Being unemployed is a very difficult situation to be in. Balancing looking for another job and staying on top of your financial obligations can be hard. Applying for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits is usually very helpful in not just paying your daily bills but also finding a new job. In Idaho, you can do this by applying through the Idaho Department of Labor.

How to Qualify for Unemployment

You have to meet monetary and personal requirements to be eligible for unemployment in Idaho. In order to meet the monetary requirement, you need to have earned at least $1,872 during two quarters of your base period, which is defined as four quarters of earning. Additionally, the total amount of payment during your base period must be 1 and a quarter times higher than the highest amount you made in one quarter.

The personal requirements that you must satisfy are being able to work (no illness or disability), available to work, and actively looking for a job. You also cannot be out of work because of your own fault. This means that, if you quit your job, you can only qualify for unemployment benefits if you had a good reason quitting that was related to your job. Similarly, if you were laid off or fired, then you cannot have been let go because of your misconduct. 

How to Apply for Unemployment

As soon as you are facing full or partial unemployment, you should apply for unemployment benefits. You can only file for unemployment online at the Idaho Department of Labor's Claimant Portal. If you do not have a computer, you can go to a local Idaho Department of Labor office and they will help you apply.

To file for unemployment benefits, you will have to have your social security number and your driver's license, or your Alien Registration number and card if you are not a citizen; the name, address and phone numbers of every place you have worked for the last 2 years; the total earnings from those jobs; the days you started and stopped working; and the reason why you are not working. If you were in the military, you need to show your DD Form 214, Member 4, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Finally, if you are now living outside of Idaho, then you have to list the county you lived in when you were working in Idaho.

If you were on unemployment benefits, went off of it and need to go back on it, then you can restart a claim online. However, you can only do this if you have not have exhausted your unemployment benefits.

How Long Does Unemployment Last?

Even though you have completed your application and have been approved to receive unemployment insurance, you still need to wait for a week before you are given benefits. Once you begin receiving unemployment, you can receive it for 26 weeks. You have one full year to collect these benefits, so if you start and then stop and then restart, you do not have to reapply as long as it happens during the same year.

While you are on unemployment, you have to fill out a weekly certification asserting that you are still able to work and are currently looking for work. Additionally, you must make 2 work contacts every week and keep a detailed log about what you are doing to look for work. You also have to remain in the area you are living at the time you file for unemployment insurance benefits, unless you leave the area to look for work.

What Can I Do If I Run Out of Unemployment?

If, at the end of the 26 weeks, you are still unemployed, you can ask for extended benefits. However, you can only get these benefits when the overall unemployment rate in Idaho is extraordinarily high.

Just because you are no longer eligible for unemployment insurance does not mean you are unable to still seek other forms of assistance. While you are unemployed, the local Idaho Department of Labor office will help you find employment by setting you up in job search workshops, assisting you in procuring an apprenticeship, providing you with retraining opportunities, and offering other methods of aid.

What Can I Do If My Application Is Denied?

If you do not get approved for unemployment benefits, you can appeal that decision within 14 days with the Appeals Bureau of the Idaho Department of Labor. With this appeal, you can bring witnesses and show evidence to an appeals examiner, who will determine whether to confirm the denial or grant benefits. If the appeals examiner also denies your application, then you can appeal to the Idaho Industrial Commission, but you have to do it in 14 days. Finally, if you are still denied, then you can take the matter to court.

Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?

Filing an unemployment claim can be very important to a family or individual who is out of work. You should reach out to an Idaho employment lawyer to assist you in the process, especially if your claim is rejected.