Delaware Unemployment Benefits

Delaware unemployment insurance (UI) coverage is a state-sponsored program that provides local workers with temporary financial assistance. In general, eligible candidates for this program are those who recently became unemployed through no fault of their own. Moreover, UI applicants must be searching for new work opportunities. Candidates who file an unemployment claim may use these funds to support themselves and their families while they are unemployed. The state’s Department of Labor (DOL) operates a Division of Unemployment Insurance, which is responsible for maintaining this program.

The sections below outline how petitioners can submit applications for unemployment and what information they must include. In addition, the following segments address how applicants may determine their eligibility for unemployment as well as prepare for the UI interview.

What is unemployment in Delaware?

Delaware unemployment compensation (UC) is available to candidates who were recently let go by employers. A successful unemployment claim allows beneficiaries to enroll in UI for a maximum of 26 weeks during a calendar year. Moreover, Delaware permits enrollees to receive a maximum of $330 per week throughout their participation in the program. On the other hand, the minimum weekly benefit amount (WBA) candidates may receive is $20. In general, unemployment insurance benefits are not intended to serve as a long-term solution for unemployed adults. Rather, Delaware UI coverage serves as a support system for workers and their families while they search for new employment opportunities.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Delaware?

The requirements regarding eligibility for unemployment in Delaware evaluate several criteria. These qualifications for unemployment are outlined below:

  • Financial eligibility – Candidates must have earned a minimum amount of income during their base periods. The base periods refer to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. For these calculations, the DOL excludes the quarter in which applicants file their claims. In order to see if applicants meet the minimum income requirement, the DOL determines the petitioners’ two highest-earning quarters.
  • Termination reason – When the DOL determines who qualifies for UC, it investigates why applicants became unemployed. Therefore, petitioners must explain the reasons that led to their unemployment. Only applicants who lost their previous positions through no fault of their own are eligible to enroll. As a result, petitioners who lost their jobs due to personal reasons are unlikely to qualify. Examples of these situations include employees who disliked their positions or who did not have access to reliable transportation.
  • Work availability – Unemployment insurance eligibility requires petitioners to register for work with the Department of Employment and Training. The DOL uses this stipulation to monitor whether applicants are actively searching for work opportunities while receiving UI benefits. Similarly, candidates must certify that they are ready, able and willing to accept suitable full-time employment offers.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Delaware?

Petitioners who wonder where and how to apply for unemployment online will find the process is straightforward. In general, candidates may submit their applications through the state’s online portal. In order to utilize the online application for unemployment, applicants must provide the following information:

  • Identifying information – The petitioner must submit his or her Social Security Number (SSN), phone number and address. The candidate must also prove his or her identity by providing a driver’s license or identification card.
  • Employment history – A UI applicant needs to report his or her employment history for the past 18 months. This includes employers’ names, addresses and phone numbers.
  • Union information – A claimant must include his or her union hall contact information, if applicable.

Claimants who apply for UI benefits in Delaware may also choose to submit their applications in person at a state’s Claims Office. When utilizing this option, candidates must bring one of the following combinations of documents:

  • Social Security card and driver’s license from any state
  • Social Security card and state-issued photo identification card
  • Social Security card and passport
  • Social security card and military identification card
  • State-issued photo identification card or passport and a Form W-2

When candidates file for UI, they are also required to submit statements that explain why they are unemployed. Because the DOL compares these testimonies to ones that employers provide, petitioners must be honest. Finally, during the unemployment registration process, applicants must indicate whether they prefer to receive UI funds via debit card or direct deposit.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Delaware?

Candidates and employers may need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview should the DOL have any questions regarding their applications. However, an unemployment phone interview is not always required. In general, these conversations are only necessary when the DOL needs to obtain additional information regarding a claim before making a decision.

The questions asked during unemployment interview vary depending on why the conversation is necessary. If a candidate forgets to fill out a portion of the application, the DOL will need to conduct an interview. Likewise, when petitioners provide vague or incomplete information, the DOL will request a conversation. These interviews are usually brief, and applicants must focus on providing complete answers to the DOL representative’s questions.

The DOL may also require a UC phone interview with applicants and employers if they provide statements with conflicting information. After claimants submit their applications, the DOL notifies the petitioners’ former employers. These supervisors then have the opportunity to issue their own statements explaining why a worker was fired. When the employer’s information differs from the applicant’s, the DOL requests an unemployment interview with employer and one with the claimant. Thus, petitioners and supervisors must prepare for these conversations by reviewing the following documents:

  • Exit interview notes – If the employer’s Human Resources department conducted an exit interview with the worker, those notes should be brought to the interview.
  • Written warnings – Both parties should keep any written warnings they gave or received during the claimant’s employment period with the company.
  • Relevant correspondence – Claimants and employers should be ready to reference any emails they exchanged that relate to work conditions or company protocol. This is especially pertinent if the claimant emailed to address any complaints he or she had.
  • Employee handbook – Employers and petitioners should be able to access a copy of the company’s employee handbook during the interview.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Delaware?

In order to claim unemployment benefits in Delaware, candidates must ensure that they meet specific program requirements. Moreover, enrollees must continue to adhere to all of the eligibility requirements even after their claims are approved. First, candidates must request weekly benefits. Then, to maintain an unemployment benefits claim, recipients must request payment through the state’s online portal or over the phone. Most beneficiaries complete this obligation on Sunday, and their report is focused on the previous week. During this step, enrollees must report any income they earned throughout the week.

Claiming benefits for unemployment also requires beneficiaries to register for work. Recipients must create or update their accounts with the state’s Division of Employment and Training. During this step, enrollees must also maintain their resumes and submit a weekly work search log. The DOL uses this document to keep track of enrollees’ job search progress. In these worksheets, recipients must report:

  • Contact information from the companies offering jobs. Candidates must include the company name, the employer’s name, the company’s contact information and website.
  • Method and date of contact between worker and employer. Thus, applicants must mention how and when they contacted the employer.
  • Work search and results. Enrollees are obligated to report the position they applied for and whether or not they heard back from the employer.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Delaware?

Candidates who are denied unemployment in DE have the right to request an appeal with a referee. In addition, employers who disagree with the DOL’s decision may also request an appeal. Applicants who are denied unemployment benefits and their previous employers must submit an appeal to their local UC offices. Both parties must file their requests within 10 days from when the decision from the DOL is issued.

A UI denial appeal is scheduled with an appeals referee. These hearings occur within a few weeks from when the appeal is filed. Once the hearing is scheduled, relevant parties receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail. This document declares the time, date and location for the hearing. Additionally, the notice contains the topics that the referee will address during the hearing so that both parties can prepare. Before the unemployment denial appeal, parties may prepare by arranging the following:

  • Relevant documents – Employers and claimants should prepare any documents that contain facts. For example, they should bring emails with time stamps and forms that prove the employee’s start and end dates. These papers will help establish a credible timeline.
  • Witnesses – Both parties are able to call witnesses to testify on their behalves. However, supervisors and candidates must remember that signed documents are generally not eligible to be used in these hearings.
  • Legal representation – While not required, employers and claimants are permitted to bring legal representation to these hearings.

Both parties must also remember to bring three copies of any documents they intend to use as evidence in their UI appeal. After the hearing, the referee will mail his or her determination to all relevant parties. If either the employer or the claimant disagrees, he or she has the right to file an additional appeal to the UI Appeals Board (UIAB).

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Delaware?

During periods of high unemployment, U.S. Congress may elect to offer a federal unemployment extension across the country. Similarly, the federal government may authorize an unemployment benefits extension to specific states where many workers are unemployed. When authorized, a UI extension in Delaware allows applicants to enroll in UC benefits beyond the state’s standard 26-week period. Specifically, the state may extend enrollment for up to 13 additional weeks. To enroll, candidates must contact the DOL. However, a UI compensation extension is not common. Therefore, beneficiaries should not rely on extended benefits programs in the state.

How do I contact the Delaware unemployment office?

The Delaware unemployment office is located in various parts of the state. Applicants with specific questions regarding their cases or enrollment eligibility may reach the UI office by calling its phone number. In addition, parties may visit the office with any questions they may have. The Dover unemployment office is located at:

655 S Bay Road #28

Dover, Delaware 19901

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Can I collect unemployment in Delaware if I quit?

In general, you can not qualify for unemployment if you quit or are fired for gross misconduct. However, if you are fired through not fault of your own, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. There are only certain situations where you can qualify for unemployment if you quit your job. Constructive discharge, domestic violence and medical reasons may qualify as reasons to quit your job and still collect unemployment.

Why do I need a debit card to collect unemployment?

Most states use a debit card system in order to distribute unemployment benefits. Using a debit card gives users quick and easy access to payments as soon as they are available. Having a card allows you to pay anywhere credit cards are accepted as well as make withdrawals from ATMs.

What is TeleBenefits?

TeleBenefits is a unique feature the state of Delaware has which allows individuals to file for weekly unemployment insurance benefits by telephone. This hotline is an easy and convenient tool for people who qualify for unemployment.

Toll Free outside New Castle County

(800) 794-3032

How long can I stay on unemployment?

Usually, people can collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Delaware Unemployment Office Locations

UNEMPLOYMENT AGENCY INFORMATION

Delaware Department of Labor 4425 North Market Street Wilmington, DE 19802 (302) 761-8446 View Website Unemployement Claim File