How to File for Unemployment in Kentucky


Due to the prevalent Corona Virus pandemic, times are hard and especially financially. Several companies and businesses in Kentucky have been forced to close down, amid the lockdown, thus rendering many people jobless. Most are now financially strained considering there are still bills to be paid and necessities to be bought. If you lost your job and are now feeling the financial pinch as a result, you can apply for unemployment benefits. Here’s how to go about it;

Contact the Unemployment Office

According to the Kentucky Career Centre, you need to contact their office so as to begin the application process. This does not necessarily require you to visit their physical offices. The Kentucky Office of Unemployment and Training also administers the process electronically or by phone.

To apply you can find all the information required at the Kentucky Career Center Website. Applications are open to groups including small business owners, barbers, restaurant workers, self-employed, and hotel housekeeping staff just to mention a few. Once the office receives your application, you’ll receive the number of weekly benefits you are likely to be granted and how to claim it.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits the state of Kentucky requires you to adhere to the following;

  • In accordance with Kentucky law, your unemployment status should not be your fault. For example, if you voluntarily quit or were fired due to misconduct you do not qualify.
  • You had been working somewhat recently but no longer have a job. Therefore, if you have been out of work for a long time you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • You are actively seeking employment. In this case, you may be required to provide information about potential employers you have contacted.

You must be available to work just in case a job opening comes up. However, you are not mandated to go for just any job opportunity that comes up. Taking up a job will depend on your previous job, the wages being offered, working conditions, experience, and skills needed for the job. Before unemployment, you used to earn a minimum amount of wages. In case you are selected by NH Employment Security you should be ready to participate in their Re-employment services. Kentucky will also review your earnings within the past 1 year (base period) to determine whether you qualify for unemployment benefits.

Base Period in Kentucky

According to NOLO, the base period is described as the earliest four of the last five complete quarters of the calendar year. For example, if you file for unemployment benefits in May 2020, the base period shall be between December 2018 and November 2019. This means that the last six months you had been working, until you lost your job, may not be included in the base period. However, in case you do not have enough working hours in the base period to qualify, sometimes an alternative base period that includes your most recent work history is used. Once the base period to be used is established here are other requirements to qualify.

  • You earned a minimum of $750 in at least one of the quarters in the base period.
  • In the other three quarters, you must have earned a minimum of $750 outside of your highest-paid quarter.
  • The amount you earned in the last two-quarters of the base period is at least 8 times your weekly benefit amount.
  • If you calculate the total amount of wages earned during the base period, it should be at least 1.5 times your wages in the highest-paid quarter.

If you meet these requirements you can start begin the application process. Since there are quite a number of people applying, Kentucky has designated specific days to serve applicants depending on the first letter of their last names. You can check the Kentucky Career Center website to know on which particular day you ought to apply. After submitting your application, the office of unemployment insurance shall provide a response within 3-12 days.

Amount of Unemployment Benefits

If your application is approved, you shall then receive weekly benefits at the rate of 1.1923% of the total wages you earned during the base period. Regardless, this amount will not exceed $415 per week or go below $39. You are entitled to receive the benefits for a period of 26 weeks or less. However, in times of high unemployment and economic challenges, this period may be extended. Note that once you are back to work you are required to stop receiving unemployment benefits.

What Happens if Your Application is Denied?

If you feel that your application was denied unfairly, Kentucky provides you the option to appeal the decision to a referee. This should be done within 15 days after receiving the denial notification. The referee shall then contact you on the phone to hear your case and then offer a decision. If still, you are not satisfied, you can appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Commission within 15 days. If still not pleased with their decision you are allowed to appeal in a court of law within 20 days.


It is important to note that the process of applying for unemployment benefits may not be as fast as it was earlier in the year. This is because so many people are turning to the state for help. According to Courier Journal, is seeking unemployment benefits. Thus, despite the state hiring 1000 more stuff to help ease the pressure of inquiries and issues raised, it’s still been a challenge to cater for the needs of all these people. Additionally, there is the worry that the state may not have sufficient funds to provide all the qualified applicants with benefits. However, no matter the wait, as long as you meet all the requirements set out by the state of Kentucky there is a high possibility of being granted unemployment benefits to help you sail through these tough times.

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