Unemployment FAQs

Please select from an Unemployment category below to get more help or review a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions updated weekly here.

Unemployment Benefits and Tax Information

Benefits

How is the amount of my benefits determined?

When you file an initial application, your work history will be reviewed to determine if you have earned enough wages to qualify for unemployment.

If you have earned enough wages to qualify for benefits, you will be entitled to receive regular unemployment benefits for those weeks when you are either totally or partially unemployed and meet all requirements. We determine both your weekly benefit amount (WBA) and your total benefit amount (TBA) based on the wages you earned during your base period.

To qualify for benefits you must have been paid wages from insured employment in at least two quarters with the total of your wages being at least 30 times your WBA. Insured work is work performed for employers who are required to pay unemployment insurance tax on your wages.

What will my Weekly Benefit Amount be?

If you are eligible for regular unemployment benefits, weekly benefit amounts for claims effective before July 1, 2021 will be between $125 and $503 per week. For claims filed on or after July 1, 2021, weekly benefit amounts will be between $135 and $540 per week. You will be notified of your weekly benefit amount through a monetary determination, which will be issued after you file an application for benefits. If you want an estimate of your weekly benefit amount, we recommend using our benefits calculator at GetKansasBenefits.gov. You may also be eligible to receive an additional $600 per week from the federal government in addition to your Kansas weekly benefit amount from March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020.

When does my Benefit Year begin?

The Benefit Year begins when your claim is effective. Your claim is good for one year starting with this date.

Is there a waiting week?

Yes. The waiting week is the first weekly claim filed that the claimant is eligible for unemployment benefits and this week does not pay. The claimant serves one waiting week per benefit year.

The waiting week is resuming for any claims filed after June 15, 2021. The Order was in effect starting March 14, 2021 and is reinstated June, 15, 2021. For claims filed between

Please continue to file for unemployment benefits as soon as you become unemployed. Your claim is effective the week you file and the waiting week will be served for the first eligible week of unemployment.

My Benefit Year ended, but I’m still unemployed. Do I need to reapply?

Yes, if your benefit year has ended and you still need unemployment benefits, you must file a new initial claim on the GetKansasBenefits.gov website to reestablish a new benefit year. Your monetary entitlement is active for only that year. When you file for a new benefit year, it will be reviewed as a new state unemployment claim and KDOL will determine your eligibility for either state or federal benefits. This process of determining may take a few days and claimants will be notified via mail. In the interim, continue to file your weekly claims if you are not working or are working reduced hours.

What is the Weekly Benefit Amount?

The Weekly Benefit Amount is the amount of unemployment insurance benefits you are eligible to receive each week before taxes and other deductions, if it is determined you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

What is the Total Benefit Amount?

The Total Benefit Amount is the amount of unemployment benefits you are eligible to receive during your benefit year, if it is determined that you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Divide your total benefit amount by your weekly benefit amount to calculate the approximate number of weeks of unemployment benefits available to you.

What is the Average Kansas Rate?

The seasonally adjusted, three-month average unemployment rate in Kansas at the time your claim is effective.

Will the weekly and total benefit amount showing on my monetary determination include the additional $600 authorized under federal law?

No, the amount will show only your state entitlement. The $600 will be paid in addition to those amounts.

Can I work part time and receive benefits?

You may receive some benefits for a week in which you work less than full time and earn less than your weekly benefit amount.

You may earn up to 25 percent of your weekly benefit amount (WBA) without a reduction to your unemployment benefits. Any earnings over 25 percent of your WBA will be deducted from your unemployment benefits on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

You must report your gross wages (wages before deductions) and not your take-home pay. This includes any wages received as a Reservist for weekend drill and annual training participation.

All wages from employment must be reported during the week when the wages are earned, not when they are received.

Will other income impact my benefits?

Vacation, holiday, bonus, and separation pay may reduce or delay your unemployment benefits when paid. If you receive these types of pay while claiming unemployment benefits, you must report this information when you file your application and weekly claim for payment.

Certain retirement pensions will reduce your weekly benefit if the employment you are receiving the pension from is also your base period employment (the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters).

Examples of pensions that may reduce your benefits include:

  • Military retirement
  • Private employer pension
  • Federal civilian pension
  • State, county or city pension
Note: Social Security benefits will not reduce your weekly benefit amount.

What if I have been ordered to pay child support?

If you are responsible for court-ordered child support payments and are in arrears, the Kansas Department for Children and Families will initiate an order to take part of your unemployment insurance benefits.

Initially, the order will take 50 percent of your benefits each week.

For more information please call the Child Support Call Center at (888) 757-2445.

The Kansas Department of Labor cannot assist in answering any questions about child support cases.

The $600 FPUC payments will also be deducted for Child Support.

What happens if I am overpaid unemployment insurance benefits?

If you receive benefits you are not entitled to, you are required to repay the benefits, even if someone else made the mistake that caused the overpayment. When a potential overpayment is detected, we may ask you to provide information as we investigate. If an overpayment has been established, we will mail a notice of determination explaining how the overpayment occurred, the amount overpaid and how to repay the amount due. If it is determined that a claimant received more money than they were entitled to, their case is turned over to the Asset Recovery unit to collect the debt. You may contact the Asset Recovery unit at (785) 296-3609 to make arrangements to repay an overpayment. You may repay it in a lump sum or by making payments. If you believe that the notice is incorrect, you have the right to appeal.

You may pay it back in a lump sum, or you can request a payment plan to pay overtime.

If you are still claiming benefits, your overpayment will be deducted from your weekly unemployment payments until the overpayment is repaid. This means you will be without unemployment benefits until the overpayment is paid back. In addition, any state tax refund you may be due will be applied to the overpayment in each year an overpayment remains. It is to your advantage to repay overpayments as soon as possible.

Kansas law requires that we collect interest on your overpayment, which over time will increase the amount you must repay.

The $600 FPUC payments will currently not be used to offset overpayments.

Are my benefits taxable?

Unemployment insurance is taxable income and must be reported on your federal and state income tax returns.

If you want to have taxes withheld from your weekly unemployment benefits, complete the authorization form Agreement to Withhold Federal Income Tax from UI Benefits for federal withholding and Agreement to Withhold Kansas Income Tax from Unemployment Insurance Benefits for state withholding and send them to the Unemployment Contact Center as directed on the forms.

In January IRS Form 1099-G will be mailed to you stating the amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to you during the previous year as reported to the IRS.

Can someone apply for benefits if their hours are reduced?

Yes, they can apply, and our staff will then determine whether or not they are eligible for benefits. Working less than full time may still be considered unemployed depending on the amount the individual earns. If they are eligible, their weekly benefit amount will be reduced in accordance with the amount of earnings. It is important that claimants accurately report their earnings when filing their weekly claims.

If an individual has multiple jobs, can they still claim unemployment for the loss of a job?

Yes, they can apply, and we will determine whether or not they are eligible for benefits. We know people are holding more than one job at a time. We will look at the weekly benefit amount and how much is earned and the hours of work at the other job to determine eligibility. If they are eligible, their weekly benefit amount will be reduced in accordance with the amount of earnings. It is important that claimants accurately report their earnings when filing their weekly claims.

What if someone did not work before their current job?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, an individual must have worked sufficiently within the last 18 months. The individual can apply for benefits, and KDOL will determine whether they have sufficient earnings during that time period to be entitled to benefits.

Payments

How will I get paid?

You must file a weekly claim for payment for each week you want to receive benefits. Payments will be made if all eligibility requirements have been met. Your claim becomes inactive if you have not filed a weekly claim for payment or had any other activity on your claim for 14 calendar days. Claims will be paid by debit card or direct deposit depending on which option you selected when filing your application for benefits.

When will I be paid?

If there are no issues on your claim, payments are normally received two to three business days after you file your weekly claim.

Please note: If you file your weekly claim on Sunday or Monday, the payment is typically issued on Tuesday. Allow 2 - 3 business days for payments to be deposited.

Benefit payments will not always be deposited in your debit card or bank account on the same day each week. They may be delayed because of holidays or temporarily held while an issue is being investigated. You must file your weekly claim while any investigation is in progress.

How can I find out if my benefit payment has been issued?

You can obtain information concerning the status of your claim anytime online by selecting the CHECK YOUR CLAIM STATUS option, or by selecting option "1" through the weekly claim phone line. You will be able to get information about:

  • The last three weeks you claimed.
  • Date and amount of your benefit payment and the amount of benefits remaining.
  • If a benefit payment was not issued, the system may be able to tell you the reason.
  • If the amount of your benefit payment is reduced because of earnings, pension, child support deduction or any other reason, the system will tell you the amount of the deduction and the reason for it.

What is the Unemployment Debit Card?

Important Notice: Starting July 20, 2021, unemployment benefits will be issued on the new U.S. Bank ReliaCard®. Any remaining funds on the Bank of America debit card will not be transferable to the new ReliaCard.

The Unemployment Debit Card is one way for unemployment claimants in Kansas to receive unemployment benefits. A card will be mailed to your home address when your first payable week is processed. Through U.S. Bank, the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) deposits your unemployment benefit payments onto your card, making cash available to you through ATMs, MasterCard member financial institutions and other locations, such as grocery stores, that accept MasterCard debit cards. The Frequently Asked Questions on the U.S. Bank ReliaCard® website provides detailed instructions on how to use your card.

Important Reminder: It can take more than one week after processing the first payable week for you to receive your debit card.

If a claimant selects debit card but has a previous debit card from filing for UI before, the payments may be loaded to the old card. They can call U.S. Bank at (855) 282-6161 to double check if they already have a card and/or if a replacement card is needed.

Is the Unemployment Debit Card a credit card?

No. It is a prepaid debit card. The card carries no credit line and you are not subjected to a credit check or approval process to receive the card. Purchases and withdrawals are limited to the balance on your card, similar to a checking account or a gift card.

If I receive a debit card, does that mean I have met the unemployment benefits eligibility criteria?

Receiving a debit card means your first benefit payment has been approved. Getting a debit card does not guarantee that you will continue to qualify for unemployment benefits and payments. You should continue to file a weekly claim. If you have any questions, visit GetKansasBenefits.gov for more information on your claim.

Important Reminder: It can take more than one week after processing the first payable week for you to receive your debit card.  Choose direct deposit in payment options for quicker access to your first payment.

How can I access my unemployment benefit funds through my debit card?

To access your funds, you can:

  • Make purchases through signature or PIN-based transactions
  • Get cash back at store point-of-sale locations
  • Funds from an eligible fee-free ATM, as identified by U.S. Bank
  • Transfer funds to your personal bank account through U.S. Bank
  • Obtain cash through bank tellers at any participating bank
Important Note Regarding ATM Withdrawals: There is a fee for non-participating ATM withdrawals and international withdrawals.

It can take more than one week after processing the first payable week for you to receive your debit card. Choose direct deposit in payment options for quicker access to your first payment.

Where can I get cash with my Unemployment Debit Card?

You can receive cash back at select retail point-of-sale merchant locations. You can also withdraw funds with no fee at any U.S. Bank in the U.S.. Check out usbankreliacard.com for a list of surcharge-free ATMs.

Important Reminder: It can take more than one week after processing the first payable week for you to receive your debit card. Choose direct deposit in payment options for quicker access to your first payment.

I haven't received my Unemployment ReliaCard® yet.

If you opted to received your UI benefits on the U.S. Bank ReliaCard® but have not received the card yet, please do the following steps to check on the status of your card.

  1. Check the status of your card on the U.S. Bank ReliaCard® website.
  2. If you're unable to locate the status of your card log into your GetKansasBenefits (GKB) account and make sure you accepted the disclosures in the "Payment Options" tab.
  3. Make sure the address on file is the most current one we have.

If you have done the steps above, please call the Unemployment Contact Center.

Can I access the entire cash amount of my unemployment benefit payment on the day the funds are available on my debit card?

Yes. The total amount is available for withdrawal on the day of payment. However, there may be a $1,000 daily limit set on ATM cash withdrawals. Please note that some transactions, such as use of your debit card at a gas station, restaurant or hotel, may cause a hold on an amount of your card for up to several days. Some ATMs set limits on the amount that can be withdrawn at one time.

Can the Contact Center help me manage my payment information?

No. Only you can access your payment information on GetKansasBenefits.gov to manage the payment of your benefits. All inquiries regarding direct deposit must be made through your banking institution.

How do I set up direct deposit?

Log in to your account on GetKansasBenefits.gov and select Payment Options. Select direct deposit and fill out the required banking information.

Sample check that explains how to read the Routing Number, Account Number and Check Number from the bottom of the check

Can I split my weekly unemployment payment to go to multiple accounts?

No. Payments can only be deposited into a single checking or savings account.

Will I be notified when funds are deposited in my bank account?

No. You will not receive a notification from the Kansas Department of Labor. Some banks do offer notifications for your account but you would need to contact your bank.

What if the KDOL website shows my weekly unemployment payment went through but my bank does not have a record of the deposit?

Once we have issued payment you will need to contact your bank if you have questions about your direct deposit.

If their GetKansasBenefits online account says we have released payment and they have direct deposit, the call center will not be able to assist them any further with their payment. Once we release the payment, it is up to their individual banks to release the payment to their account.

How do I change my payment method from direct deposit to a debit card or from debit card to direct deposit?

Through your account on GetKansasBenefits.gov.  Log in and choose payment method. Then select the option you wish to choose and provide any required information.

Claimants can switch between debit card and direct deposit. If they were signed up for debit card and 2 payments were made there, then they switch to direct deposit, the first 2 payments will stay with the debit card. Future payments will be direct deposited.

Are there any fees associated with having my weekly unemployment payment direct deposited?

No.

How often will I need to update my direct deposit information?

Any time you file a new or additional application for benefits you should review your banking information for accuracy.

Multiple weeks have paid, why haven’t I received a card yet?

Claimants questioning where their payments are if multiple weeks have paid out, need to double check the day their payments were released.

For example, there are some claimants who had weekly claim payments for weeks ending 3/21 and 3/28, but the payments were not made until this week. The 7-10 days for a debit card will not apply until this week when the payments were made, even though the “weeks claimed” are much older.

Tax Withholding

Where can I find the forms to print off for income tax withholding?

Refer to the state and federal income tax withholding form (K-BEN 233) below. This form can be completed on your computer, printed and then mailed or faxed to the Unemployment Contact Center.

I faxed/mailed in my withholding forms. Did you receive them? You are not withholding any income taxes from my weekly payment.

Once we receive your form(s), we will send you notification in the mail verifying that we have received your withholding form.

Will you go back and withhold income taxes from prior weeks that have already been paid?

No, we will only begin to withhold income taxes as of the date we process your request(s). If you have not been using withholding, we strongly recommend you set aside 3.5 percent for state income taxes and 10 percent for federal taxes from your weekly benefits check in order to fulfill income tax obligations for this year.

Will the amount being withheld be reduced if I only receive a partial payment?

Withholding amounts are based on a percentage of your weekly benefit amount even if you are only receiving partial payments. Although you may be receiving a reduced weekly benefit amount, the withholding amount will be 3.5 percent of your weekly benefit amount for state withholding and 10 percent for federal withholding if you have completed both forms.

Will you send me the tax withholding forms?

We will not automatically send out income tax withholding forms.

What is the amount you will withhold for Kansas State income taxes; for federal income taxes?

We will withhold 3.5 percent of your weekly benefit amount for state income taxes and 10 percent for federal income taxes. For example, if your weekly benefit amount is $200 we will withhold $7 for Kansas income taxes and $20 for federal taxes.

Will I need to fill out a form to start or stop both Kansas and Federal income tax withholding?

Yes, you will need to complete the form above to start or stop withholding.

Can I elect to only withhold Kansas income taxes?

Yes.

Can I elect to only withhold federal income taxes?

Yes.