Did you recently lose your job in Delaware? If so, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits, which are available to employees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own. Although the basic rules for unemployment are similar across the board, the eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details vary from state to state. Below you’ll find information on collecting unemployment in Delaware.
In Delaware, the Division of Unemployment Insurance handles unemployment benefits and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits in Delaware:
• You must have earned at least a minimum amount in wages before you were unemployed.
• You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by Delaware law.
• You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year "base period" to determine your eligibility for unemployment. (For more information, see Nolo's article, Unemployment Compensation: Understanding the Base Period). In Delaware, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. For example, if you file your claim in September of 2015, the base period would be from April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015.
To qualify for benefits in Delaware, you must have earned at least 36 times your weekly benefit amount during the entire base period.
In Delaware, as in other states, you must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
To keep collecting unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to work, and looking for employment. (For more information, see Nolo's article, Collecting Unemployment: Are You Able, Available, and Actively Seeking Work?) If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. In Delaware, whether work is suitable will depend on your work history, training, education, and skills.
You must make a reasonable effort to secure work, including at least one job contact each week. You must keep track of your job contacts in a work search log, which may be audited at any time by the Division.
If you are eligible to receive unemployment, your weekly benefit rate is the total amount you earned during the two highest paid quarters of the base period, divided by 46. The current minimum benefit is $20 per week; the current maximum is $330 per week.
You may receive benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. (In times of very high unemployment, additional weeks of benefits may be available.)
You may file your claim for unemployment benefits online or at a local unemployment office. You can find online filing information, as well as addresses of local offices where you can file in person, at the website of the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance.
After you file, you will receive a package of paperwork, including a monetary determination stating the wages reported by all of your employers during your base period and your potential weekly benefit amount.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you have ten days to file an appeal. A hearing will be conducted before an appeals referee, where you will be able to present evidence and witness testimony. The referee will then issue a decision on your appeal and send it to you by mail.
If you disagree with the referee’s decision, you may appeal it within ten days to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. If you disagree with the Board’s decision, you may file an appeal in court.
For more information on the unemployment process, including current eligibility requirements and benefits amounts, visit the Division of Unemployment Insurance website.