These unemployment eligibility changes may benefit you


Determining if you are eligible for unemployment can be confusing. While there are federal rules, requirements also vary from state to state. Be sure to visit your state's official unemployment website for any additional information and clarification.

Head over to this page for state-specific information!

You typically qualify for unemployment benefits if:

  • You find yourself unemployed due to circumstances that were not your own fault.

  • You meet your state’s requirements for a “base period.” This means you have to have earned or worked a certain amount within a state-specified timeframe.

    ATTENTION: Due to COVID-19 and passage of The CARES Act, the federal government has changed some guidelines to allow states to pay benefits to people that previously would not have qualified.

Workers are now eligible in the following cases:

  • If an employer ceases operations, an employee can apply if they are prevented from working.

  • If an individual is quarantined with the intention of returning to work at the end of quarantine.

  • If an individual leaves employment to avoid exposure or to care for a family member.

And the following types of workers are now eligible:

  • Self-employed workers

  • 1099 independent contractors and gig workers

  • Workers with a limited work history – meaning, those who may not have fulfilled the “base period” requirements

    NOTE: The federal CARES Act also increases the weekly payment for all unemployed workers, and extends the length of time they can receive benefits. You can now get an additional $600 per week for up to six months. And if you are currently receiving benefits from your state, they can be extended for an additional 13 weeks.

What barriers are you facing with unemployment?