Unemployment compensation is a program designed to assist individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. All claimants, in order to qualify for benefits, must be able and available for suitable work. In most states, a claimant must register for work with the state agency and have documented proof that they are conducting work searches. A claimant may not refuse, without good cause, an offer or referral to suitable work without being disqualified from benefits.
All states disqualify claimants who voluntarily quit without good cause, are discharged for misconduct, or refuse an offer of suitable work without good cause. Each state varies on their individual laws regarding the definitions of “misconduct” and “good cause," but this is the generally accepted rule. Employees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own may qualify for unemployment benefits. The eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details vary from state to state.
While the states have waived some rules because of COVID-19, these minimum requirements to qualify remain in place.