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.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits Under Federal Law During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
If you’ve been laid off or can't work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you could be eligible for unemployment benefits. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act made available three programs to states for expanded unemployment programs:
- an additional $600 per week (through July 31, 2020), over and above the regular benefits provided by the state
- 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, beyond the state's maximum, through December 31, 2020; and
- unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, through December 31, 2020, for some individuals who wouldn't otherwise qualify.
If you fit into one of categories of workers who aren't normally eligible for unemployment—including gig workers, independent contractors, the self employed, or people who don’t have enough work history to qualify under Nevada's rules (discussed below)—you may be able to receive benefits through the PUA if you can’t work for certain coronavirus-related reasons, such as because:
- you can't get to your workplace due to a quarantine, or it was closed because of the public health emergency
- you or someone in your household has COVID-19
- you have to care for a child whose school is closed, or
- you had to quit working because of COVID-19.
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, but there was a time lag before states could implement the law and process applications under the PUA. Check for COVID-19 updates from Nevada’s Employment Security Division before applying.
Nevada's Employment Security Division (ESD) 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:
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year "base period" to determine your eligibility for unemployment. n Nevada, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. For example, if you filed your claim in April 2020, the base period would be from January 1 through December 31, 2019.
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:
In Nevada, as in other states, you must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
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.
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.
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 had to quit to protect yourself or someone in your family from domestic violence.
Nevada's Work-Search Requirements Lifted During Coronavirus Emergency
On March 18, 2020, Nevada’s governor issued an executive order waiving the work-search requirement for unemployment benefits, in response to the temporary shutdown of nonessential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order, which will remain in effect until further notice, also waived the state’s one-week waiting period before benefits begin.
To keep collecting unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to work, and looking for employment. If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it.
Whether a position is suitable depends on several factors, including your experience and previous earnings, how long you've been out of work, and your chances of getting work in your usual occupation..
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 ESD 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 ESD's website.
Once the ESD 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.