How to Apply for Unemployment in Kansas

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Kansas workers impacted by COVID-19 can turn to unemployment for support.

Kansas workers impacted by COVID-19 can turn to unemployment for support.

Kansas workplaces are shutting down to contain the spread of COVID-19, posing a serious threat to the financial security of thousands of workers. The good news is that many of those impacted can claim unemployment to help cover their expenses until things get back to normal.

This brief guide explains everything you need to know about Kansas unemployment, including how to apply and how much you'll get.

Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

Kansas workers must meet the following requirements in order to receive unemployment benefits:

  1. You've lost your income or have had your hours significantly reduced through no fault of your own.
  2. You're willing to work, and are actively seeking work (see note below).
  3. Your past earnings meet certain standards.

Those unemployed due to COVID-19 are eligible for benefits. During the pandemic, maintaining contact with your current employer counts toward fulfillment of work-search requirements.

Kansas looks at your earnings during a base period -- the first four of the five most recently completed quarters. That's October 2018 to September 2019 for those who apply in March, and January to December 2019 for those who apply in April.

You must have earned at least $3,660 during your base period, and have earned some income in at least two quarters during the base period to qualify for unemployment benefits.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

Apply for benefits by creating an account on the Kansas Department of Labor website. You'll need the following information:

  • Your Social Security number or Alien Registration Number
  • Your address, including your county
  • Your phone number
  • The name and mailing address of your last employer
  • The dates you began and stopped working for your employer
  • Your driver's license number
  • Details of any separation, vacation, or holiday pay you have received or will receive
  • Bank account information for direct deposits

You must file weekly claims in order to receive benefits. Kansas has waived the typical one-week waiting period in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How much money will I receive in unemployment benefits?

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) will be somewhere between $122 and $488 per week. It's 4.25% of your income from the highest quarter of your base period. You can use the benefits calculator on the Kansas Department of Labor website to estimate your weekly checks.

How long can I collect unemployment benefits?

Kansas workers are currently able to claim unemployment benefits for up to 16 weeks, assuming they don't find other employment in the meantime. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 29 weeks.

What if my unemployment claim is denied?

You'll receive a Notice of Determination in the mail after you apply. If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal within 16 days of the date listed on the notice. Follow the instructions on the form to do this.

The next few months are probably going to be difficult for a lot of people, but you should take advantage of unemployment if you're able to. It'll give you one less thing to worry about.

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