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Kentucky Unemployment

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was created to help individuals financially while they find a job.

In order to be eligible to receive UI benefits, individuals must comply with several requirements.


To be considered “eligible,” an individual must:

  • Have sufficient earned wages.
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Be able to work.
  • Register for work with the Office of Employment and Training (OET).
  • Accept referrals from OET to suitable employment.
  • Participate in other reemployment services and case management.
  • Seek employment on your own.
  • Accept suitable employment when offered.


You will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Mailing address

You also need information regarding your job(s):

  • Name, address and phone number for each of your employers over the last 18 months
  • The exact day you began work at each job
  • The last day you worked at each job

Filing a Claim

You can apply for UI benefits online using the KEWES Internet claim system.

To file a claim online, visit: http://www.kewes.ky.gov/.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can visit your local office or One-Stop Center. For locations, visit: http://www.oet.ky.gov/.

Claimants who do not have access to the Internet or who speak Spanish can call 502-875-0442. This is not a toll-free number. 

*The Voice Response Unit (VRU) has a new number to request UI weeks. Call 877-369-5984.


After filing your initial claim, you will receive a notice over the mail. This document will state if your claim is “allowed” or “denied.” The decision will be based upon the amount of earnings reported in your base period.

Continued Eligibility

You must file biweekly claims to keep receiving UI benefits. You can file biweekly claims online or over the phone.

To file online, use the KEWES Internet claim system at: http://www.kewes.ky.gov/.

To file over the phone, call 1-866-291-2926. Use a touch-tone phone service.

*The Voice Response Unit (VRU) has a new number to request UI weeks. Call 877-369-5984.

Combined Wage or Interstate Claim

If you worked in another state during your base period, you may be able to file a Combined Wage or Interstate Claim. The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training can help you file a claim against another state or ask the other state to send your wage credits to Kentucky. If you wish to file, please visit your local office.

To find a local Kentucky Career Center, visit: http://www.oet.ky.gov/.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is a federal extension given to individuals who have exhausted all regular Kentucky reemployment assistance benefits.

For more information, call the Office of Employment and Training at 1-800-648-6057.

Trade Adjustment Assistance

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provides assistance to workers who have been totally or partially separated from their jobs because of increased foreign imports or exports. If you believe you qualify for this assistance, visit your local office.

For federal military and civilian unemployment, please visit the Kentucky UI Handbook, page four at: http://www.oet.ky.gov/des/pubs/ui/pamui400.pdf.

What happens if I’m fired, laid off or if I quit?

You must report if you are fired, quit your job or refuse work to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, so a determination of eligibility for UI benefits can be made.

When you file a claim, your employer will be mailed a “Notice of Filing” to verify the reason you have stated as to why you are no longer working. The Department will have the final say regarding your eligibility for benefits.

There is no penalty or reduction in Unemployment Insurance benefits if you are laid off.