How To File For Nebraska Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Nebraska. 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 Nebraska Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Nebraska unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

You must register in NEworks at neworks.nebraska.gov as part of the initial unemployment claim process. All claimants must complete an online resume unless they have a recall date with their employer or are a member of a union with a hiring hall.

When to file for unemployment benefits

File an initial claim the same week you are unemployed or working reduced hours. Your unemployment insurance claim DOES NOT begin on the date your job ended or your hours were reduced. Your claim is effective the week you apply.

Information needed when applying for unemployment

You will need the following information to apply for unemployment benefits:

  • Social Security Number
  • Complete home mailing address, including ZIP code
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • County you live in
  • Driver's license number or State ID card number
  • If you select direct deposit, your bank routing number and account number
  • The company names for all your employers from the past 18 months as they appear on your paycheck stubs or W-2 forms
  • Complete mailing addresses of employers, including ZIP code and the city in which the business is physically located
  • Your start and end dates with each employer, including month, day, and year
  • Your reason for leaving each employer (lack of work, voluntary quit, discharge, leave of absence)
  • Employment authorization number and expiration date (if a non-citizen)
  • If you served in the military the past 18 months, DD 214 Member #4 Form
  • If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee in the last 18 months, Standard Form 8 or
  • Standard Form 50. Also, compile your total wages earned with the federal employer in the last 18 months and indicate how you were paid (hourly, weekly, and monthly)
How long do I need to work in order to qualify for benefits?

In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the minimum earnings requirement from insured work during the base period (time period of employment used to evaluate your claim). For 2017, the minimum earnings requirement is $4,145.74. The minimum earnings requirement is adjusted annually. In addition to meeting the minimum earnings requirement, you must also have been paid at least $1,850 in one quarter of the base period and $800 in another quarter. Wages must be earned from employers required to pay unemployment insurance taxes (insured employers).

After submitting unemployment claim

It takes several weeks to process an initial claim. If necessary, they will call you just as soon as your claim is ready to be completed. Remember to do the following while your claim is being processed:

Read all communication about your claim

Check your email, the NEworks Message Center, telephone messages, and the mail for any claim-related updates. Keep your address current because you'll receive letters outlining what you need to do to maintain benefit eligibility. The decisions about your claim are made based on available information, so it is important that you respond on time when you're instructed to do so.

File for weekly benefits at neworks.nebraska.gov while your claim is processing

You have from Sunday to Friday to file your claim for the previous week. If you don't file your claim on time, your benefit payments may be affected.

Report your gross earnings (before taxes are deducted) each week

Gross earnings include, but are not limited to: your hourly rate of pay multiplied by the total hours worked, tips, commission, and earnings from self-employment. You must report all earnings for the week that you perform the work. Do not wait until you are paid. Keep track of the total hours you work each week, Sunday through Saturday. Misreporting wages is fraud and could result in penalties and criminal charges.

Applying for Nebraska unemployment benefits

You can quickly and easily file your unemployment claim online. If you need assistance, call the Nebraska Claims Center at 402-458-2500 between 8am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday. You must register in NEworks, neworks.nebraska.gov, as part of the initial unemployment claim process. All claimants must complete an online resume unless you have a recall date with your employer or are a member of a union with a hiring hall. If you are filing a claim from another state and do not live in a county bordering Nebraska, you must also register for employment services in the state of your residence.

Filing your weekly unemployment claim

After you file your initial claim, file weekly claims online at neworks.nebraska.gov for every week you are unemployed or your hours are reduced. You must file a weekly claim for any week that you want payment or waiting week credit, even if your eligibility is being decided or you have an appeal pending. If you are determined eligible, you will typically receive payment within 2-3 business days of filing your weekly claim. If you need assistance, call the Nebraska Claims Center at 402-458-2500 between 8am and 4:30pm CST Monday - Friday.

How much will I receive each week?

Your individual benefits are calculated by identifying the highest quarter earnings in your base period. That amount is then divided by 13 to arrive at the average weekly wage, then divided again by two and rounded down to the next even dollar amount to arrive at your weekly benefit amount. You will be advised of this amount when you receive your monetary determination in the mail. NESL: 48-624

How long will my benefits last?

You may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits during a 12-month period. The maximum amount of unemployment benefits you may receive during your benefit year is 26 times your weekly benefit amount, or 1/3 of your total base period wages, whichever is less. Your maximum amount is calculated after any separation issues are adjudicated and may be reduced when there are separation disqualifications, such as a discharge or quit.

How will I receive my payments, debit card or direct deposit?

You are required to select a payment method of direct deposit or debit card when filing your initial claim. They do not issue paper checks. You can change your payment method by logging into your unemployment claim online at neworks.nebraska.gov.

File an appeal

You have the right to appeal if you disagree with a determination regarding your claim. Your appeal must be received within 20 calendar days from the date the determination was mailed. You can file your appeal online at neworks.nebraska.gov, by email ([email protected]), by fax (402-471-1734), or in writing by mailing to: Nebraska Appeal Tribunal, Nebraska Department of Labor, PO Box 98941, Lincoln, NE 68509. If your appeal is in writing, you must state the reason you wish to appeal and include your signature, Social Security Number and employer's name. Include the Determination ID from your determination letter. There are two parties that may file an appeal regarding your unemployment benefits. You, the claimant, and your former employer.

You will be notified by the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal that an appeal has been received. In a separate notice, you will be informed of the time and date of the hearing. Follow all instructions from the Appeal Tribunal to protect your own interests. It is important that you participate in the hearing. Appeal hearings are free and a lawyer is not required, although you may be represented at your own expense. Appeal hearings are conducted by telephone conference call.

While your appeal is pending, continue to file for weekly benefits, complete any required work search contacts, and log these contacts at neworks.nebraska.gov. If you disagree with the appeal decision, you may request that the decision be reconsidered or you may appeal to the District Court.