COVID-19 has changed so many different aspects of our lives. In particular, employment has changed. Many people are now unemployed or partially unemployed. People who have never had to face this situation are curious about the benefits for partial unemployment. It’s tough to navigate, but the answers are out there.
What is Partial Unemployment?
As the name suggests, partial unemployment means that you have some type of work. However, you don’t work full-time. Moreover, you can’t find full-time work. Therefore, you need additional financial assistance just to make ends meet. There are benefits for partial unemployment.
Who Qualifies for Partial Unemployment Benefits?
It’s important to understand that unemployment benefits vary from state to state. Moreover, different situations can affect benefits. That said, generally speaking, people can get benefits for partial unemployment if:
- You had a full-time job (or multiple part-time jobs) but your hours have been reduced to part-time. Additionally, you can’t find additional work to cover those extra hours.
- You are working part-time because it’s the only option at your job. In other words, you had the choice to either get laid off entirely or take a cut in hours.
- Note that you must have been previously, recently, employed. You have to have earned some kind of income before you can qualify for partial unemployment benefits.
Put simply, if you are able-bodied and can work full-time but aren’t able to find full-time work, then you might qualify to get benefits for partial unemployment. Note that simply quitting your full-time job to take a part-time job doesn’t qualify you. You have to be willing to work full-time if the option becomes available.
Factors Affecting Partial Unemployment
It’s difficult for someone to determine exactly how much money they can earn from unemployment benefits, especially when employed part-time, because there are so many factors that affect this:
- The state that you live in. Unemployment benefits in general, including for partial unemployment, vary a lot from state to state. You have to apply within your state. They have very specific rules about income guidelines, payouts, and so forth.
- Whether and how much you worked – and earned – in the year prior to applying for unemployment.
- How you left full-time employment. For example, if you were fired for cause, then you may not qualify.
- How long you need benefits. Unemployment benefits only last for a certain period of time. Therefore, if you’ve collected partial unemployment for longer than that, then you may no longer qualify.
- How much money you earn from your part-time employment. Typically, you’ll receive a certain benefit amount minus some portion of what you earn.
- COVID-19: Rules have changed as a direct result of this pandemic. For example, self-employed people previously didn’t qualify for unemployment or partial unemployment benefits. However, now they do under certain pandemic unemployment rules.
How Much Are Benefits for Partial Unemployment
Obviously, no one can easily plug all of these factors into a calculator to tell you how much you’ll get if you qualify for benefits. There are simply too many variables.
Here is one coronavirus unemployment calculator that can give you a basic idea:
However, that’s not going to give you an exact amount. Many states do offer their own online calculators. For example, there are calculators for:
All that said, the only way to really know what you’re going to qualify for is to go ahead and apply. If you believe that you qualify for partial benefits for unemployment, then contact your state unemployment agency. Fill out the application. Speak to one of their representatives. Then you’ll know exactly what you’re entitled to.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .