Requirements for Partial Unemployment Benefits

If your work hours drop below full-time employment levels, filing for partial unemployment compensation can supplement a sudden loss in income until you return to full-time work. Directly following the initial week an employee works less than full-time work, he may file for partial unemployment compensation, but he must meet a few requirements to obtain partial benefits. If an applicant fails to meet even a single requirement, he forfeits eligibility for partial unemployment compensation. Furthermore, if a current partial unemployment recipient fails to comply with any of the requirements, he loses his eligibility to further partial unemployment compensation for the remainder of his partial employment period.

Involuntary Partial Employment

To receive partial unemployment benefits, your work hours must be reduced through no fault of your own. This means you must experience a reduction in work hours due to slow business or lack of work, or at your employer’s discretion, not through your own requests. If your employer decides to reduce your work hours at her discretion, it must not be a disciplinary measure or the result of poor job performance.

Work Availability

Fortunately in some states, unlike full unemployment recipients, partially employed unemployment recipients are not required to register for full-time work, says the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission. However, by accepting partial unemployment compensation, you are agreeing to remain available if your job eventually becomes full time. For varying states, this means attendance in an educational program or any other program that will prevent full-time work during a normal working day is forbidden; otherwise, you will forfeit your right to partial unemployment benefits. This rule varies state by state, so contact your state’s labor board for exact details.

Work and Wage Reporting

Partially unemployed claimants must file valid weekly claims--in the same manner as totally unemployed claimants--in order to draw unemployment benefits. However, unlike completely unemployed claimants, partially unemployed claimants must report all work hours and wages during the weeks of partial unemployment. Work and wage reports must be true and accurate; failure to report accurate wage and work hour earnings could lead to fraud charges. As far as establishing a valid weekly claim, claimants must earn below an established threshold as established by your state’s labor board to qualify for compensation during weeks of partial unemployment. If a claimant’s wages surpasses this threshold during a week of partial unemployment, she can’t file a subsequent claim for that week.

Returning to Work

When you eventually return to full-time work, you must report your return to full-time employment status. Failure to report your return could prevent you from obtaining partial unemployment benefits if you should experience another episode of partial unemployment. Your partial unemployment benefits will stop on the initial day of full-time work, regardless of your first full-time pay date, says Delaware’s Division of Unemployment Insurance.

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