How To File For Delaware Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Delaware. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Delaware Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Delaware unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Delaware unemployment eligibility

There are certain wage requirements based on the amount of money that you were paid while you were employed. The amount of money you were paid during your base period (the first four of last five completed calendar quarters) determines your "weekly benefit amount (WBA)". In addition, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own, able to work, available for work, looking for work and willing to accept a job for which you are qualified. To be Eligible, an Individual Must:

  • Have earned a minimum amount of wages
  • Be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work
  • Register for work with the Department of Employment and Training

Amount of benefits I can receive

The booklet Your Guide to Unemployment Insurance Benefits that you will receive when you file your new claim includes a "Weekly Benefit Amount Chart" that indicates the range of minimum to maximum benefits for which you may be eligible. The amount is known as the "weekly benefit amount (WBA)". The current range provided by the Delaware Unemployment Insurance Law is $20 to $330.

The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is based on the amount that you were paid during the base period. The base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed as of the Sunday before you file your first claim for benefits. Your weekly benefit amount will be 1/46th of your two highest calendar quarters in the base period. If you worked full-time during the four quarters, your WBA will be a little more than half your gross weekly wage up to the maximum weekly benefit amount in effect at the time.

Alternate Base Period

When you receive your "Determination of Monetary Eligibility" if it indicates you have insufficient wages during the above base period, you may be eligible to receive benefits using an alternate base period. Report to the local unemployment office where you filed your original claim and speak to a claim representative. They will need your Social Security card, check stubs, W-2 forms and any other proof of wages that you have.

Length of time to collect benefits

If you remain totally unemployed and otherwise remain eligible, you can normally receive 26 times your weekly benefit amount. Once you qualify for benefits, you establish what they call a "benefit year." Your benefit year is the one-year period beginning with the Sunday of the first week in which you file your new claim. For example, if you filed your new claim on Thursday, June 9, 2010, your benefit year would start with the preceding Sunday, June 6, 2010, this would be your "effective claim date." Your benefit year would last until June 5, 2011. Under normal circumstances, you may not start another benefit year until the first one is completed. However, if you have also worked in another state during your benefit year and have received all your Delaware benefits in your benefit year, you may file against the other state in which you worked and you may be eligible for additional benefits from that state.

The maximum amount of unemployment insurance benefits payable in Delaware under normal circumstances in any benefit year may not exceed 26 times your weekly benefit amount. Since Delaware has a weekly claim processing system, you will receive a check for every weekly claim you make. You may file claims for more than 26 weeks if you work part-time and partial benefits are paid. If you have received all the benefits to which you are entitled (normally 26 weeks), then you may receive no more until the benefit year is over, even if you work again and become unemployed. However, during periods of high unemployment, a special program is placed in effect, which provides additional weeks of benefits.

At the end of your benefit year, you may be eligible to establish a new benefit year. If you have been employed during the current benefit year and earned at least 10 times the weekly benefit amount for which you would be eligible during the new benefit year. An employee at your local unemployment insurance office can provide you with further information on establishing a new benefit year.

When to file unemployment claims

You must file a Weekly Pay Authorization or call "TeleBenefits" every week. Be sure to keep your records for unemployment insurance eligibility requirements on a weekly basis since the Weekly Pay Authorization or "TeleBenefits" will require you to answer specific questions about each compensable week that you claim benefits. A "compensable week" for unemployment benefits runs from Sunday through Saturday. It is your responsibility to return your Weekly Pay Authorization or to call "TeleBenefits" each week. Failure to return your Weekly Pay Authorization or to call "TeleBenefits" timely will cause a delay in benefits and may result in denial of benefits. If you have selected to claim benefits by using the Weekly Pay Authorization option and do not get a new Weekly Pay Authorization covering the weekly claim period (compensable week) in the mail within one week of the Sunday date you mailed your last Weekly Pay Authorization, it is your responsibility to report to or call your local unemployment insurance office on the next working day in order for your Weekly Pay Authorization to be received on time. Backdated claims may not be accepted.

Filing for Delaware unemployment benefits

When filing, the following information will be requested:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Card (may substitute W2 or pay stub with name and socual security number imprinted on it, accompanied by a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license),
    Work History - names and addresses of all employers over the last 18 months. Veterans for whom military service falls within the last 18 months must present a DD 214 (Member 4) form in order to file for benefits
  • Reason for loss of job

To file online, go to

File weekly unemployment insurance by phone

The Delaware Unemployment Insurance Division provides a quick and easy way to claim your weekly unemployment insurance benefits check by telephone using a feature of the Information Hotline called "TeleBenefits." The Information Hotline, at 800-794-3032 or 302-761-6576 is available 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. Remember, your "TeleBenefits" for any claim period cannot be filed until the week ending date for which you are filing has passed. "TeleBenefits" filed by 10:30am Monday through Friday will normally be processed the same day with a check mailed that same day. "TeleBenefits" filed after 10:30am Monday through Friday will normally be processed the next business day with a check mailed that next business day.

Be sure to have your current weekly claim information on hand as "TeleBenefits" will ask you questions about each individual claim week. In addition, you may be required to submit your work search log to the local office upon request. The system is designed to only permit you to claim for the current week's benefits. If you need to file for a prior week, please report to your local office. "TeleBenefits" will indicate which claim week you may file.

File an appeal

If you do not agree with your monetary determination, or if you disagree with a determination that you are ineligible for or disqualified from benefits, you may request a hearing before an appeals referee. You may submit a request for a hearing in person or by writing to your local office. Requests for Appeals must be filed in person at the local office or be postmarked within ten days of the date of the Notice of Determination.

Even during the course of your appeal, continue requesting your weekly benefits each week and maintain your eligibility for UI benefits. At any point during the appeal process, if it is determined that you are eligible for benefits, you will receive benefits only for the weeks for which you requested your weekly benefits timely and met all other eligibility requirements. This is true even if there is a further appeal by your former employer or the Division.

You may appeal within 10 calendar days and request a hearing on the facts. The appeal must be filed in writing or in person at your local unemployment insurance office and it must be filed within 10 calendar days. Your signature must be included on the request for appeal.

  • You must file an appeal with the local unemployment insurance office within 10 days
  • You must appeal in writing or in person. Appeal requests filed by e-mail are not acceptable because the person filing the appeal must sign appeal requests
  • You must continue to file claims weekly