Can I Collect Unemployment if My Employer Retires?

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In the United States, weekly unemployment compensation benefits are potentially available to workers who are temporarily unemployed. While each state may have slightly different requirements for receiving benefits, if your employer has decided to retire and leave you without a job, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet all other requirements.


Unemployment compensation eligibility is determined by state law. Although each state is required to have an unemployment compensation program, the individual states regulate and administer their own programs. There are, however, common eligibility requirements and benefit procedures among the states.

Basic Requirements

Most states have have a few common eligibility requirements that must be met before you can be approved for unemployment compensation benefits. Among those requirements are U.S. citizenship or the right to legally work in the U.S., a valid reason for separation from employment and availability to work. In addition, you must have sufficient wages in your base period, which is usually the first four of the last five quarters, to receive benefits. In most cases, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. Your employer deciding to retire would likely qualify as "no fault of your own" as you did nothing to cause your unemployment status.

Benefit Amount

The amount of your weekly benefit check will depend, in large part, on the qualifying wages you have in your base period. Each state will also have a minimum and maximum weekly benefit amount. Although most states only allow a claimant to collect unemployment compensation for 26 weeks, that time period could be less if you do not have sufficient wages in your base period to pay out for 26 weeks. State's may also extend the maximum number of weeks during an economic downturn of when the federal government enacts a federal extension.

How to Apply

In order to apply for unemployment compensation benefits, you must apply online, by telephone or in person to the appropriate state agency or office, If your employer has recently retired, leaving you without employment, you should apply for unemployment compensation benefits as soon as possible. You will also likely need to register for work with the state employment agency.

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