The coronavirus pandemic has led to huge numbers of American workers losing their jobs or seeing their hours greatly reduced due to a lack of available work. Fortunately, even if you’ve been able to find part-time work, you can still receive partial unemployment insurance.
Just like full-time unemployment benefits, the qualifications and requirements will vary by state, so you’ll need to check your state’s website or call a representative to find out specific information. However, here’s a general guideline on what exactly partial unemployment means and how you can claim it.
Partial unemployment is a way to provide some of the benefits of regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits to those who lost their job but found part-time work or had their work hours reduced.
There are several scenarios that would make you eligible for partial unemployment benefits.
You’ll need to check with your state’s website for specific eligibility requirements, but generally, if you lost your job or had your hours reduced through no fault of your own, you probably qualify for unemployment. You must also meet your state’s base period requirements, meaning you worked for a minimum amount of time and earned a certain amount.
You should apply for unemployment as soon as you lose your job. Just like with regular unemployment insurance, you’ll need to be ready, willing, and able to work, and actively seeking employment.
If your hours were reduced, then your employer may be required to file on behalf of you. Check with your state’s website to verify what is needed to apply for unemployment insurance and how to certify your weekly claims.
[Read a general guide to unemployment benefits here] (https://www.jobcase.com/articles/guide-to-unemployment-benefits)
How much you receive will depend on several factor determined by your state. Typically, once the state has determined what your full-time unemployment benefit rate would be, it would then subtract what you’re currently earning from that number. Massachusetts currently has the highest maximum payout for full-time unemployment at $855/week, while the lowest is Mississippi at $235/week.
For instance, New York recently changed its determination from number of days worked to number of hours worked. So if you worked 11-20 hours in one week, you would receive 50 percent of the full unemployment rate.
Some states, like New York, have online calculators to help you figure out how much money you’ll be receiving, so start your search there. If there’s no calculator and you’re unable to determine what your payment will be, contact your state's unemployment agency directly.
Have you received partial unemployment benefits? Share your experience in the comments