Unemployment benefits exist to provide workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own with monetary payments for a specific amount of time until the worker can find a new job. Eligibility is determined on a state-by-state basis and usually requires claimants to have made a certain amount of money during a specific time period prior to claiming unemployment. Regular unemployment benefits are paid for a maximum of 26 weeks and are normally half of the claimant’s prior earnings up to a certain maximum benefit amount.
Certain conditions can cause a claimant to be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, including:
-The worker quit without good cause
-The worker was fired for misconduct
-The worker resigned because of illness
-The worker left to get married
-The worker is now self-employed
-The worker is involved in a labor dispute
-The worker is currently attending school
Working part-time while claiming unemployment benefits will not automatically disqualify a claimant from the program, but it will reduce the amount the claimant receives. This amount varies from state to state. For example, in Missouri, weekly unemployment benefits are generally reduced by 20% if the claimant is working part time.1 Claimants can continue to receive unemployment benefits while they are employed part time until the deduction amount becomes higher than the benefit amount, which usually occurs when the wages earned through part-time employment exceed the weekly unemployment benefit amount.
An Example of How Part-Time Benefits Work
Suppose a claimant lives in Missouri and is eligible for $279 a week in unemployment benefits. The claimant then accepts a part-time job for which she earns $102 per week. The unemployment office will multiply the $279 benefit amount by 20%, which equals $55.80. This amount is known as “allowable wages.” They will then subtract the allowable wages from the amount of wages the claimant makes at her part-time job, which is known as the “deduction amount.” Here, that would be $102 minus $55.80, which equals $46.20. The original weekly benefit of $279 will then be reduced by $46.20, for a new unemployment benefit of $232.80. If the claimant’s part-time wages rose to $300 a week, the deduction amount would rise to $294.20, making her ineligible for continued benefits because her new deduction amount is more than her weekly benefit amount.
Calculating correct partial unemployment benefits can be confusing and if you have any questions or concerns, you should always contact an experienced unemployment attorney for help. For more information about claiming unemployment benefits, contact the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp at 636-947-3600 today.