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Nevada Unemployment – Know Your Rights

Last Verified: March 2017

Nevada unemployment insurance is meant to replace income on a limited, temporary basis. The program has two goals: to maintain economic stability during a recession; and to help those who lose their jobs.

As is the case in all states, Nevada unemployment benefits are subject to strict rules and guidelines enforced by the state. In Nevada, unemployment is managed by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s Employment Security Division (DETR). Before filing for unemployment benefits in Nevada, it’s important to know about eligibility requirements, where to go for help, and what information you will be asked to provide. Being informed and prepared will increase your chances of having your unemployment benefits claim approved.

Eligibility for Unemployment in NV

To be eligible for benefits in Nevada, you must have earned sufficient wages within a 12-month period prior to your most recent unemployment. Those earnings must come from an employer covered by the state’s unemployment insurance law. In addition:

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must be physically and mentally able to work when you file a claim
  • You must be available to look for and accept work in line with your usual occupation
  • You must be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US

Eligibility Requirements Explained

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

The initial requirement—being unemployed through no fault of your own—is fairly straightforward. It typically applies to layoffs, reduction in hours due to lack of work, your company going out of business, or the company being sold and reducing the workforce.

While illness or injury could also cause no-fault job loss, they do not make you eligible for unemployment benefits. In the case of injury or illness, you must file a Worker’s Compensation claim.

Able and Available

You must be physically and mentally able to work. You must be available to accept an offer of suitable employment. “Suitable employment” is a job you are trained to perform or have performed recently, at a salary similar to what you are accustomed to.

Legally Authorized

You may need to provide proof that you are an American citizen or that you have legal authorization to work in the US (e.g. “green card”).

Wage and Earning Requirements and the Base Period

To meet the wage requirements and qualify for benefits, you must have earned sufficient wages within a 12-month period called the base period. This is the first four of the last five quarters prior to your filing a claim for benefits.

unemployment base period
This chart shows the base period.

Your earnings during this period must meet either of the following conditions:

  • Wages equal to or exceeding one and one-half times the high quarter earnings, or,
  • Wages in each of at least three of the four quarters in the past base period.
Under both conditions, you must earn at least $400 in the high quarter. “High Quarter” means the 3-month period in which you earned the most money.

Calculating Benefit Payments in NV

The DETR uses the base period to calculate how much money you’ll receive each week, your weekly benefit amount (WBA). Your WBA will be 4% of your highest quarter earnings.

The state legislature sets a maximum WBA each year. Your WBA cannot exceed this maximum even if 4% of your high quarter earnings is more than the max. The max WBA in Nevada is $407 as of 2017.

Maximum Time and Amount of Benefits

The maximum number of weeks you may receive benefits is 26 weeks. The total amount you can receive during your benefit year (52 weeks from the date of your initial claim) is the lesser of:

  • 1/3 of your total base period wages
  • 26 times your WBA

Extended Benefits

During times of high unemployment the state or federal government may extend the maximum number of weeks in which you may receive benefits. At this time, the Extended Benefits program is unavailable.

How to Apply for Unemployment in NV

While it’s still possible to apply for benefits in person and over the phone, you also have the option of filing a claim online. You must provide information such as:

  • your social security number
  • names and addresses of your last two employers
  • dates of employment for your last two employers

You will also have to provide information about the circumstances under which you lost your employment, and whether you have sought any new employment.

File a claim for Nevada unemployment benefits here:

If you prefer to file by phone, you may use one of these numbers:

Northern Nevada: (775) 684-0350
Southern Nevada: (702) 486-0350
Long Distance or Interstate: (888) 890-8211

Weekly Certification and Maintaining Eligibility

Once your unemployment claim has been approved, you must certify your status on a weekly basis in order to continue to receive benefits. This is to prevent people from receiving benefits even after they’ve found new work.

The process of certifying the claim is also known as filing a weekly claim. You can file by telephone or online. You may request permission to file a weekly claim by mail. You must show a compelling reason why you need to file by mail.

If you don’t, your unemployment benefits payments may be delayed. The weekly certification process requires you to answer questions meant to determine if you have maintained your eligibility status. The DETR will want to know whether:

  • You are looking for work
  • You are able and available to work
  • You started or quit a job
  • You refused an offer of suitable employment
  • You earned any wages during the week you’re certifying

If you earned any money, you should report it for the week in which you earned the money, not when you received a payment. There are a variety of forms of payment that the state requires you to report including commissions, tips or pensions paid by a base period employer. Some forms of income are exempt from the reporting requirement, like Social Security income.

If you are unsure about whether you are required to report it, refer to the unemployment handbook or call a claims center. The wages you earn may affect the amount of WBA you receive when after certifying.

Part-time Work and Benefits

You may work part-time and receive benefits as long as your earnings don’t exceed your WBA. If you work full-time (40 hours a week), the state will not consider you to be unemployed. The DETR will consider self-employment when determining whether how much time you worked and availability to work. If you spend all your time on your DIY business, you will be considered unavailable to accept a job offer.

The state will deduct 75% of your WBA for any week in which you report earning wages.

Job Search Requirements

The DETR expects benefit recipients to make a good faith effort to find work. The DETR doesn’t mandate a specific number of job search activities, only that you perform a number of substantial efforts each week and keep a record of those efforts. You should exhaust the usual methods of finding work, apply for jobs in the way that is customary for your profession or career.

The DETR may audit your job search efforts at anytime, so keep detailed records of what you’ve done. If the state finds you have not been making an effort to find work, the DETR may stop your benefit payments.

Job Assistance and Training

Nevada JobConnect offers assistance to job seekers. The department that administers the program may work with the DETR to provide special assistance to some workers who may need help finding a job called Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESA). If the DETR contacts you to participate in RESA, you must participate as a condition of receiving benefits.

Some workers may be exempt from the mandatory job search requirement. If you are in a union, disabled or you have a specific return date to work (temporary lay off), you may not have to participate.

Unemployment Payments

If you are approved to receive Nevada unemployment benefits, you will most likely be issued an EPPI card. Many states, including Nevada, use the EPPI card to issue unemployment benefits. It’s a prepaid debit card, but because it has either a VISA or MasterCard logo, it can be used practically anywhere for nearly anything from groceries to gas to other household bills, and even at ATMs.

This is the preferred method of issuing benefits because it’s more secure than mailing checks, and provides beneficiaries with immediate funds when the card is reloaded. It also saves the DETR money that would otherwise be spent printing and mailing checks.

Find out more about the EPPI card here:

If you’d rather receive your unemployment benefits via a method other than the prepaid debit card, you’ll need to call DETR and speak to a customer service representative.

You must answer these questions honestly, or you may be subject to repercussions. It’s best to keep a log of your job search activity every week—resumes you sent out, interviews you went on—and have it ready should anyone at DETR request that information.

You may claim unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. After that time, if you are still unemployed, you may file for an extension of benefits, but there is no guarantee your request will be approved.

Reasons for Denials of Unemployment Benefits

If you do not meet the financial requirements (earn enough wages in your base period), you will not qualify to receive benefits. You will receive a Monetary Determination that will show how the claims examiner determined your eligibility. You may file a wage protest (sometimes called a “request for redetermination”) if you believe there was some error in calculating your base period wages. You have 11 days from the mailing date on the determination to file your protest. The DETR may grant your request and review your information or deny it. You should include any supporting documents regarding your wages.

Separation Issues

If you meet the financial requirements, the state may still deny benefits because of separation issues. If your actions or decisions caused your separation from work, the claims examiner may deny benefits.

If you quit for some reason not connected to work, the state may deny benefits. Circumstances you might think would be a good cause to quit, like you couldn’t find a babysitter or transportation, may result in a denial. Quitting because of a lack of child care is considered a cause not connected to work.

If you are fired because of something you did or failed to do, the claims examiner may consider that you committed misconduct connected to work and deny your claim. Misconduct is generally any act or inaction that shows a disregard for the employer’s interests. Being repeatedly late and ignoring warnings about being late is usually misconduct.

Quit and Still Eligible

There may be circumstances where you are left with little choice but to quit work. Your employer may have forced you to work for an unreasonable period without pay. If your employer did something or failed to do something to force you to quit, you may still be eligible despite quitting. You will have to show you made a good faith effort to solve the problem with your employer.

There may be other circumstances that force you into a position beyond your control and you have to quit. You may have to escape a domestic violence situation or you may have a toddler or an infant that needs medical care far from home.

Discharged and Still Eligible

Certain situations that get you fired may not be considered misconduct by the claims examiner. You may have been late or absent because of a verifiable medical condition. If your employer fired you because you were sick, and you saw a doctor, you may be eligible for benefits even though your employer dismissed you for violating the attendance policy. Again, you must support such assertions with evidence, or show you made a good faith effort solve any problems if able.

Other issues

The DETR can deny benefits for reasons not related to your prior employment. If you failed to make an effort to find work, you refused a reasonable job offer or you became unavailable to work while reviving benefits, the state may deny your claim

What Happens When Unemployment is Denied in NV

If your claim for unemployment benefits was denied, you have the ability to appeal the ruling. You must file your appeal within 11 days of the date the decision to deny benefits was made. If your appeal is approved, you may have to attend a hearing during which you will be able to state your case about why your claim for unemployment benefits should be approved. Be prepared to give evidence to support your case, such as dates of employment, witnesses to any employer misconduct, or any other information that will substantiate your claim.

If you are denied benefits, please visit our section on appealing benefits decision in Nevada.

For more information, you may call the Appeals Office directly:

Las Vegas: (702) 486-7933
Reno: (775)823-6660
Northern Nevada: (866) 626-0610
Southern Nevada: (866) 626-0629

Contact Nevada DETR
2800 E. St. Louis Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89104

500 East Third Street
Carson City, NV 89713

Phone Numbers

Northern Nevada: (775) 684-0350
Southern Nevada: (702) 486-0350
Long Distance or Interstate: (888) 890-8211
TTY Hearing Impaired Services:
Northern Nevada Claim Center: (775) 687-1109
Southern Nevada Claim Center: (702) 486-0157

For more information on filing an appeal, read our guide to appealing a negative decision in Nevada.


Here are more resources pertaining to Nevada unemployment:

Nevada Unemployment Law

Nevada Unemployment Insurance Handbook for Claimants (PDF document)

Nevada Unemployment Forms

File Unemployment Claims Online

Northern Nevada Emergency Resource Guide (PDF document)

Southern Nevada Emergency Resource Guide

Report Nevada Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Nevada Workforce Informer

Frequently Asked Questions About the EPPI Card


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