What is the Minimum Earnings Requirement to qualify for benefits?
A: In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the minimum earnings requirement from insured work during the base period (time period of employment used to evaluate your claim). For 2020, the minimum earnings requirement is $4,324. The minimum earnings requirement is adjusted annually. In addition to meeting the minimum earnings requirement, 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). NESL: 48-627(5)(b)
What Is Adjudication?
A: Adjudication is the process used to resolve questions regarding eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. Your claim may be referred to an adjudicator if there are questions about why you left your job or whether you are able and available for work. Other issues may also prompt a claim to be referred to an adjudicator.
I was fired from my job. Will I be eligible?
A: If a person is discharged from a job for misconduct, a disqualification is assessed for the week of the discharge plus 14 weeks, as determined by the Nebraska Department of Labor. In cases of misconduct, the burden of proof is on the employer. The employer must prove that an employee was discharged for acts or omissions that 1) damaged the employer's interest in relation to the employment; 2) the employee knew or reasonably should have known were contrary to the employer's interests; and 3) were willful or within the employee's control. Maximum benefits payable may also be reduced when a disqualification is assessed. NESL: 48-628(2)
If a person is discharged for misconduct not considered to be willful and flagrant or unlawful, but which included being under the influence of any intoxicating beverage or being under the influence of any controlled substance not prescribed by a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, and when the person is under the influence on the work site or while engaged in work for the employer, then the disqualification includes a cancellation of wages from the employer. NESL: 48-628(2)
If a person is discharged due to an act or omission that is willful and flagrant or unlawful, that individual does not qualify for benefits on wages earned prior to the date of the act. NESL: 48-628(2)
I just quit my job. Will I be eligible?
A: In Nebraska, good cause for quitting includes but is not limited to the conditions of work, compelling health reasons, or quitting to escape spousal abuse. If the Nebraska Department of Labor determines that a person has quit a job without good cause, maximum benefits payable may be reduced when a disqualification is assessed and the disqualified individual will be ineligible for benefits until they meet the following requalification requirements:
• Returned to insured work,
• Earned at least four times the claim’s weekly benefit amount, and
• Separated from the most recent employer under non-disqualifying conditions Neb.Rev.Stat 48-628.12
I refused a job offer. Will I be eligible for benefits?
A: You may be disqualified for 12 weeks for failing to accept an offer of suitable employment or failure to accept a Nebraska Department of Labor Employment Service referral. Suitability is determined by considering a person’s training and experience and the conditions in the labor market. Maximum benefits payable may also be reduced when a disqualification is assessed. NESL: 48-628(3)
Can I attend school or training and receive benefits?
A: 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. NESL: 48-628(7)
What if I'm sick, injured or otherwise unable to work?
A: 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 or injury would prevent you from working. You are not considered available for work if you are in jail four or more days during the week. Claiming benefits while incarcerated is fraud and may result in criminal prosecurtion. 219 NAC 4; NESL: 48-627(3); NESL: 48-663
What if I'm on a leave of absence?
A: To receive unemployment benefits, you must be completely separated from your employer or working reduced hours. A leave of absence is not a complete separation from employment. As generally defined, a leave of absence is a mutual agreement between the employee and employer. The employee is not separated and does not report for work for a mutually agreed upon time period.
The Nebraska Employment Security Law requires a disqualification from benefits for any week in which the individual is on a leave of absence. NESL: 48-602; NESL: 48-628; 219 NAC 8
What if I'm a school employee on a scheduled summer break?
A: 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. NESL: 48-628(8)
I had an unemployment claim last year and want to refile this year. Will I be eligible?
A: Under Nebraska law, you cannot receive benefits on ‘back-to-back’ unemployment claims unless you have worked in insured employment since the effective date of 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.
I received a notice to report for reemployment services. Do I have to go?
A: If you receive a notice that you have been selected for the reemployment services program (NEres), you are required to take part in this program in order to remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. NESL: 48-627(6)
Can individuals who are not U.S. citizens receive benefits?
A: Yes. To receive unemployment benefits, non-citizen applicants must establish that they were in satisfactory immigration status and authorized to work in the United States when earning the wages used to establish their claim. When filing for benefits, be prepared to provide your employment authorization number and expiration date.
Who pays for unemployment insurance benefits?
A: Benefits are paid from the Nebraska State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The fund is supported solely by a special tax on employers. No deductions are taken from employees’ paychecks for unemployment insurance.