How do I establish eligibility?
To qualify for unemployment benefits, the following four key factors must be met:
- You are totally or partially unemployed at the time you file your application. If you performed no service for your employer, and no earnings or income are payable to you during the week you apply for benefits, you are totally unemployed. If your employer lets you go before the end of your usual work week, or reduces your work hours to less than your full-time work week AND you earn less than the unemployment weekly benefit amount, you may be partially unemployed and eligible for benefits.
If you file your application during 2015, you must have an average weekly wage (before taxes or other deductions) of at least $237 during the base period. This amount changes each year and applies to the year in which you file your application - not the year in which you worked.
The average weekly wage is determined by dividing your total wages for all qualifying weeks in the base period by the total number qualifying weeks. For example: If
you had $32,000 in total wages and 32 qualifying weeks, then $32,000 divided by 32 = $1,000 average weekly wage.
What is covered employment ?
Most employers are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes to ODJFS throughout the year (even if none of their workers are claiming unemployment benefits). Some other employers, such as certain nonprofit or government agencies, must pay ODJFS back for the cost of unemployment benefits paid to their former workers. Work for such employers is called "covered employment" because it is covered by unemployment insurance. However, not all work is covered employment. For example, if you worked for a small family business or religious organization, the employment may not be covered.