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Nebraska Unemployment Benefits

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Unemployment insurance in Nebraska, like in other states around the country, is available for a limited time to unemployed workers. This program is commonly referred to as either UI or unemployment compensation (UC). Regardless of its name, the program provides financial support to workers who are currently without jobs due to circumstances they could not control. Once accepted into the program, enrollees may use UC funds to support themselves and their families during their professional transitions. The Nebraska Department of Labor (DOL) is tasked with managing this program.

Before candidates may begin claiming benefits for unemployment, the DOL will examine the nature of claimants’ petitions. This review process is in place to help the department determine whether or not applicants qualify for UC funds. In order to apply for unemployment benefits, candidates must submit various information relating to their financial histories and household composition. The sections to follow will explain how candidates can best prepare their applications and what types of documentation they will need to provide. Similarly, subsequent sections will outline how successful applicants may collect benefits and how petitioners who are denied may appeal these decisions.

What is unemployment in Nebraska?

Various situations may result in unemployment for local workers throughout the state. As a result, the Nebraska unemployment insurance program is in place to help financially support employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. This program is funded through employers’ tax contributions made to the Nebraska State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. However, petitioners and enrollees must remember that unemployment insurance benefits are only available on a temporary basis. As a result, beneficiaries will only be eligible to receive UC funds for a limited period of time.

Throughout the country, an unemployment claim is valid for one calendar year. However, enrollees will not receive benefits for the entirety of that time. In fact, unemployment insurance coverage in Nebraska only lasts for a maximum of 26 weeks during a single year-long period. For each week they receive UC, program participants may not receive more than they state’s maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA). This amount is $414. Enrollees may receive less than this amount due to their weekly incomes. However, no beneficiaries may receive more than this total.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Nebraska?

There are specific eligibility for unemployment requirements candidates must meet in order to receive UC. In most cases, claimants can determine if they meet their state’s basic qualifications for unemployment before they even submit their petitions. These requirements relate to the following themes:

  • Why petitioners are unemployed The DOL will thoroughly examine the reasons that led to claimants’ job losses. In order to receive UC, claimants must be unemployed due to situations they could not control. Examples of acceptable situations include being laid off from work. In some cases, candidates who were fired or quit may be eligible. However, the DOL will assess these situations on a case-by-case basis.
  • Whether or not applicants can work – In order to determine unemployment insurance eligibility, the DOL will assess whether or not candidates are able and willing to work. This qualification relates to both physical readiness and schedule-based availability. UI recipients must have the bodily capacity to do the work they are applying for, and they must have schedules that permit them to accept full-time opportunities. In many cases, petitioners who have conflicting class schedules or who have child care responsibilities at home will not qualify for UC.
  • How much money claimants earned – Representatives from the DOL must assess how much income petitioners earned during a certain time period that the department establishes. This is referred to as the base period, and it lasts a calendar year. In order to qualify for UC, petitioners must have earned at least $4,145.74 throughout the total base period. In terms of distribution, candidates must have earned $1,850 or more in a single base period calendar quarter and $800 in another quarter.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Nebraska?

It is imperative that all petitioners learn how to apply for unemployment online in Nebraska. This is because the state requires candidates to submit digital petitions in order to be considered for the program. The online application for unemployment is straightforward. In order to apply for unemployment benefits, petitioners must prepare the following facts:

  • Personal information Petitioners will need to submit their addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and the names of counties they live in.
  • Identifying numbers – Candidates are required to report their Social Security Numbers. If applicable, they must also submit their driver’s license or state identification numbers.
  • Employment history – Applicants must disclose a detailed summary of their employment history. This account must span include all employers petitioners had within the past 18 months. Applicants must include their employers’ full company names, mailing addresses and the cities and zip codes where these establishments are located. In addition, claimants must include their start and end dates with each of their previous employers.
  • Direct deposit information – Claimants have the opportunity to receive their UC funds via direct deposit. Candidates who wish to take advantage of this payment option must submit their bank routing and accounting numbers.

All petitioners who file for an unemployment claim in Nebraska must submit the aforementioned information. However, there are some instances in which claimants will need to include supplementary information. Specifically, candidates who are:

  • Former military employees must submit their Member-4 of the DD Form 214.
  • Federal government civilian employees are required to submit either their SF-8 or SF-50.
  • Foreign-born applicants need to record their employment authorization numbers and corresponding expiration dates.

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

After candidates submit their applications, they may need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview. In most cases, these conversations take place over the phone. The questions asked during the unemployment interview vary depending on why these interviews are necessary. As a result, there is no uniform script that all DOL representatives follow when conducting an unemployment phone interview.

An unemployment interview with claimant is necessary when the state has any questions regarding petitioners’ applications. However, areas of concern generally relate to why candidates are no longer employed. In these instances, the DOL may also require interviews with the petitioners’ former employers. Regardless of why applicants must participate in a UC phone interview, there are several ways they can prepare for these conversations. Specifically, claimants may:

  • Have their employee handbooks ready.
  • Prepare any documentation they have that details work conditions or attempts at improving their job circumstances.
  • Gather any written warnings they received during their employment.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Nebraska?

After candidates are accepted into the state’s UC program, applicants are required to claim unemployment benefits in Nebraska on a weekly basis. Petitioners must begin requesting their payment even if their appeals decisions are still pending. When claiming benefits for unemployment, candidates must submit their gross income during the weeks they intend to claim. To maintain an unemployment benefits claim, applicants are required to report any type of reimbursement they receive. Examples of payment that enrollees must report include:

  • Salary, hourly wages or commission.
  • Cash they received for completing a task.
  • Any tips beneficiaries earn.
  • Non-monetary payment exchanges, such as housing accommodations or meals for work.

In order to claim UC benefits, program participants must also submit a detailed work search log. This document must also be completed on a weekly basis. Enrollees who are claiming full-time benefits must make at least five work search connections for each week they receive UI payment. Furthermore, candidates must make at least one contact via the state’s work connection website.

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

If applicants are denied unemployment in Nebraska, they have 20 days to file appeals to the Nebraska Claims Center. This same timeline holds true for employers who wish to contest the DOL’s decisions. Petitioners may submit their denied unemployment benefits appeals:

  • As a letter mailed to the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal.
  • Through the state’s online portal.
  • Via email.
  • By fax.

In their unemployment denial appeal, petitioners must be sure to include their Social Security Numbers, their employers’ names, their Determination IDs and reasons why they wish to appeal. Once the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal receives the denied UC appeal, the state will send a subsequent letter that outlines the times and dates of the claimants’ hearings. These conversations are conducted via conference call. Therefore, neither party must arrive in person. Furthermore, both employers and candidates must remember they are able to have lawyers present during these conversations. However, legal representation is not required. After the denied UI benefits hearings conclude, both parties will receive notice of the DOL’s decisions. If claimants or employers wish to refute these decisions, they have the right to appeal a second time. These requests must be directed to the District Court.

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

A federal unemployment extension in NE or in other parts of the nation is not common. Congress is responsible for authorizing an unemployment benefits extension, and these continuations are only available when many employees are without work. When activated, an unemployment extension in Nebraska permits UC beneficiaries to receive funds beyond the state’s 26-week maximum.

However, petitioners who wonder how to get an unemployment extension must remember this opportunity is only available when the federal government permits the program. As a result, enrollees whose benefits are about to expire should not assume extension will be available. Instead, recipients should focus on maximizing their reemployment efforts.

How do I contact the Nebraska unemployment office?

There is a Nebraska unemployment office in various parts of the state. Generally, these UI offices are in major cities. Regardless, petitioners and employers may call these locations with any questions they have about the application process. Similarly, individuals may visit these locations in person. The unemployment office in Lincoln is located at:

550 S 16th Street

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508


How do I apply for unemployment benefits in Nebraska?

In the state of Nebraska, you can file for unemployment benefits online by visiting If you need help submitting your claim, you can call 402-458-2500 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Can I file for unemployment if I live outside the state?

Yes. It doesn’t matter what state you currently live in, you can file an unemployment claim if you worked the required time in the state in the past.

How long does it take to apply for benefits?

Assuming that you don’t have any major problems, you can expect to spend about an hour applying for your unemployment benefits.

When is the best time to file for unemployment?

As soon as possible and definitely the same week that you become unemployed. The state does NOT consider the day you became unemployed when it comes to your claim. The week you apply is the week your claim becomes effective.

Nebraska Unemployment Office Locations