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Idaho Unemployment Benefits

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Idaho unemployment insurance (UI) is a state-regulated program that provides temporary financial assistance to local workers who recently became unemployed. UI, which is also referred to as unemployment compensation (UC), is need-based. The state offers it on a rolling basis, and petitioners can apply as soon as they become unemployed. The program is administered by the Idaho Department of Labor (DOL).

Enrollees who successfully claim unemployment benefits are eligible to use these funds to support themselves and their families while they look for new work opportunities. The sections below will explain how to apply for unemployment online, as well as provide an overview of the information petitioners must submit with their materials. The following sections will also detail eligibility for unemployment requirements and how to prepare for a possible UC interview.

What is unemployment in Idaho?

Idaho unemployment benefits are available to employees throughout the state who lost their jobs due to circumstances that are out of their control. Applicants who successfully file an unemployment claim are eligible to receive program stipends for a maximum of 26 weeks throughout their benefit year. The benefit year begins the Sunday of the week when petitioners file their new claims. While unemployment insurance benefits in Idaho can extend for six months, petitioners must remember that this program is not intended to serve as a long-term solution for joblessness. In an effort to keep enrollees on track to obtain new employment opportunities, the DOL assigns periodic tasks to enrollees. These assignments are career service-based, and petitioners must complete them in order to maintain their UI coverage eligibility.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Idaho?

In order to establish eligibility for unemployment in Idaho, the DOL will examine an applicant’s financial and professional standing. For instance, the DOL carefully appraises how much income petitioners earned during their base periods. The base period refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. The unemployment insurance eligibility stipulations for enrollment to this program are as follows:

  • Sufficient earnings – Petitioners must have earned a minimum amount of money during their base periods before they are eligible to receive UC.
  • Work distribution – Applicants must have earned income during at least two calendar quarters in their base periods in order to qualify for UI benefits.
  • Quarter minimum – In one of their four calendar quarters, claimants must have earned at least $1,872 before they may receive unemployment funds.
  • Total wages – The total wages candidates earned during their base periods must equal one and a quarter times the wages they earned during their highest quarter.

Beyond these financial requirements to calculate unemployment insurance eligibility, petitioners must meet additional stipulations. These qualifications relate to personal reasons, such as:

  • Work availability – In order to receive UI benefits, applicants must demonstrate that they are ready, willing and able to work full-time. Candidates who have personal commitments that prevent them from accepting suitable opportunities will not qualify for this program. Examples of situations that could inhibit applicants’ eligibility include petitioners who have no reliable transportation, have school commitments or have not arranged child care services.
  • Unemployment reasons – Petitioners must be able to prove that they were terminated from their previous positions due to situations that were outside of their control. Unemployment reasons that would satisfy this requirement include being laid off due to work shortages or fired for reasons that did not relate to personal misconduct.
  • Work search – Claimants must be actively searching for suitable work opportunities. Applicants have specific work search requirements they must meet throughout their enrollment in the program. However, before petitioners even begin filing their claims, they should be able to demonstrate the ways how they have actively been looking for new jobs.

Petitioners must remember that, when determining who qualifies for unemployment, candidates who quit are not immediately disqualified from the program. Candidates who quit their jobs for good reason may be eligible to receive benefits. Examples of good reason relate to breaches in contract, such as those relating to wages, hours or working conditions at the job. Similarly, applicants whose jobs adversely affect their health or medical conditions may be eligible to receive UC with the support of a doctor’s note.


How can I sign up for unemployment in Idaho?

Candidates may be curious about how to apply for unemployment online in Idaho, as this is one of the most common ways to submit an application. In addition, the state does not permit claimants to file their materials over the telephone. However, petitioners who do not have access to the internet or who need specific assistance while filing their claims may do so at a local ID DOL office. Regardless whether they are submitting an online application for unemployment or an in-person petition, candidates must prepare the following information:

  • Social Security Number and driver’s license number. The DOL uses this information to prove the petitioner’s identity.
  • County of residence. Claimants who do not live in Idaho are eligible to receive UC benefits from the state as long as they worked there. However, they must provide the DOL with the name of the county they currently reside in.
  • The dates the applicant worked for these specific employers, as well as the gross income he or she earned while employed at those establishments.
  • Reasons for termination for all recent employers. Petitioners must provide legitimate reasons that explain why they no longer work with those specific companies.
  • Employer contact information for all companies the applicant worked for in the last 18 months. Petitioners must include the business’ name, address, phone number and the name of a supervisor. This information is required for the DOL to verify a candidate’s employment history.
  • Alien Registration Number for non-citizens. This number is required because it verifies that applicants who are not United States citizens are legally able to work in the country.

In addition, claimants who apply for unemployment benefits in ID and had certain jobs will need to provide additional documentation. For example, military personnel who served in the last two years must bring their DD Form 214 member 4 copy, or their Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Furthermore, candidates must remember that they should apply for UC benefits as soon as they become unemployed. Waiting to file an application will result in a delay in receiving benefits.


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

Petitioners may need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Idaho when the DOL has questions about their claims. Usually, these questions refer to details provided by applicants that could lead them to not receiving benefits. However, claimants must remember that being called to participate in an ID unemployment phone interview does not necessarily mean their claims will be denied. However, it does mean that the DOL needs to gain additional information about the petitioner’s claim before it can make a decision.

There are two common reasons that can cause the DOL to conduct a UC phone interview. The first is that a petitioner did not answer a question correctly or left room for ambiguity. In this instance, the DOL can usually resolve misunderstandings quickly. Therefore, the questions asked during the unemployment interview are straightforward. These conversations are usually brief because the information the DOL must obtain is specific.

However, the second cause for a UI phone interview requires a more involved follow-up process. After petitioners submit their applications, the DOL notifies their most recent employers. The former supervisors then have a chance to respond to the claim, providing their own statement that details why the applicants are no longer employed. The DOL would need to host an unemployment interview with employer and an additional interview with the claimant in these situations. Since the issue is more complex, this interview process requires these two steps.

In the second scenario, supervisors and claimants may wonder how to pass the unemployment insurance interview because this is an important step in the application process. However, both parties must remember that the DOL’s only concern is to gain accurate information from employers and claimants. Therefore, both parties should focus on providing informative, truthful statements. To prepare for the interview, they should bring relevant documents such as:

  • Written warnings issued by the company’s Human Resources department or by the supervisor during the applicant’s employment with the company.
  • Exit interview notes the Human Resources officer took during the petitioner’s final interview before his or her termination.
  • Relevant correspondence between the petitioner and the employer that discuss work performance or job conditions.
  • The employee handbook, with pages marked that address specific policies that are relevant to the hearing.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Idaho?

To claim unemployment benefits in Idaho, candidates who are accepted into the program must file weekly reports. The DOL views these documents when deciding whether or not enrollees meet the requirements that are necessary to remain in the state’s UC program. The first task beneficiaries must complete in order to maintain an unemployment insurance claim is file a weekly report. On this report, petitioners must document:

  • Any income earned during the week for which they are filing.
  • Job search efforts and results.
  • Whether or not they have any obligations or personal commitments that would interfere with their ability to work full-time.

Regarding the job search efforts related to claiming unemployment insurance in ID, petitioners must be sure to maintain a detailed job search log. Upon request, they are obligated to submit this document to the DOL for review. In this log, petitioners must document who they contact, how they reach out, where the company is located and any result that came from their inquiry. It is imperative that enrollees do not contact the same employer each week. When many weeks pass and claimants are still without work, the DOL may require recipients to search for lower pay work or work in a different field. If the beneficiary does not adhere to these requirements, he or she risks losing UI benefits.

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

When applicants receive a notification stating that they were denied unemployment in Idaho, they have the right to appeal. Likewise, employees who disagree with the DOL’s decision can also submit an appeal. Petitioners must file an unemployment denial appeal with the DOL’s Appeals Bureau. Claimants must submit these appeals in writing or through an official Request for Appeals Hearing form. Regardless of how candidates appeal, the documents must contain the following information:

  • Specific reference regarding the decision that the petitioner is appealing
  • The claimant’s Social Security Number
  • The applicant’s signature

A UI determination contains the deadline for when petitioners can file their appeals. In general, these deadlines are 14 days from when the DOL filed a determination. After submitting a denied unemployment benefits appeal, claimants will receive a Notice of Telephone Hearing packet in the mail. Moreover, employers will also receive this notice. The DOL mails these documents at least seven days before the hearing is scheduled. Neither party is required to have an attorney or other legal representation present during the hearing. However, they are allowed to bring lawyers. Similarly, either the employer or the applicant may request witnesses to testify on their behalves. They may also submit additional evidence and documentation for the judge to review during the hearing. Within 10 days from the hearing’s conclusion, the judge will mail in a decision.

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


A federal unemployment extension is mandated by U.S. Congress during periods when many people in an area are unemployed. The government can offer this on a national or state-by-state basis. For example, when there are many unemployed workers in Idaho, Congress may authorize an Idaho unemployment benefits extension to enrollees in the state. While not common, this unemployment extension allows the state to offer UI benefits to recipients beyond the state’s 26-week maximum. To enroll, candidates must contact the DOL.

How do I contact the Idaho unemployment office?

The Idaho unemployment office has posts in various cities throughout the state. Claimants or employers with specific questions may contact the UI office over the phone with questions regarding their cases. Similarly, parties may visit the unemployment office in Boise at:

317 W Main Street

Boise, Idaho 83702


What is the Claimant Portal?

The Idaho Department of Labor provides the Claimant Portal as an online resource for individuals who decide to file for unemployment benefits for the first time or reopen a claim. You can visit the portal at

Does getting Social Security have an affect on my benefits?

No. In the state of Idaho, your unemployment benefits are not reduced if you collect Social Security payments.

What if I think I’ve been discriminated against during my claim?

If for any reason you feel that you have been discriminated against during the process of filing a claim, you can file a complaint with the state’s Equal Opportunity Officer by writing to: Idaho Department of Labor 317 W. Main St. Boise, Idaho, 83735


Director, Civil Rights Center

U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20210

Idaho Unemployment Office Locations