Kentucky Unemployment Eligibility Information

How to Qualify for Unemployment in Kentucky

Residents of Kentucky who would like to learn about how to qualify for unemployment should first familiarize themselves with the qualifications for unemployment. By understanding who qualifies for unemployment applicants will be better prepared to file an unemployment claim. The state of Kentucky requires that applicants are terminated due to objective business reasons in order to hold eligibility for EDD (Employment Development Department). The qualifications for unemployment are based on both the applicant’s reason for unemployment and their current ability to seek out new employment.

To gain a better understanding of how to qualify for unemployment in Kentucky, review the following sections:

•    Who qualifies for Unemployment
•    Qualifications for Unemployment in Kentucky

Who Qualifies for Unemployment

Unemployed residents of Kentucky must fall under the qualifications for unemployment in order to be considered for benefits. Most qualification factors depend on the reason why the applicant is currently unemployed as well as their current capability to seek out new employment. Kentucky applicants who qualify for unemployment must: 

  • Have earned at least a minimum amount in wages before becoming unemployed.
  • Be terminated through no fault of their own, as defined by Kentucky law
  • Be able and available to work and actively seeking employment
  • Have earned at least $750 in one quarter of the base period.
  • Have earned at least $750 outside of their highest paid of the base period.
  • Have earned at least 1.5 times their wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period
  • Have wages in the last two quarters of the base period that are at least eight times the weekly benefit amount. 

Kentucky does allow some exceptions to these qualification requirements. If an applicant is temporarily unable to take on full time work due to an illness or injury, being forced to move or relocate due to domestic violence or is currently supplying full-time care to a sick or disabled family member, he or she may still hold eligibility for EDD

The state of Kentucky does not grant exceptions to those who are unable to seek full time or part time employment due to incarceration or legal restrictions. 

If an applicant is approved to collect unemployment, he or she must continue to maintain eligibility for unemployment by following the required rules and regulations. Approved applicants must continue to file biweekly claims either online or over the phone. Applicants must also keep record of the names, contact information, and locations where work applications were submitted in order to prove that they are continuing to seek out employment. 

If an applicant is offered suitable employment in Kentucky, he or she must accept the job and discontinue receiving unemployment benefits. The state of Kentucky considers suitable employment any position that matches the experience or training of the applicant and offers realistic wages and suitable working conditions for the position. 

Kentucky’s guidelines and requirements have been set in place in order to ensure that those who hold unemployment insurance eligibility are able to receive benefits. In cases of wrongful termination, the applicant will almost always fall under the qualifications for unemployment, and must contact the unemployment office to amend the issue.  

Qualifications for Unemployment in Kentucky

Who qualifies for unemployment? Unemployment applicants must be unemployed due to no fault of their own. Acceptable reasons for unemployment in the state of Kentucky include:

  • Being laid off as a result of reduction-in-force (RIF), or “downsizing” in the workplace because of economic reasons. 
  • Being fired due to a lack of skills needed to perform the job or were found to not be a good fit.
  • Having to quit your job as a direct result of unavoidable circumstances, such as a personal disability or illness that prevented you from properly performing your job, dangerous work conditions, sexual harassment, or the illegal withholding of wages.

Reasons that may disqualify an applicant from collecting unemployment include:

  • Being fired due to blatant disregard for your employer’s interests.
  • Willful misconduct in the work place.
  • Breaking office rules or the standard of behavior. 
  • Being unable to perform assigned work duties due to the use of drugs or alcohol. 
  • Theft (exceeding a value of $25) or the intentional abuse or damage of work place property. 

In some cases, unemployment benefits may be delayed instead of being denied. For example, an applicant who has willingly quit their job may be unable to collect unemployment benefits for the first six weeks of unemployment but can be eligible to collect during the remaining 20 weeks. The final decision of who qualifies for unemployment will come down to the information provided by the applicant’s employer.

If the applicant has a sudden change of employment status and has taken on part-time or full-time employment, he or she is responsible for contacting the Kentucky unemployment insurance claim center. If the applicant fails to inform the local unemployment office of any employment changes, he or she can be accused of committing fraud and withholding information in order to obtain benefits.

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