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Employment Security Division

Unemployment Eligibility

Individuals who are considered out of work through no fault of their own may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

Minimum qualifications for eligibility include, but are not limited to:
1.  Sufficient earnings within the
base period of a claim to qualify monetarily for benefits;
2.  Must be wholly unemployed or employed less than full-time and have earnings less than their weekly entitlement;
3.  Must be found to be out of work through no fault of their own;
4.  Must be available to seek and accept work customary to their normal occupation;
5.  Must be physically and mentally able to work at the time they initiate a claim for benefits; and,
6.  Must not refuse suitable work when offered.

Monetarily Eligible:

A person must have worked in employment and have sufficient wages within a base period to qualify for the claim.  The work must be in "covered" employment, but is not required to be wholly within one state.  The vast majority of employers are "covered" employers, but some employment is exempt from coverage, such as work performed for a church, self-employment and work performed for private employers while in the custody of a state correctional institution.

In Nevada, a person must have earned at least $400 in one quarter of the base period, and have total base period earnings of not less than 1-1/2 times the earnings in the highest quarter, OR must have wages in at least 3 of the 4 base period quarters used to calculate eligibility.


A person must be either wholly unemployed or be working a reduced schedule due to insufficient hours to be considered unemployed.  Persons on a leave of absence, individuals receiving worker's compensation and commission salespersons working full-time but not earning commissions due to lack of sales are not considered unemployed.  Also, individuals who are self-employed do not meet the definition of unemployed, unless the self-employment is casual in nature and can be worked at the same time as a full-time job in the person's customary occupation.

Out of Work Through No Fault of Their Own:

Nevada reviews separations from the most recent period of work (Last Employer), and, in some case, the next to most recent work (Next-to-Last Employer).  In order to be determined to be out of work through no fault of their own, a person must be laid off, discharged (fired) for reasons other than misconduct as defined under law, or quit for reasons meeting the test of good cause under the law.  There are other provisions covering labor disputes (strikes and lockouts), retirement and leaves of absence.

If an individual has worked for their most recent employer for less than 4 months on a full-time basis, the reason for separation from the previous employer is reviewed as well.  Separation from that period of employment MAY be basis for denying benefits.

When a person has separated from the most recent period of employment (Last Employer) and in some cases, the next to most recent (Next-to-Last Employer) work for a reason other than a layoff due to a lack of work, a temporary hold is placed on the claim while the circumstances are investigated.  All parties are provided opportunity to submit information used to issue a determination of eligibility to receive benefits.  The Division representative determines if the reasons provided by the employer and the claimant allow payment of benefits.  The party that does not prevail in this process has the right to appeal to a referee for further review.

Other factors may be reviewed through this process, including, but not limited to:
1.  The individual's availability to seek and accept work;
2.  Receipt of vacation or severance payments;
3.  Refusing an offer of work; and,
4. Participation in reemployment services designed to shorten the duration of a person's unemployment.

Available to Seek and Accept Work:

A person must be actively engaged in efforts to seek and secure employment in their customary occupation to be eligible to receive benefits.  A person must not have personal circumstances which prevent them from applying for a job and accepting a job when offered.  Some examples of circumstances that may prevent a person from being available for work include, but are not limited to:
1.  Inadequate child care;
2.  Lack of adequate transportation;
3.  Lack of tools required to perform the job;
4.  Unwillingness or inability to work the days and hours customarily required by the type of work; and,
5.  A personal decision to attend school not designated as approved training by the Division.

Persons in good standing with a hiring hall union and reporting for job call as directed, those on temporary lay-off with a definite date to return to work as defined by the employer and approved by the Division and persons attending a training or educational program designated as approved by the Division are considered available for work.

Must Not Refuse Suitable Work:

A person must accept an offer of suitable employment when made and must go on referrals to suitable work as directed by this Division.  Suitable work is defined as work which the individual customarily performs and that pays the prevailing (average) wage for that type of work in the area that the work is being performed.  Individuals who have held a job for a long time and then find themselves unemployed may have difficulty with this provision, as their wages likely exceeded the average wage paid for that type of work.  Unemployment Insurance is that, an insurance designed to prevent excessive financial hardship while the worker secures a job with another employer.  It is not designed to allow an individual to refuse lower-paying positions until he secures a job with 100% wage replacement.

The Nevada Employment Security Division Job Service refers individuals who are receiving benefits to work when suitable openings are available.  A person who refuses to apply for a job as directed by the Job Service may be denied further unemployment benefits.

Adjudication & Appeals

Unemployment Insurance is designed to provide cash payments to individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own while they seek new work.  To qualify for these benefits, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements of Nevada law.

If there is any question of eligibility, the circumstances are reviewed.  If a person does not meet all requirements of the law, benefits can not legally be paid.

Nevada conducts fact-finding interviews to obtain all information relating to a question of eligibility.  The interview is conducted by a non-partial representative called an adjudicator.

Adjudicators review all questions of eligibility, including separation from the last employer, as well as the next previous employer if the most recent period of employment was less than 16 weeks.  If either of these separations was for a reason other than a lack of work, the adjudicator determines if the reason for the separation allows for payment of benefits.

If either the claimant or the employer disagrees with the determination, they have the right to appeal the decision and obtain a hearing before an impartial appeal referee.  A hearing is held to review previously obtained information, as well as obtain additional information which may not have been presented in the adjudication process.  When this hearing has been completed, the referee reviews the applicable law and issues a written decision.

If either party disagrees with the decision of an appeal referee, the party may request that the Employment Security Board of Review examine the case.  This board is made up of members appointed by the Governor of Nevada and is restricted to reviewing information already presented.  This board may also elect to not review the case if the referee confirmed the original determination of the adjudicator.

Unemployment insurance claims may also be appealed to court after administrative processes have been completed.  

Filing a Claim for Unemployment Benefits Online

or By Phone:

Northern Nevada:
(775) 684-0350

Southern Nevada:
(702) 486-0350

(888) 890-8211

General Information
   For General Information, please contact the above phone numbers and select Option 3.

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Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation
2800 E. St. Louis Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89104
500 East Third Street  -  Carson City, NV 89713
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