Many people believe that continuing to work part-time after losing their full-time job will make it more difficult for them to qualify for Unemployment benefits for part-time workers, but this isn’t always the case. Even if you’re currently employed part-time, you can be qualified for unemployment benefits. If you’ve lost your part-time work, you might still be qualified.
The state you work in and whether you qualify for unemployment benefits based on your employment history determine whether you are eligible for partial unemployment.
Unemployment Eligibility When You Work Part-time
Benefits for jobless people are intended to fill the temporary income gap brought on by a job loss that occurred through no fault of their own. After being laid off, some people end up with decreased hours or are only able to obtain part-time work when what they really want—and require in order to pay their expenses and maintain financial stability—is full-time work.
In order to encourage workers to continue working part-time while looking for full-time employment, partial unemployment payments are offered. They might also be accessible to employees who have lost part-time jobs, depending on where you live.
For instance, in Pennsylvania, you can be eligible Unemployment benefits for part-time workers if you worked less than full-time and made less money during a week than your weekly benefit amount. You cannot, however, receive more money than your weekly benefit amount.
Who Qualifies for Partial Unemployment
If you reduced your work hours for personal or family reasons, you would often not be eligible for partial unemployment payments. However, as state regulations differ, it’s crucial to confirm the eligibility requirements in your area with your state department of labor office.
People whose work hours have been cut without their fault or choice—for instance, when a company is sold, liquidated, or restructured—generally qualify for partial compensation.
Many states also provide benefits to workers who have lost their full-time jobs and have taken on one or more part-time occupations to somewhat offset their lost income. Some jurisdictions even provide coverage for people who lost one of two or more part-time jobs while working multiple part-time jobs.
According to Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, most employees who are put on “zero-hour schedules” but aren’t legally laid off or terminated are qualified for unemployment benefits.
Each state’s eligibility criteria are unique. Workers who lost a full-time job in Georgia, for instance, but are now employed part-time and make less than their weekly benefit amount are eligible. Workers who lose a part-time work or have their hours cut may also be eligible Unemployment benefits for part-time workers.
How Partial Benefits Are Calculated
The majority of states determine your overall benefit amount by first calculating what you would have been eligible for if you were still totally unemployed. The amount you make from part-time work will typically be deducted from this total.
For instance, in New York, if you work 30 hours or fewer and make $504 or less in gross income, excluding earnings from self-employment, you can work up to seven days a week without losing your unemployment benefits for that week. Instead of taking into account how many days you work, benefits will be cut back in small amounts based on your weekly total of hours worked.
In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance payments in New Jersey, your weekly income must be at least $220. The amount of partial benefits is determined by the number of hours you work and your income.
Document Your Earnings
When you work part-time and get unemployment benefits, it’s critical to accurately report your weekly earnings. Collecting benefits to which you are not entitled is against the law and seen as fraud.
In order to continue receiving Unemployment benefits for part-time workers, you’ll also need to provide proof of your efforts to find full-time or, in some situations, part-time employment.
Extending Your Claim
In some states, working part-time might increase the number of weeks you are entitled to benefits. Your accumulated part-time earnings may also make you eligible for a fresh claim when your benefit year expires.
Why You Might Take a Part-Time Job
Even while taking a part-time work after losing your full-time employment may feel like a step backward, there are several advantages that could advance your career in the long run—not to mention some extra money that could be useful. Combining your partial Unemployment benefits for part-time workers will likely increase your income.
Progress Toward a Full-Time Job
Unemployment benefits for part-time workers can be advantageous for both your long-term job search and your bank account. Even if the work is not in your preferred field, you will build contacts, gain experience, and learn new skills. You can take advantage of the chance to work part-time to explore other areas of interest or to acquire skills and experience that will further your career ambitions.
Boosting Your Self-Esteem
Accepting part-time job while looking for full-time work might also increase your mood. Even while actively looking for a job, it provides a positive focal point.
Your resume has no gaps.
Working part-time enables you to avoid the potential red flag of substantial job gaps for potential employers by demonstrating a continuous work history on your resume.