I've lost my job, how do I qualify for unemployment benefit?
To qualify you must:
- have been insured for at least 52 weeks
- have at least 20 contributions paid or credited in the 3 consecutive quarters ending with the quarter but one before that in which you became unemployed
- have at least 7 contributions paid or credited in the quarter but one before the quarter in which you became unemployed
How do I claim unemployment benefit?
First, you should report to the Unemployment Section at the E. Humphrey Walcott Building,Culloden Road,St. Michael to complete a claim form and register at the National Employment Bureau.
How is unemployment benefit calculated?
The daily rate of unemployment benefit is 60% of your average insurable weekly earnings divided by 6. This also applies to someone who has been laid off or kept on short time (working a reduced number of hours).
Can you give me an example? If you earn $400 a week, your unemployment benefit would be:
60% of 400 divided by 6 = $40 a day.
Will I get the benefit for the first three days of unemployment?
No, these are treated as "waiting days" and you will not receive benefit for this time unless you're unemployed for 3 weeks or more.
How long will I receive unemployment benefit?
The benefit is payable for each day of unemployment except Sundays for a maximum of 40 weeks in a continuous period of unemployment; or for an aggregate of 40 weeks in the 52 weeks immediately before the current week of unemployment.
What happens if I am made unemployed again?
Two or more periods of unemployment, which are not separated by more than eight weeks, are seen as one continuous period of unemployment starting on the first day of unemployment. The rate payable for the whole period is the same as that during your first period of unemployment.
If I go away for a weekend trip will I continue to receive unemployment benefit?
No. Unemployment benefit will not be paid for any time you spend out of the island nor during imprisonment nor for any period more than 2 weeks from the time you registered at the E. Humphrey Walcott Building. You must visit there every two weeks to continue receiving your benefit.
For more information download the NIS Guide to Benefits booklet which you can view in Adobe Acrobat. If you don't have Acrobat, click here to download it.
Have more questions or need to clearly understand the terms used? Take a look through the FAQ or the Glossary in the Information Zone.