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Applying for Delaware Unemployment - Benefits

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Calculating Your Unemployment Benefits Claim Amount in Delaware


Your Delaware weekly unemployment benefits claim amount is calculated using your reported earnings in what is referred to as the base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.  Say you request federal unemployment benefits on June 15, 2016. You cannot claim the second quarter of 2016 because it is not completed. The last five completed quarters would be the first quarter of 2016 and all four quarters of 2015. Therefore, the base period for someone filing on June 15, 2016, is all four quarters of 2015.

The next step is to determine, from the base period, the two quarters in which you made the most money. If your quarterly earnings in 2015 were $5,000 in the first quarter, $6,000 in the second quarter, $5,500 in the third quarter, and $6,500 in the fourth quarter, the top two quarters would obviously be the second and fourth quarters. Add these two amounts. Then, find the range in Delaware that the amount falls within, and to the right of that number is your weekly benefit amount. In this example, $6,000 plus $6,500 equals $12,500, which corresponds to an approximate weekly benefit amount of $271.  Concerning how many weeks you will receive benefits when you claim unemployment benefits in Delaware, this is determined by the total wages in your entire base period. You are entitled to benefits totaling 50 percent of your base period wages or up to 26 weeks, whichever is less.  The benefit year commences on the Sunday of the first week in which you file an unemployment benefits claim and are found eligible for federal unemployment benefits. It continues for one calendar year.  If you draw all of your benefits for that year in the first 26 weeks, you cannot receive any additional DE weekly benefit payment within that benefit year.

Benefits cannot be paid in a second benefit year unless you received new employment, earned at least 10 times your new benefit amount, andmet all other eligibility requirements. There is also the possibility that you could receive an unemployment benefits extension if you have run through your regular unemployment insurance benefits, but this only occurs during a period of high unemployment. Extensions are covered in depth on our unemployment benefits extensionpage.It is important to note that a claimant will have to serve a single one-week waiting period every year that he or she claims unemployment benefits. The waiting period occurs right after a beneficiary is accepted, and it does not affect the claimant’s maximum benefit amount.

If you return to full-time work, your federal unemployment benefits stop on the first day you work, even if you do not receive any actual pay until a later date. You may be able to receive a partial payment for the week of re-employment, depending on the date when you were re-employed. However, you must indicate on your weekly claim request and report any gross wages earned during this benefit week. Once you have indicated on your weekly request that you have returned to work, you will be required to report to the local office to file an additional claim or re-open one online the next time you become unemployed or have your hours reduced.

You must re-open your unemployment benefits claim if you return to part-time work or are filing a claim for reduced hours and your weekly claim exceeds your earnings allowance. If you are working part-time or with reduced hours and you have a week in which no work is performed and no wages are payable, you will still need to re-open your claim in person or online. If you return to part-time work, you must continue to seek full-time employment, report all gross earnings, and meet all eligibility requirement