Nebraska Unemployment Benefits: How Much Will I Receive?

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Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits give temporary monetary assistance to workers who are unemployed in the state of Nebraska. Nebraskans can receive almost $500 a week if they meet the Cornhusker State's eligibility requirements.

Nebraska Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility

To get unemployment compensation in Nebraska, a person must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of their own (for example laid off, company downsized, or reduction in force).
  • Have worked during the past 12 months.
  • Make a minimum amount of earnings per state guidelines.
  • Be able, available and actively seek work while collecting benefits each week.

A person offered a suitable position while collecting UI must accept it. Their ability to find a job depends on many factors, including their work experience, previous wages, how long they've been out of work and the chances of getting a job in their occupation. Claimants can find jobs through the state's NeWorks database.

The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) administers unemployment benefits and calculates them from the first four of five quarters before the claimant applies for UI. This is known as the worker's base period. To quality, a worker must earn at least $4,532 during the base period, with a minimum of $1,850 earned in one quarter and $800 earned in an additional quarter.

Amount of UI Benefits in Nebraska

Eligible unemployed workers in Nebraska can receive up to $469 in weekly benefit amounts. The NDOL calculates a worker's weekly benefit rate (WBR) to be 4 percent of their earnings during the highest-paid base period quarter.

UI applicants may receive benefits for up to 26 weeks in a one-year period or one-third of their full base period wages, whichever is less. However, in times of high unemployment, workers may receive more.

Denial of Unemployment Claim Due to Misconduct

A person will not get UI benefits if they were let go due to misconduct. There are three types of misconduct in Nebraska:

  • Ordinary misconduct: Behavior by a worker that they know or should have known would damage their employer's interests and does damage their interest. This disqualifies the worker from receiving UI for 14 weeks.
  • Aggravated misconduct: Actions of a more serious nature while on the job, including being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A worker's wages do not count towards their earnings requirement in this instance.
  • Gross misconduct: Severe, intentional or unlawful acts by the worker, which disqualifies them from UI benefits until they get a new job and meet the state's earning requirements through that employment.

Errors made in good faith or simple negligence in isolated circumstances are not acts of misconduct. A person who lacks the skills to do the job they were hired to do or isn't a good fit may still receive UI benefits.

Denial of Unemployment Assistance as a Result of Quitting

A person who voluntarily leaves their job will not receive UI benefits unless they had "good cause" for doing so. The NDOL states that good cause for leaving a job can occur if a person has a compelling reason to quit, for example, sexual harassment or dangerous working conditions, and has no other alternatives.

Workers show good cause if they exhaust all reasonable options before quitting, such as consulting with their supervisor or the company's human resources department. Quitting a job without good cause typically results in UI disqualification for 13 weeks. However, if a person quits their job to go to another full-time job which falls through, they may receive a disqualification for UI for just two weeks.