Unemployment Eligibility FAQ

The following possible scenarios show how the pandemic may affect unemployment benefit eligibility.

Note: Any pension, annuity, or retirement income you receive may affect how much you receive in unemployment benefits if you are eligible. If you get paid your regular pay or sick leave while you are out of work, you may not be eligible or it may affect how much you receive if you are.

Self-Quarantine (But Not Mandated)?

  • If you self-quarantine and do not have COVID-19, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits, even if you do not have enough paid sick, vacation, or other leave to cover your time off
  • If you self-quarantine without your employer’s permission and lose your job, you may not be eligible
  • If you self-quarantine and have COVID-19, you may be eligible

Employer-Ordered Quarantine?

  • If your employer sends you home and asks you to quarantine yourself for a specific period of time:
    • If your employer pays for your time off or allows you to use your accrued paid leave, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits
    • If your employer does not pay for your time off and you either do not have paid leave or do not have enough paid leave to cover the time off, you may be eligible

Government-Ordered Quarantine?

  • If you are quarantined by government order, you may be eligible

Sick Family Member?

  • If you stay home to care for a sick family member and lose your job:
    • You may be eligible if the family member is your minor child
    • You may not be eligible if the family member is an adult

Employer Closes Business?

  • If the employer closes the business indefinitely or permanently because of the pandemic and lays off all staff, you may be eligible
  • If your employer closes the business for a specific period of time and lays off staff during that time:
    • If the employer does not pay you during the business closure and does not allow you to use paid leave to cover the time off, you may be eligible
    • If the employer pays staff during the business closure, you may not be eligible
    • If you use paid leave to cover the specific period of time, you may not be eligible
    • If the employer pays you for unused paid time during the layoff, you may not be eligible

Employer Keeps Business Open But Lays Off Some Staff?

  • If the employer keeps the business open, but lays off some staff:
    • You may be eligible if you are laid off
    • If the employer pays you for unused paid leave time, you may not be eligible or your eligibility may be delayed

Employer Keeps Business Open But Reduces Staff Working Hours?

  • If the employer keeps the business open, but reduces staff working hours:
    • If you are placed on reduced hours, you may be eligible for partial unemployment

If you lose your job for reasons other than the pandemic, or if you need more information about unemployment eligibility, see Eligibility and Benefit Amounts.

Ready to apply? Logon to the Unemployment Benefits Services portal.

Someone completing an unemployment benefits form.