Unemployment Benefits FAQ
Must I have earned a certain amount at my last job to collect unemployment?
4. Must I have earned a certain amount at my last job to collect unemployment?
Yes, in most states. Some states also have work requirements (that is, you must have worked for your previous employer for a certain period of time to be eligible for unemployment). Most states require applicants for unemployment to meet a minimum earnings threshold during the "base period": a one-year period made up of the earliest four of the last five complete calendar quarters of the year before you apply for benefits. For more information on the base period, earnings requirements, and work requirements, see Nolo's article Unemployment Compensation: Understanding the Base Period.