Did you recently lose your job in North Dakota? If so, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits: payments intended to partially replace the wages of 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, benefit amounts, and other details vary from state to state. Below you’ll find information on collecting unemployment in North Dakota.
Job Service North Dakota is the organization that handles unemployment benefits in North Dakota. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits in North Dakota:
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 North Dakota, 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 October of 2015, the base period would be from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.
To qualify for benefits in North Dakota, you must meet both of the following requirements:
In North Dakota, 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 will be disqualified from receiving benefits. Under North Dakota law, misconduct includes:
Quitting. If you quit your job, you will be disqualified from receiving 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 that your employer refused to remedy, you may be able to collect benefits. You may also be eligible for benefits if you quit for certain compelling personal reasons, including to escape from domestic abuse, to shorten a commute of 200 miles or more each way, or because you were unable to keep working due to health reasons.
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 incarcerated, on vacation, or in school, or you don’t have adequate transportation to get to work, you likely won’t be considered able and available to work.
In North Dakota, you must actively search for work each week, keeping a log of your job contacts and other job search activities. You must make at least four job contacts per week. Your log may be audited at any time. You must also post your resume online at Job Services North Dakota.
If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. Whether a job is suitable depends on a variety of factors. However, a job will not be considered suitable if it:
Once you have received unemployment benefits for 18 weeks, you may have to accept work that pays at least your weekly benefit amount.
If you are eligible to receive unemployment, your weekly benefit rate will be your wages in the two-and-a-half quarters of the base period in which you earned the most, divided by 65. The maximum weekly benefit amount is currently $594; the minimum amount is currently $43.
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 and telephone contact information at the website of Job Service North Dakota.
After you file, you will receive a monetary determination, stating the wages reported by your employers during your base period and how much you can expect to receive in benefits.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you may file an appeal. You can file your appeal by delivering, mailing, or faxing it to the Appeals Section of Job Service North Dakota. The deadline for filing an appeal will be provided in the initial decision.
A hearing will be conducted by an appeals referee over the telephone. You will be able to present evidence and witness testimony at the hearing. The referee will then issue a decision on your appeal.
If you disagree with the referee’s decision, you may request a bureau review by the Executive Director of Job Service North Dakota.
For more information on the unemployment process, including current eligibility requirements and benefits amounts, visit the Job Service North Dakota website.