Did you or someone you know recently lose a job in Nevada? If so, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. The purpose of unemployment benefits is to provide compensation to former employees who are unable to work at this time, but not as a result of the employee’s own choices. While many of the rules for applying and qualifying for unemployment are the same throughout the nation, there are some state-by-state differences, such as prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts and other details.

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits in Nevada

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) is tasked with handling unemployment benefits. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are an applicant seeking Nevada unemployment benefits, you must meet the following requirements in order to successfully collect:

  1. Earned at least a minimum amount of wages before unemployment occurred;
  2. Must have become unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by state law; and
  3. Must be actively seeking employment as well as be able and available to work.

Past Earnings & Unemployment Benefits

Your earnings under a one-year base period will be considered. Under Nevada law, the base period is the earliest of four of the five complete calendar quarters prior to filing a benefits claim. In order to be eligible and qualify for Nevada unemployment compensation benefits, the individual must have earned a minimum of $400.00 during the highest paid quarter of the base period in question. Beyond this, one of the following two requirements must also be met: (1) total earnings during the base period must equal at least 1.5 times the earnings made during the highest paid quarter; and (2) some wages must have been earned in at least three of the four quarters of the base period.

Your Reason for Being Unemployed in Nevada

Just like other states in the U.S., an individual seeking Nevada unemployment compensation benefits must be out of work through no fault of their own in order to qualify for these benefits.

If you were laid off. When an individual is laid off, loses his or her job due to what is known as a reduction-in-force (RIF), or was “downsized” by the employer due to economic reasons, you will likely be entitled to unemployment benefits.

If you were fired. Being fired because of misconduct relating to your employment, you will be barred from receiving unemployment compensation. If, however, you were fired because of a lack of skills in order to properly perform the job or if you simply were not a good fit with the company, you may be entitled to receive these benefits.

If you quit. An individual who quits his or her job will not be eligible for Nevada unemployment compensation benefits, unless he or she had good cause to do so. Generally, good cause means the person’s basis for leaving the position was (1) job-related and (2) so compelling that there was no other choice. Examples of this include dangerous working conditions, sexual harassment, health issues, relocation with a spouse, or to care for a seriously ill family member.

What if I Am Willing & Able to Work?

In order for someone to continue collecting unemployment benefits, the individual must be both able and available to work. He or she must also be actively seeking employment. Moreover, if a suitable position is offered, the individual must accept this job. If you stop seeking employment, you may no longer be eligible for benefits.

What constitutes a suitable position is dependent upon several factors. These include how much the position pays, the skill and training required to do the job, how similar the position is to the person’s prior employment, and how far the commute is if the position is accepted. As time passes and the person remains unemployed, the individual is expected to adjust his or her standards and consider accepting a position that differs from prior employment or that pays less than the prior job.

The state of Nevada considers a person available to work only if he or she does not have any restrictions that keep them from immediately taking a position offered. This includes making arrangements for childcare and transportation. Moreover, an individual is required to engage in a good-faith search for employment. The effort must be that of a reasonable and prudent person who is anxious to find work. In order to be able to establish this, a person seeking employment while on unemployment benefits should keep a running record of potential employers contacted, dates contact was made, and the outcome of the contact. This is because Nevada’s DETR may request the individual provide this information at any point during the unemployment claim.

Nevada Unemployment Benefits: How Much & How Long

Should you meet the requirements and become eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the state of Nevada, your weekly benefit rate (WBR) will equal four percent of your total earnings during the highest quarter of the base period used. The minimum WBR is $16.00 per week while the maximum WBR is $407.00 per week. The maximum amount of time benefits can be received is 26 weeks, unless this time period is extended by law.

Filing and/or Appealing an Unemployment Benefits Claim in Nevada

A Nevada unemployment claim may be filed online or by phone. Contact information may be found on the DETR’s website. Once your application has been received, DETR will send you documents indicating whether or not you have met the initial earnings requirement to qualify for unemployment benefits. If your Nevada unemployment compensation claim is denied, you only have 11 days to appeal this decision. Upon receipt of your appeal request, the DETR will schedule a hearing; you will receive a notice of the date along with information explaining the appeal process. At this hearing, which occurs before an appeals referee, you will be given the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses in support of your claim. If you are still denied unemployment benefits by the appeal referee, you may appeal this decision with the Board of Review but must do so within 11 days of the initial hearing’s decision. If the Board denies your claim you may appeal this decision in court.

Consult with Skilled Nevada Employment Attorneys

It is difficult and stressful enough to lose a job; do not try to navigate Nevada’s unemployment compensation system on your own. If you or someone you know is looking for legal assistance with an employment claim, contact the experienced employment attorneys at Paul Padda Law. These skilled attorneys can guide you every step of the way and protect your rights under the law. Call today to schedule your initial case evaluation.