Yes. You may be denied unemployment benefits if you were fired; however, this will be determined by your state and the reason for your dismissal. The ability of a sacked worker to obtain unemployment benefits is determined by state law.

In common parlance, a worker who is dismissed for inappropriate conduct is disqualified for benefits, either completely or for a defined amount of time (referred to as a “disqualification period”). However, the meaning of misconduct differs between states.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state initiative that provides unemployed employees short-term cash benefits while they look for a new job. Companies pay unemployment taxes known as FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) and SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act).

Unemployment claims can raise unemployment insurance tax rates for entrepreneurs, so understanding how the process works is critical to avoiding questionable decisions.

Unemployment benefits serve employees who lose their jobs through no fault of theirs, thus helping them to cover their bills before they find new employment. If you are dismissed from your job, the situation surrounding your employment termination determines whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits or not.

Employees who were dismissed because they are a poor match for the role, don’t have the required skills for the role, or are unable to meet performance expectations can obtain unemployment.

Employees who act purposefully or wantonly against the company’s best interest, on the other hand, are unlikely to qualify for unemployment benefits. Sometimes conduct that occurs outside the workplace, including a questionable social media post on a private account or a felony, can invalidate you from obtaining unemployment benefits.

Misbehavior That May Disqualify a Worker from Receiving Unemployment Benefits

As previously stated, you may be denied unemployment benefits if you were fired, but this is usually determined by your state and the reason for your dismissal. Nonetheless, the following are among the types of improper conduct that may disqualify a worker from receiving unemployment benefits:

  • Failure to pass a drug or alcohol test. Workers who are dismissed for screwing up a drug or alcohol test are unlikely to receive unemployment benefits in several states. In certain states, failing to submit to testing also serves as a disqualifying incident.
  • Employees who are dismissed for theft from the enterprise or from coworkers are unlikely to be qualified for unemployment benefits.
  • Criminal act. Employees who undertake a job-related crime, such as harassing a coworker, drinking and driving while on business operations, or ruining highly valued business property, would be denied unemployment benefits.
  • Infringing on safety regulations. A worker who makes a silly error could still be able to qualify for unemployment benefits, but a worker who willfully or purposefully violates essential safety regulations will most likely be denied benefits.

States in the United States Where You Can’t Get Unemployment Because You Were Fired

If you are dismissed for improper conduct, you will be refused unemployment in all states in the United States. However, the meaning of improper conduct depends on the state.

It is important to highlight that in order to obtain unemployment benefits across all states in the United States; you must have been out of employment because of no fault of your own. A worker who is dismissed for gross misconduct is disqualified for benefits, either completely or for a specific set period of time (referred to as a “disqualification period”).

In those states, the worker cannot obtain unemployment benefits unless he or she finds another permanent position, and continues to work there long enough to satisfy the state’s income and/or work eligibility specifications, before becoming unemployed again.

However, in some states, a worker who is dismissed for inappropriate conduct is only able to qualify for unemployment benefits for a limited time, especially if the wrongdoing is minor. In other words, the employee is penalized, but once the disqualification period expires, he or she can qualify for unemployment benefits.

Furthermore, in every state in the United States, an employer is allowed to challenge an unemployment claim that they believe is inaccurate. Whenever an erstwhile worker files a claim, their previous employer will be notified by the state or federal unemployment agency. Remember that an employee is entitled to appeal the rejection of an unemployment claim.


The majority of unemployment benefits funding comes from company taxes. States have discretion over who can obtain unemployment benefits, the duration, and for how much.

If you satisfy every one of the requirements for unemployment benefits, be informed that you will be subject to certain requirements. While obtaining unemployment benefits, you should look for a fresh job—and states may require evidence of your job hunt.