receive benefits when laid off from a part-time job if you are only able to work part-time and have earned 60% of your wage “credits” during the base period.(1)  Expect to have to dig through some of your state’s official legalese to find out if part-timers qualify.

Workers Who Don’t Earn Enough to Qualify for UI Benefits

In Colorado if you are laid off from your job and you didn’t earn $2500 during your base period you are ineligible for unemployment benefits as the rules read right now. But here is a state with rather strict UIB regulations that is making attempts to adjust its eligibility rules to embrace more of its laid-off and hurting population.(2)

But Colorado is not alone with a minimum earned clause in its UIB rules. Check with your state UIB office and stay up to date with current revisions to state unemployment eligibility rules.

Workers Laid Off From New Jobs

In some states you could be ineligible for unemployment benefits if you were laid-off from a new job, employed for less than 6 months before your lay-off, or laid-off from a job that you started during your base period. This could also fall under a common state eligibility rule that requires you have earned a certain amount of wages during the base period to qualify for unemployment compensation. If you don’t find the answer to this question on your state website, call the inquiry hotline, but be prepared for a long wait time.

State Appeals Processes

You are welcome to appeal most unemployment decisions that go against your favor, but some states are much more lenient than others. Common appeals include: you quit your job, you were fired from your job, you didn’t earn enough money during your base period, you were employed less than 6 months prior to a lay-off. Visit your state Department of Labor and unemployment insurance website for particulars on your state’s appeal process.  Some states may allow you to appeal online or in writing,some may require you to request a special unemployment appeal hearing.


Maybe We Can Help: 

If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert.


# Esther H 2010-10-22 20:14
If I was working for 5 yrs with my employer 40 hrs a week and now I have been cut to 32 hrs and sometimes 24 hrs a week. Do I qualify for employment benefits.
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# Thelma 2010-10-28 17:47
i received a letter stating i was not ineligible for unemployment benefits. Does that mean i will ont be receiving benefits and will it make a difference if i appeal?
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# dayne r 2010-12-04 03:46
I'm currently collecting benefits right now in california.. I didn't send my lastest claim form in the allotted time frame and now they sent me a form scheduling a phone interview regarding my eligibility. When I have my interview, what can I say to them so I will still be eligiable? What should I not say?
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# giligain 2010-12-11 19:03
You should say, "My bad." And then pray to your God for mercy in the matter, and that He intervene.
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# shane 2011-01-19 23:18
I am in new hampshire and am curious what (base period) means? can i find the qualifications from new hampshire anywhere online?
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# Aaron 2011-02-04 04:21
I started work with a prior criminal record worked for two years no diciplinary action only missed one day. called in sick because was being questioned by police and was not going to make it first time in two years. two days later boss finds out i was being questioned by police about an asult between two men not me and i am fired on spot because interaction with police. will i gget my benniffits
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# Alex 2011-09-15 15:04
I work two part-time jobs, as a nanny, for two different families, in two different locations. I am eligible for unemployment benefits?
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# rhonda 2011-10-04 12:28
my nephew was convicted of a felony. But he served his time, and has been out for a while and has been working. His employer closed it door.. He said someone at DES in arizona (where he lives) told him felons cannot qualify for unemployment. Is this true?
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# Randy 2011-10-05 11:30
I was put out of work by doctors 5 years ago. Am I eligible for Unemployment compensation?
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# Doris 2011-11-01 23:31
i received a letter stating i was not ineligible for unemployment benefits. Does this mean i will not be receiving benefits?
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# Jenny 2011-12-09 21:46
If I am laid off and then find another job as a consultant w/o benefits: Is there a certain time frame that I have to go back to my original unemployment benefits to collect? When does the most current employer status kick in to action and cancel my previous employer benefits? Are there any $ issues also with my current pay to collect the original benefits?
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# kert 2012-01-10 10:08
can i collect unemployment benefit if i work in a deferent state that i live
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# Cindy 2012-02-28 18:41
Is it legal for someone to collect unemployment benefits while traveling to another state for pleasure for eight weeks?
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# nanna 2012-05-18 03:48
the company i woked for was bought out by another company, and the new company went threw the plant and pulled hair samples from the whole plant they said that the hair goes back for 1yr. and i know i smoked weed about7 or 8 months ago and they called me and said the hair tested positve for thc so i quit before they fired me but i know i haven't smoked any weed in 7 or 8 months so can i apply for UIB
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# pat 2012-06-01 12:40
I previously quit my job but was recently laid off from a temporary job would i now be eligible for unemployment.
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# Nathaniel 2013-01-08 00:18
I have worked as a contractor in Afghanistan for two years and it is ending. Prior to it I have servered 22 years in the military then worked six years for Columbus Georgia City Government followed by four years as a contractor on Ft. Bening, Georgia. Am I able to qualify for unemployment when I return to the States while pursuing a job?
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# Randall 2013-02-03 22:06

I was a classified a temporary part time employee in back to back job offer letters. After nearly 20 months of non interrupted service w/benefits I was laid off the end of January 2013. The offer letter stated April 2013. Am I eligible for unemployment?

Thank You
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