Published in: Banks | April 6, 2020

How to Apply for Unemployment in Nebraska

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Here's everything you need to know about securing unemployment benefits in Nebraska.

The Nebraska state flag flying in front of a sunny sky.

Image source: Getty Images

If you've experienced coronavirus-related cuts to your income, you're not alone. Before you drain your savings account, consider that you might qualify for unemployment benefits in Nebraska, even if you don't think you will.

States are implementing various sources of financial relief in light of COVID-19, including additional unemployment benefits and loosened eligibility requirements. However, you'll want to apply as soon as possible because processing times are lengthy.

Here's what you need to know to apply for unemployment in Nebraska.

Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

If you want to qualify for unemployment benefits in Nebraska, you'll need to meet these requirements.

  • You must have worked in Nebraska for the past 12 to 18 months.
  • You must meet the minimum earnings requirement explained below.
  • You've become unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You must be able and available to work and actively seeking employment; however, this requirement has changed in light of COVID-19 (see below).

During the COVID-19 crisis, the state of Nebraska no longer requires you to be able and available to work and actively seeking employment. You may be eligible for benefits if you're unable to work for reasons related to the novel coronavirus, which can include your work closing or limiting hours, having to quarantine, or caring for a family member or child who is ill or home from school. The requirement that you be actively seeking employment is also waived temporarily, as job seeking doesn't fall in line with social distancing measures.

As of early April, these requirements will only be waived on claims that are filed before May 2, 2020, so file as early as possible.

To meet the earnings requirement, you must have made at least $4,324 during your base period, or the period of employment used in your claim. You must have also earned at least $1,850 in one quarter of that base period, and at least $800 in another. The base period is typically the first four of the last five completed quarters before you applied for unemployment insurance.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

You can apply for unemployment benefits by creating an NEworks account with the Nebraska Department of Labor and filing a claim online.

You will need to provide your Social Security number. You'll also be asked to provide proof of income from the most recent completed tax year, which will help determine your benefit amount. You can use tax forms, pay stubs, W-2 forms, and other forms of proof. 

If you're approved, you must continue to file a weekly claim in order to receive unemployment benefits.

How much money will I receive in unemployment benefits?

The amount you receive through unemployment insurance will depend on your previous wages. For 2020, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Nebraska is $440. 

However, the recently-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will give an additional $600 per week to all people who qualify for unemployment insurance from now until July 31.

How long can I collect unemployment benefits?

In Nebraska, you're typically able to collect unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks during a 12-month period. Under the CARES Act, though, that period has been extended by an additional 13 weeks, so you'll now be able to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.

What if my unemployment claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. You have 20 days to file a letter of appeal explaining why you disagree with the decision. Be sure to include your signature and Social Security number.

COVID-19 has caused record numbers of job losses, but there are also jobs in demand because of the pandemic. As you wade through tricky financial decisions, don't hesitate to reach for financial support when needed.

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