Did you recently lose your job in Nevada? If so, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits: compensation 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 Nevada.
In Nevada, the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) 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 Nevada:
• 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 Nevada 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 Nevada, 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 June of 2015, the base period would be from April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015.
To qualify for benefits in Nevada, you must have earned at least $400 during your highest paid quarter of the base period. In addition, you must meet one of the following two requirements:
• Your total earnings during the base period must be at least one-and-a-half times your earnings during the highest paid quarter.
• You must have earned some wages in at least three of the four quarters of the base period.
In Nevada, as in other states, you must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Layoffs. If you were laid off, lost your job in a reduction-in-force (RIF), or got "downsized" for economic reasons, you will meet this requirement.
Firing. If you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or simply weren't a good fit, you won’t necessarily be barred from receiving benefits. However, if you were fired for misconduct relating to your job, you won’t be eligible for benefits. If, for example, you deliberately disregarded your employer’s reasonable rules or policies, or you were so careless on the job as to demonstrate a substantial disregard of your employer’s interests or your job duties, you will be disqualified. You will be disqualified for a longer time period if you were fired for criminal activity in connection with your job.
Quitting. If you quit your job, you won't be eligible for unemployment benefits unless you had good cause. In general, good cause means that your reason for leaving the position was job-related and was so compelling that you had no other choice than to leave. For example, if you left your job because of dangerous working conditions or sexual harassment that your employer refused to stop, you may be able to collect benefits. You may also remain eligible for benefits if you quit because of your own health problems, to care for a seriously ill family member, or to relocate with a spouse, depending on the circumstances.
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.
Whether a position is suitable depends on several factors, including the skill and training required, how much the job pays, how similar the job is to your former employment, and how far you will have to commute to work if you take the job. However, as time goes on, you will be expected to modify your standards and consider accepting work that is different or that pays less than what you were receiving.
In Nevada, you will be considered “available” for work only if you don’t have any restrictions preventing you from taking a job immediately, if one is offered. For example, you must be able to make arrangements for childcare and transportation.
You must engage in a good faith search for work, of the sort that a reasonable and prudent person who is anxious to find a job would conduct. You should keep records of the employers you contact, the dates you made contact, and the outcome. The Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) may ask you to provide contact information for employers you’ve contacted at any point during your claim.
If you are eligible to receive unemployment, your weekly benefit rate (WBR) will be 4% of your total earnings during the highest paid quarter of the base period, subject to a minimum of $16 per week and a maximum of $407 per week (as of July 1, 2014). The maximum weekly benefit amount is 50% of the average weekly wage in Nevada, which is adjusted each July 1. 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 by phone. You can find online filing information, as well as regional telephone numbers for filing by phone, at the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation website.
Once the DETR receives your application, it will send you some documents, including a Monetary Determination indicating whether you met the initial earnings requirements to qualify for benefits.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you have 11 days to appeal the decision. After receiving your appeal request, the DETR will schedule a hearing before an appeals referee, at which you can present evidence and witnesses. You will receive notice of the hearing date, along with a pamphlet explaining the appeal process.
If you disagree with the referee’s decision after the initial hearing, you can request an appeal by the Board of Review within 11 days. And, if you disagree with the Board’s finding, you may file an appeal in court.
For more information on the unemployment process, including current eligibility requirements and benefits amounts, visit the DETR website.