Utah Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

In this article...
  • Explore Utah's eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits, and find out how and when to file an unemployment claim if you're laid off from work.

When you're laid off from work in Utah, the state's unemployment program can provide financial support while you search for a new job. If you're eligible for benefits, you'll receive a weekly payment until you find work or reach the maximum payout amount. The Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) handles all unemployment claims.

Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Utah?

Before you file an unemployment claim in Utah, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be:

  • Unemployed
  • Willing, able and available to take a full-time job
  • Currently looking for work
  • Able to meet the state's minimum wage limits

Like most states, Utah requires you to be unemployed through no fault of your own. That means if you quit or were fired, you may not qualify for benefits. However, you can still apply; the DWS will ask for more information about the situation from both you and your last employer.

Income Requirements

Before you file an unemployment claim in Utah, make sure you meet the minimum income requirements. In the base period, you must have:

  • Had an income in at least two quarters
  • Earned at least $4,500
  • Had a total income of at least 1.5 times the amount you made in the highest-earning quarter

Standard Base Period

When evaluating your claim, the DWS looks at how much money you made during the standard base period, which is the first four of the five most recently completed quarters.

Month the claim is filed

Standard base period is the preceding

January – March (Quarter 1)

October 1 – September 30

April – June (Quarter 2)

January 1 – December 31

July – September (Quarter 3)

April 1 – March 31

October – December (Quarter 4)

July 1 – June 30

For example, if you file for unemployment in December 2022, you'd look at your income from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. The DWS uses that information to determine the amount of your weekly benefit.

Alternate Base Period

If your income during the standard base period was less than $4,500, the state will look at the alternate base period, which is the four most recently completed quarters.

Month the claim is filed

Alternate base period is the preceding

January – March (Quarter 1)

January 1 – December 31

April – June (Quarter 2)

April 1 – March 31

July – September (Quarter 3)

July 1 – June 30

October – December (Quarter 4)

October 1 – September 30

Staying Eligible for Unemployment in Utah

If your unemployment claim is accepted, you'll need to file a weekly claim and search for work to maintain your eligibility.

Weekly Claims

Once you start receiving benefits, the Utah state government requires you to file a new claim every Sunday to verify that you're still eligible.

The weekly claim process at a glance:

  • Log in with your social security number and PIN.
  • Enter any income you received during the previous week.
  • Answer a series of questions about your work search, travel and employment status.

You're allowed to work part-time and receive unemployment. However, if your income exceeds 30% of your weekly benefit, the DWS will reduce your payment accordingly. If you bring in more than the benefit amount, you won't get an unemployment payment for that week.

Job-Search Requirements

While you're receiving unemployment benefits in Utah, you must contact at least four employers every week. Methods of contact can include:

  • Applying for a job
  • Interviewing for a job
  • Participating in an employment or networking event

For each contact, make sure to keep a record of the method, date, employer name, company contact information, job title and results. The DWS asks for this information in your weekly claim, and you may be audited at any time.

At the beginning of your unemployment, the DWS allows you to limit your job search to positions that are similar to your previous job. The longer you collect unemployment benefits, the more flexible you must be with position titles, salary and duties. At that point, the state expects you to accept any reasonable job offer. However, this doesn't apply if you're unemployed due to a labor dispute, such as a lockout or a strike.

How Do You Apply for Utah Unemployment Benefits?

To apply for unemployment benefits in Utah, follow these steps:

  • Gather the required documents: You'll need your ID, social security number, and employment information for the past 2 years.
  • Create a new claim: Use the Utah DWS Unemployment Insurance Claim Filing website; it's available from 2:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. every day. Allow about 30 minutes to complete the claim.
  • Choose payment method: You can get a U.S. Bank Reliacard or a direct deposit into your bank account.
  • Register with Workforce Services: Visit the my Unemployment section of the Workforce Services website and click the Register for Work link. You must complete the registration process within 10 days of filing an unemployment claim.

According to state law, you can't get unemployment benefits during the first week that you're eligible. Assuming that the DWS accepts your claim, you can expect the first payment in 3 weeks.

How Much Do You Get From Utah Unemployment?

In 2022, Utah's maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount is $661, and you can receive up to $17,186 per year.

When calculating your benefit amount, the state takes the income from your highest-earning quarter and divides it by 26. Then, it subtracts $5. For example, if the most you made during a quarter was $11,726, you'd receive $446 per week.

To calculate the number of weeks you can receive unemployment, also known as your weeks of entitlement, the Utah DWS multiplies your total base-period income by 27% and divides it by your weekly benefit amount. The minimum is 10 weeks of entitlement; the maximum is 26 weeks.

You don't have to worry about doing the math; within 3 weeks of your claim, the state will send you a Notice of Monetary Determination with all the relevant information.

Factors that Affect Your Weekly Benefit Amount

The calculations above can help you figure out the maximum weekly benefit amount. However, other factors may reduce the amount you can receive each week, including:

  • Foreign and domestic travel
  • Incarceration
  • Child support deductions
  • Retirement income
  • Part-time work income
  • Reason for leaving last job
  • Tax withholding
  • Refusal of work
  • Ability and availability for full-time work

The DWS takes these factors into account each time you file a weekly claim.

What Happens if Unemployment Claims in Utah Are Denied?

If the Utah DWS denies your unemployment claim, you'll get a letter in the mail. You can appeal the decision in writing through the appeals website, by faxing 801-526-9242 or by mail; look for instructions on the denial letter. Continue filing a weekly claim throughout this process.

When the state grants you a phone hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, confirm the time and date with the Appeals Unit. There's no need to hire an attorney; the judge will help you. If you disagree with the ruling, you can file a further appeal with the Workforce Appeals Board.

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