Am I still Eligible for Unemployment if I’m Working but my Hours Have Been Reduced? Partial Weekly Unemployment Benefit Rules By State

Despite a relatively health economy and plenty of jobs on offer many potential workers are not going back to work full time – either by choice or by circumstance.

A common question I get from those in this situation is whether they will still be eligible for unemployment benefits if they go back to work part time or on reduced hours

The answer overall is is Yes, if going part time is the only choice they have. It also depends on how much you are earning relative to your state’s weekly benefit amount (WBA) and how many hours you are working. Rules do vary by state and you can see state specific references in the table below.

Unemployment Benefits For Those Working Part Time

As a reminder, partial unemployment benefits are for workers whose hours have been cut or for those who have been forced to take a part-time job due to a lack of work. Payment and rules around these benefits generally operate in a similar way to full unemployment benefits. While each state is different, the following are the broad criteria for getting partial UI benefits:

  • work part-time rather than full-time through no fault or choice of your own. I.e. you are working part time because of your employer or a special disability situation.
  • are able and available to work full-time. So you cannot decide you want to study or take time off; and
  • satisfy your state’s minimum earning or work requirements to quality for unemployment benefits.

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Calculating Partial Unemployment Benefits (with Examples)

The table below provides resources and state UI links to help figure out eligibility for partial unemployment benefits.

Most states use your average weekly wage over a specified base period to calculate the weekly benefit amount (WBA) you would receive if you were fully unemployed.

They then subtract a partial benefit deduction based on your part time weekly wages to determine your weekly partial benefit, which cannot exceed your maximum WBA.

Essentially as your part-time earnings go up, your unemployment benefit decreases until it reaches a point where you’re no longer eligible for assistance that week.

Example: Jane Gibson lives in Missouri and works part-time earning $180 per week. Her weekly benefit amount, were she was fully unemployed and based on her weekly average wage based over the last twelve months would be $320.

To calculate partial unemployment benefit amounts in Missouri, you subtract $20 or 20% of the weekly benefit amount (whichever is greater) from the weekly wages of $180. That amount, called the partial UI deduction, equals $116 ($180-$64).

Then, take the full weekly benefit amount of $320 and subtract the UI deduction ($116) to arrive at a weekly partial benefit of $204.

Example 2 : Mike lives and claims UI in California. He is determined to be entitled to a weekly unemployment benefit of $400.

However he had his hours reduced and now works his job part-time earns $280 per week. California UI law disregards the first $25 or one-quarter of an employee’s earnings (whichever is more) in calculating partial unemployment benefits.

The state would not count one-quarter of his earnings ($70), but would subtract the rest ($210) from the weekly benefit he would receive if he were unemployed ($400) to come up with his partial benefit amount: $190.

Based on CA rules, where the maximum unemployment benefits is $450, the most someone could earn in a week is $600 before they lose all regular and enhanced UI benefits (see more details and comments in this article)

Part-Time Unemployment Information by State

The table below provides a summary and links to partial unemployment calculations on a state-by-state basis, which I am continuing to update on an regular basis as rules are updated following the end of pandemic enhanced benefits.

See this article of the maximum WBA by state as your partial amount cannot exceed that. You can leave a comment for any updates, corrections or questions.

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StatePartial Benefit RulesState Info Pages
AlabamaAL Unemployment Information
AlaskaAK Unemployment Insurance State Website
ArizonaWeekly earnings will impact your weekly benefit amount. When filing your mandatory weekly claim (the benefit week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday) you must report all earnings, and earnings in excess of $30 are deducted from the weekly benefit amount. For example, if you qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount of $240 and you receive $180 in earnings for a week, provided you met the other weekly eligibility requirements, you would receive $90 in weekly state UI benefits. If you receive at least $240 in earnings for a week, you will not be eligible for any benefits for that week.AZ Department of Economic Security
ArkansasYou may be eligible for partial benefits if you work part-time and earn less than 140% of your Weekly Benefit AmountArkansas Division of Workforce Services
CaliforniaThe first $25 or 25 percent (which is greater) of the wages allocated to a week will be disregarded in determining your UI weekly benefit amount. The amount remaining (i.e., earnings over $25 or 75 percent of the earnings, whichever is smaller) is deducted from the claimant’s weekly benefit amount. If the deductible amount equals or exceeds the WBA, the claimant would not be unemployed and would not get any benefit.

So based on the CA EDD guidance and given the max UI in CA is $450, the most someone could earn per week is $600 before losing unemployment benefits.
CA EDD Partial UI details
ColoradoEligible for partial benefits if you are working fewer than 32 hours a week and earning less than the WBA. You can earn up to 50% of your WBA and still be paid your full benefit payment. After that, a 1-1 dollar reduction of earned pay to benefitsCO Department of Labor and Employment
ConnecticutYour payment for partial benefits will be figured by taking two-thirds of your gross earnings for the week claimed and deducting that amount from your Weekly Benefit Rate.

For example, if your weekly benefit rate for unemployment is $200, and you work 5 hours at $12/hour - then 2/3 of your gross earnings ($60) or $40 would be deducted from $200, leaving you a check amount of $160. You also still must be able, available and looking for full time work.
CT Department of Labor
DelawareDE Division of Unemployment Insurance
District of ColumbiaDC Dept. of Employment Services
FloridaNo benefits if employment earnings greater than WBA. See Short-Time Compensation (STC) Plan. Limited to work 60% to 90% of normal work hoursFL
Dept. of Economic Opportunity Information
GeorgiaPartial unemployment insurance claims may be filed by employers for full-time employees who work less than full-time during a pay period due to lack of work only. The employees must still be attached to the employer and must have earned wages that do not exceed the weekly benefit amount plus $50.00.

Partial Claims should not be filed when an employee is out of work due to disability, worker’s compensation or medical leave.
Partial Claims should not be filed when an employee is not able and available to accept all work offered by the employer.
GA Department of Labor Information
HawaiiHI Unemployment Insurance State Website
IdahoID Dept. of Labor
IllinoisIf your gross wages earned in any week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you still may be eligible to receive a full or partial benefit payment). Partial benefits equal the difference between the part of your earnings that exceed 50% of your weekly benefit amount and your weekly benefit amount for total unemployment. If the partial benefit amount does not come to an even dollar, it is raised to the next higher dollar, provided it does not exceed your weekly benefit amount.IL Dept of Employment Security
IndianaIN Department of Workforce Development
IowaIA Workforce Development
KansasKS Department of Labor
KentuckyKY Career Center
LouisianaLA Workforce Commission
MaineME Department of Labor
MarylandA part-time worker is defined as an individual whose availability for work is restricted to part-time work, and who worked at least 20 hours per week in part-time work for a majority of the weeks of work in the base period (time period used to determine monetary eligibility for benefits).MD Department of Labor (DLLR)
MassachusettsIf you work part-time hours during weeks in which you request unemployment benefits, you may still be paid benefits if your gross wages (total wages before taxes are deducted) are less than your weekly benefit amount. Any earnings greater than 1/3 of your weekly benefit amount (known as your earnings disregard) will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from your weekly benefit payment.MA Department of Unemployment Assistance
MichiganIf you work less than full-time during a calendar week, you can collect partial unemployment benefits for that week as long as your gross earnings are not more than 1.5 times your weekly unemployment rate and all other requirements to receive benefits (you are able to work, available for work and seeking full time employment) are met. MI Partial Benefits Calculation
MinnesotaMN Department of Employment and Economic Development
MississippiMS Department of Employment Security
MissouriMO Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
MontanaMT Department of Labor and Industry
NebraskaNE Department of Labor
NevadaNV Dept. of Employment, Training and Rehab
New HampshireNH Department of Employment Security
New JerseyTo be eligible for partial benefits, you cannot work more than 80 percent of the hours normally worked in the job. For example, if you worked a 40-hour week, you won't be able to get benefits if you work more than 32 hours. If your employer offers additional hours that you choose not to accept, your benefits may be affected.

For any wages earned from any employer:

If you earn 20 percent or less of your weekly benefit rate from an employer, you can still receive your full benefit amount for that week. However, we will not pay you more than your weekly benefit rate.
Here's an example, using a weekly benefit rate (WBR) of $500. Let's say you worked a few days one week and earned $300. For $500, partial weekly benefit rate (PWBR) is $600. Partial weekly benefit rate PLUS 20 percent. You would receive $300 as your unemployment benefit for this week. Your PWBR minus your earnings of $300 equals $300.
Let's take a look at another example. Let's say that one week you worked a few hours and earned $50. For a $500 WBR, your partial benefit rate is $600. $600 minus $50 equals $550. However, since we will never pay more than your WBR, which is $500, your benefit for this week $500. We're not penalizing you (cutting your benefits) because you were able to squeak out some more hours while you were collecting unemployment. We want to get you in the door to work even a little bit, since that's a step toward full reemployment.
If you earn more than 20 percent of your weekly benefit rate from an employer in a given week, your partial weekly benefit payment will be reduced dollar-for-dollar for all gross wages earned that week.
For example, if your weekly benefit rate is $200, your partial weekly benefit rate is $240 (20 percent more than $200.) If you earn $50 (gross) during a week, you would receive $190 in unemployment insurance benefits ($240 – $50 = $190).
NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development Information
New MexicoNM Department of Workforce Solutions
New YorkFor every day you work, you lose access to 25% of your maximum unemployment benefits. So if you work three days a week, you get 25% of your benefits. If you work two days a week, you get 50% of your benefits, and if you work one day a week, you get 75% of your benefits.NY Dept. of Labor
North CarolinaNC Division of Employment Security
North DakotaND Job Service
OhioIndividuals who are partially unemployed due to lack of work may be eligible for benefits. Any earnings from employment during the week claimed may reduce the amount of benefits paid. Earnings equal to or less than 20% of a claimant's weekly benefit amount will not reduce the amount of benefits paid. Earnings over 20% of the weekly benefit amount will reduce the benefit payment dollar for dollar. Earnings equal to or over the benefit amount will result in no benefits for that week.OH Dept. of Job and Family Services

OklahomaOK UI Home Page
OregonOR Employment Department
PennsylvaniaYou may work part-time and earn up to 30 percent of your weekly benefit rate in each claim week before your earnings affect your weekly benefit payment. This 30 percent of your weekly benefit rate is your "partial benefit credit." Any amount that you earn over the partial benefit credit earned in a week will be deducted from your weekly benefit rate dollar-for-dollar. When reporting earnings for a calendar week, always give the actual amount of gross earnings. The amount is rounded up to the highest dollar amount (i.e., $76.07 = $77) when determining the amount payable for the week.

The following example shows how the partial benefit credit works:

A person becomes unemployed and applies for UC benefits, and is determined to have a weekly benefit rate of $200. With a weekly benefit rate of $200, the partial benefit credit is $60 (30% of $200 = $60). This means that the claimant could earn up to $60 in part-time employment and still receive the full $200 in UC benefits for that week.

After being unemployed for a few weeks, the claimant found a part-time job that pays $99.25 (rounded up to $100) a week. The claimant is required to report the gross amount of part-time earnings when filing for benefits. The easiest way to figure the amount of benefits payable to the claimant for the week is to add the weekly benefit rate and the partial benefit credit together and subtract the weekly earnings.
PA Department of Labor & Industry Partial UI
Puerto RicoPR Department of Labor & HR
Rhode IslandRI Dept. of Labor and Training
South CarolinaSC Dept. of Employment & Workforce
South DakotaSD Department of Labor & Regulation
TennesseeTN Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
TexasAn individual is partially unemployed in a benefit period of less than full-time work if the individual's wages payable for that benefit period are less than the sum of:

- The benefit amount the individual would be entitled to receive if the individual was totally unemployed; and the greater of: $5; or 25 percent of the benefit amount.

So basically you’ll subtract whatever you earned working from 1.25 times your normal state-provided benefit. If what you made is great than 1.25 your benefit amount you won't get any additional state UI.
TX Workforce Commission
UtahUT Dept. of Workforce Services
VermontVT Dept. of Labor
VirginiaYou must report any gross wages, not net wages, during the week they are earned, not paid. If the gross, not net, wages you earn are less then your weekly benefit amount, you may receive unemployment benefits. However, the amount of gross wages that are more than $50.00 will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount. If your gross weekly wages are equal to or more than your weekly benefit amount, you will not be paid benefits for that week.

Your employer will be sent a notice that you have applied for partial benefits and your weekly benefit amount. During any week you earn less than your weekly benefit amount because of a lack of work, your employer is required to give you a Statement of Partial Unemployment, Form VEC-B-31, stating your wages for the week.
VA Employment Commission
WashingtonWA Employment Security Department
West VirginiaWorkforce WV
WisconsinTo determine benefits payable: (e.g. for $500 weekly income, with WBA of $300)
Subtract $30 from your gross (part-time) income. (e.g $500- $30 = $470)
Multiply the remainder by 67% or 0.67. ($470 x 0.6 = $282)
Subtract this new amount (including the cents) from your WBA ($300 – $282 = $18)
This rounded amount is UI payable for the week when you were partially employed ($18)
WI Dept. of Workforce Development
WyomingWY Unemployment Insurance Home Page

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits And Part-Time Workers

With the expiry of pandemic unemployment benefits, which included PUA/PEUC enhanced benefits and the extra $300 FPUC weekly payments, part-time unemployment workers also lost lose access to these enhanced employment benefits.

They can apply for retroactive unemployment benefits in some cases if they were eligible during covered periods.

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13 thoughts on “Am I still Eligible for Unemployment if I’m Working but my Hours Have Been Reduced? Partial Weekly Unemployment Benefit Rules By State”

  1. question I live in Syracuse new York
    I’m receiving unemployment due to my job refusing to put me on the schedule with no reasoning
    but I decided to help parents by accepting to provide childcare. I start next week 150 a week I will be getting paid parent fee, until dss approves me as a legal exempt provider. Once I inform my unemployment worker of the 150 a week I will be receiving. will unemployment still give me benefits until I start receiving my monthly checks from dss.

    Reply
  2. I live Pa.I was working 34 hours a week about to months ago I got a cold my boss reduced my hours to two days a week then I slipped on steps I sprained my neck then I got sick again I want to get the covid test I was fine then he took another day away from me now I have one day a week can I collect

    Reply
  3. Hi, i live in CA and currently have 0 balance on my benefit, however EDD files PEUC automatically for me, and waiting to pop up on my edd website. they announced that who will be qualify to receive xtra $300 is whom the unemployment benefit at least $100 or more. i was getting $231 a week for my benefit.
    if i start working part time, and when my benefit is reduced from $231 to below $100, am i still qualify for extra $300? or does it have to show at least $100 on edd website?

    Reply
    • I was told that you should get the extra $300 if your original weekly benefit amount is over $100, even if you work part time and the actual payment that week is under $100.

      My original benefit amount was $190 but i have gone back to work in recent weeks, dropping the payment to about $50. But I was still told I would get the extra $300 in late September, which would be retroactive.

      Reply
  4. Please help me navigate the Florida weekly benefit calculations. According to my eligibility determination, my maximum weekly benefit amount is $160 /week (calculated from a 13k annual gross). I’m currently making $200 /week gross due to reduced hours by my employer as a result of COVID-19. I’m being told that despite qualifying for unemployment assistance, my weekly deductions mean I do not qualify for payments; in essence, I was told that my $200 /week gross is too much to qualify for assistance since I make more than the $160 /week benefit amount.

    Based on what you know of FL’s program, is this correct?

    Reply
  5. My experience with the NY State DOL applying for UI during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I am a self-employed massage therapist in NYC with a five year commercial lease expiring next year on a studio where I work. My last day of work in the studio was 3/07/2020. On 4/21/2020 I was finally able to get through to the NY State DOL online and apply for UI. On 5/21/2020, I received my first payments of PUA at $182 per week and the FPUC $600 per week for the week ending 5/17/2020. On 6/3/2020, I then received my retroactive payments – 8 weeks of PUA at $182/week [$1456] and 6 weeks of FPUC at $600/week [$3600] totaling $5056. These benefits have become a lifeline for any hopes I have of remaining in business. At the same time, it made me sick that the entire retroactive amount I received plus more went directly to my landlord for office rent past due on a space that I am legally bound to pay but forbidden to use until the Phase 3 reopening in NYC which could be several more months.

    I thought I was shorted $1982 that should have been part of the retroactive amount paid to me. I was very concerned since it would cover another month of office rent. But for some unexplained reason, I was not paid one week [the waived “waiting week”] of PUA benefits [$182] and three weeks of FPUC benefits [$1800] all totaling $1982 for the 3 weeks prior to 4/5/2020. My inquiries through the DOL website Secure Message System regarding this discrepancy still remain unanswered.

    But you have provided the information here, namely that FPUC payments in NY State began after 04/05/2020. Thank you for providing it and for presenting the tangle of programs, dates and eligibility requirements in a clear, concise and understandable manner that has saved me from further waste of time trying to recover FPUC benefits prior to 4/5/2020 for which I am not eligible, though I am still due the PUA waived waiting week amount of $182.

    I do want to acknowledge and thank the NY State DOL. Their resources are stretched thin and they may not answer inquiries, but they are very much focused on getting payments out as quickly as possible to the vast numbers of eligible recipients, including myself. It was 4 weeks from application to the bank deposit for my first certified week, an astounding turnaround considering the circumstances. Thank you.

    Reply

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