Unemployment Insurance: Delaware
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Nancy Hatch Woodward, Nancy Hatch Woodward Communications
- Delaware's unemployment taxes may vary based upon the employer's claims experience or whether the employer is a new employer. See Unemployment Insurance.
- Unemployment benefits are generally available for a maximum of 26 weeks, but may be increased during times of high unemployment. See Unemployment Insurance.
- Claimants must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.
- Employers must maintain certain records related to unemployment compensation. See Recordkeeping.
Most employers doing business in Delaware are subject to Delaware's Unemployment Insurance Law. Covered employers pay contributions into the unemployment trust fund. An employer's contribution rate may vary based on the claims experience of the employer, or whether the employer is a new employer.
Types of workers generally not eligible for Delaware's unemployment compensation include, but are not limited to:
- Barbers and beauticians;
- Taxicab drivers;
- Some maritime employees;
- Church employees and clergy;
- Certain governmental employees;
- Railroad employees;
- Insurance and real estate agents and direct sellers;
- Individuals receiving other unemployment insurance;
- Individuals in work-relief and work-training programs;
- Family members in proprietorships;
- Hospital patients; and
- Student nurses and interns.
Delaware unemployment benefits are available for a maximum of 26 weeks. Benefits may be extended during times of high unemployment.
Unemployment insurance is paid only to those unemployed claimants who:
- Are unemployed through no fault connected with work;
- Are able and available for work and are actively seeking work;
- Have filed for claims benefits;
- Have registered for work; and
- Have been paid at least 36 times their weekly benefit amount by an employer in the base period.
An individual may be disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she:
- Leaves work voluntarily without good cause;
- Is discharged for just cause;
- Refuses an offer of suitable work;
- Refuses a referral to a suitable job opportunity by the Employment Service;
- Is not working due to a labor dispute, except for a lockout;
- Is receiving unemployment from the federal government or another state;
- Commits fraud to obtain benefits; or
- Is an inmate in any penal institution.
Pension Plans and Back Pay Awards
Individuals receiving a retirement pension or annuity from a base period employer will have their weekly benefit amount reduced for the employer-financed portion of the pension. Claimants are not entitled to receive both pay and unemployment insurance benefits for the same period of time.
Each employer is required to keep accurate work records and make them available, upon request, to the Delaware Department of Labor's Division of Unemployment Insurance.
Employment records must be maintained for four years and must include:
- Employee's name and Social Security account number;
- Gross and taxable wages for each payroll period; and
- All other payments made to the employee, including holiday pay, bonuses, board and lodging, tips and dismissal pay.
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