What basic eligibility requirements do I need to meet in order to qualify for benefits?
This list does not include all of the eligibility requirements. Your eligibility is determined based on your specific situation. In order to qualify for UI benefits you must:
- Be partially or totally unemployed through no fault of your own
- Be actively looking for work, unless we've told you otherwise.
- Have sufficient wages in the base period (look back period) to establish monetary eligibility
- Be mentally and physically able to work
- Be legally authorized to work in the United States
- Be able to work and available to accept new work
- Be registered at NEworks.nebraska.gov and have an online, searchable resume in NEworks (If filing from another state, you must also register for employment services in the state of your residence).
What is the Minimum Earnings Requirement to qualify for benefits?
In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the minimum wages requirement from insured work during the base period (time period of employment used to evaluate your claim). For 2023, the minimum wages requirement is $4,891. The minimum wages requirement is adjusted annually. You must also have been paid at least $1,850 in one quarter of the base period and $800 in another quarter. Wages must be earned from employers required to pay unemployment insurance taxes (insured employers).
Can I attend school or training and receive benefits?
If you are regularly attending school as a full-time student, you may be disqualified from benefits unless you were a student at the time you earned the majority of the wages in your base period. An exception may apply if you are enrolled in a training program which has been approved by the Commissioner of Labor. Learn more at https://www.dol.nebraska.gov/UIBenefits/Programs/APT
What if I'm sick, injured or otherwise unable to work?
You must be able to work four or more days of the week in order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You are not considered able and available if circumstances such as lack of transportation, childcare problems, family care issues, sickness, injury or incarceration would prevent you from working.
What if I'm on a leave of absence?
Unemployment benefits cannot be paid for weeks in which the worker is on a leave of absence.
What if I'm a school employee on a scheduled summer break?
If you are employed for or on behalf of an educational institution, benefits (based on wages earned from educational institutions) may be denied between terms and/or during regularly scheduled breaks.
I had an unemployment claim last year and want to refile this year. Will I be eligible?
Under Nebraska law, you cannot receive benefits on ‘back-to-back’ unemployment claims unless you have worked in insured employment since you filed your prior claim and earned at least six times the previous weekly benefit amount. Your new claim must meet both the minimum monetary requirements and the requalification requirement. Otherwise, your claim will be considered monetarily ineligible.