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The Complete Guide to Unemployment Benefits in Delaware

Learn how unemployment benefits in Delaware can provide temporary, partial income replacement to workers who become unemployed.

Being unemployed can be difficult. It's stressful not to know when your next paycheck is coming in when you have bills to pay. However, some people are eligible for unemployment benefits in Delaware. These benefits can help you through your job searching process and keep you afloat until you find your next job.

Delaware Unemployment Services

Website labor.delaware.gov
Phone 800-794-3032
Apply Online File a Claim
Weekly Certification File a Weekly Claim
Appeal a Denial Learn how to file an appeal
Find a Local Office https://labor.delaware.gov/office-locations
Report Fraud Benefits Fraud Hotline
Coronavirus Updates https://pua.delawareworks.com

What are the Unemployment Benefits in Delaware?

Unemployment benefits usually come in the form of weekly payments to eligible workers who are out of work due to no fault of their own. These are funds that do not need to be repaid. In Delaware, you can receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. 

Who is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Delaware?

Several factors go into your eligibility status for unemployment. Every eligibility requirement can vary from state to state, and some are conditional. For example, if you quit your job, you can only receive unemployment benefits for specific reasons. However, a few eligibility requirements must be met to receive Delaware unemployment benefits. 

  • To qualify for Delaware unemployment, claimants must be physically and mentally able to work. If you are disabled, you should be looking into disability benefits. 

  • Second, you must have lost your job at no fault of your own. This could include business shutdowns, layoffs, quitting for specific reasons, or some medical conditions. However, you will be denied unemployment benefits if you are fired due to absenteeism, misconduct, policy violation, or other self-inflicted reasons. 

  • Third, you must be registered with Delaware's employment/workforce development, which will assist you in finding employment. 

  • Fourth, you must be prompt in filing weekly or biweekly claims. Late claims could be denied for that week. 

  • Fifth, you must document and record your job searching efforts and report any job offers or earnings you receive. 

How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Delaware?

You can file for your initial claim online, over the phone, or in person. Claimants will need to deliver information, such as their home address, mailing address, social security number, the reason they lost their former job, military status, employment history for the past 18 months, additional wages such as severance, and direct deposit or banking information. 

How Much Can I Receive in Unemployment Benefits in Delaware?

You will receive a "Determination of Monetary Eligibility form." You will need to fill out all your previous employee and income information to determine your monetary benefits. Unemployment compensation is delivered weekly; the amount depends on your former income, whether you worked full-time or part-time, and the length of your tenure. Delaware law states that if you worked out of state, you might need to file a federal or interstate claim.  

How Long Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits?

If you are still unemployed, you will start a "benefit year" from the date you filed your initial claim. However, the maximum benefit amount you can receive in Delaware is 26 times your weekly benefit amount. Once you receive all 26 weeks, you will not receive any more until the benefit year is over. After the year ends, you may be eligible to file a new claim. If there are high unemployment rates in the state, there may be special programs in place to extend your benefits. 

What if I Worked in Another State?

Your unemployment claim is governed by the state in which it is filed. Therefore, if you worked in a state outside of Delaware, you must file under that state. This is because any benefits you receive will be from that state's unemployment insurance program. However, you must be registered to work in the Delaware Job Service if you live in Delaware in order to file a claim, even if you're filing for a different state. 

How Do I Look for a Job While on Unemployment Benefits?

One of the requirements for unemployment benefits is that you are actively searching for a new job. Register for an account on the Delaware JobLink; Delaware law looks out for individuals in need and is always working to eradicate high unemployment percentages. You need to contact employers each week and document your efforts. You will also be required to register with the state's job placement program, where they will assist you with obtaining interviews and creating resumes. For each employer you contact, you will need to record how you applied for the position, what position you applied for, the person you contacted and their information, and the outcome of your application. 

How Will I Be Paid My Benefits?

Once you are approved, you can expect to receive your benefits within 2-4 weeks. If your payments are delayed, you may receive several payments at once. You will usually be given your weekly benefit amount through a prepaid debit card, which can be used anywhere debit cards are accepted. However, some states offer direct deposit through your bank. This option is usually safer since you won't have to worry about losing your debit card. 

What If I Didn't File a Claim When I was Laid Off? Can I Still File a Claim?

Yes, you can still file a claim. However, if you want to be paid for those weeks between when you were laid off and when you filed a claim, you will need to request a backdate for your application. However, it is rare to receive funds for backdating your application. Usually, you can only receive backdated payments if you were unable to file for claims through no fault of your own. 

What Happens if I Refuse a Job Offer While on Benefits?

Typically, your employment benefits will end if you turn down a job offer. If the offer is considered suitable employment, you cannot turn it down—even if it pays less than your previous job. Work considered "suitable" offers payment comparable to your previous employment and aligns with your previous experience and education level. While there may be instances it is acceptable to refuse a job offer on unemployment, you should check with your unemployment office. They typically have requirements on their website. However, requirements may become more strict the longer you have been unemployed.

Committing Fraud

If you lie, cheat, or steal to get unemployment benefits, you are committing fraud. Not only will you be disqualified from receiving benefits, but you are committing a crime that can result in jail time. When you apply for benefits, that application becomes a legal document. You must provide your correct information and accurately record your wages and job searching efforts. Lying about contacting employers or about the wages you are receiving/have received is considered fraud.  

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