Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Indiana?


To qualify for unemployment benefits in Indiana, you must meet a minimum earnings requirement and you must be unemployed through no fault of your own.



To qualify for unemployment benefits in Indiana, you must meet two basic requirements:

  • you must have earned at least a minimum amount (and/or worked a certain amount of time) before you lost your job, and
  • you must be out of work through no fault of your own.

If you meet these two qualifications when you apply, you will likely be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. (To keep receiving benefits after you are found eligible, you will also have to meet your state’s job search requirements; to learn more, see What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Indiana?)

Gig workers, freelancers, and contractors are no longer eligible for benefits. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Congress greatly expanded eligibility for unemployment. Among other things, these programs provided benefits to gig workers and other contract workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits. However, these programs expired in every state on September 6, 2021; about half the states cut off these benefits even earlier. 

Eligibility Requirement 1: Minimum Earnings

Unemployment benefits are available only to those who are temporarily out of work. If you apply after being out of the workforce for years, for example, you won’t qualify for benefits. You must have been employed relatively recently, and earned at least a minimum amount, to be eligible.

States look at an applicant’s work history during a stretch of time called the “base period.”

In Indiana, the base period is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters immediately before you filed for benefits. For example, if you file for benefits on March 15, 2024, your base period will be from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. It would not include the most recent complete calendar quarter before you filed (October 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023) or the first two-and-a-half months of 2024.

Some states require only that you earn a minimum amount of money during the base period; other states require, either in addition or instead, that you have done some work in more than one quarter of the base period.

To qualify for benefits in Indiana, you must have earned at least $4,200 in the entire base period, including at least $2,500 in the last two quarters of the base period. In addition, your total wages during the base period must be at least one-and-a-half times your wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period.

If you were unable to work during the base period, you may be entitled to an extended base period. In Indiana, the extended base period can include up to four complete calendar quarters from before you were unable to work. 

Eligibility Requirement 2: Reasons for Unemployment

To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. If you lose your job in a layoff, reduction-in-force (RIF), downsizing, or similar job action in which positions are cut for financial or strategic reasons, you will be eligible for benefits.

However, you don’t have to be laid off to collect unemployment. You may still be eligible even if you quit your job or you were fired, depending on the circumstances.

If You Quit Your Job

If you quit your last job voluntarily, without a good, job-related reason, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits. However, you won't be disqualified if you quit because of:

  • harassment
  • domestic violence
  • safety violations at your work site
  • unreasonable changes in the terms or conditions of your job
  • your spouse's relocation, or
  • military service. 
In some states, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits for a certain number of weeks. In other states, you may be disqualified until you get another job and earn a minimum amount (typically, this amount is less than you would have to earn to qualify for benefits in the first place). Check the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook for more information about disqualification based on why you quit your job. 

If You Were Fired

If you were fired for just cause, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. In Indiana, just cause includes drug use, unexcused absences, property damage, and breaking your employer's rules. 

You may be disqualified either for a set number of weeks or until you get another job and earn a minimum amount, depending on state law. In some states, the length of the disqualification period depends on why you were fired. You can learn more about disqualification based on the reason you were fired in the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook

If You Are Still Employed

If you are still working but need time off for reasons relating to COVID-19 or other health issues, you may be eligible for paid sick leave under your state's law. See Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in Indiana to learn more. 


Jurisdictional relevance: ST

There are versions of this article for each State.