How Does Part-Time Work Reduce Unemployment Compensation

Updated : June 12th, 2019

An advantageous aspect of working for yourself is you almost never get fired. That’s one of the reasons why many people who have full-time jobs also have a side business on the side.

But unexpectedly, if you have lost your 9-5 job, you might want to think taking a gap from your business in order to maximize your unemployment benefits. The main point is, if you don’t want to deceive yourself or the system, it requires calling the local unemployment compensation office and asking lots of questions.

Some states support out-of-work individuals as they feel that some form of extra income is needed to stay afloat while other localities deduct a portion of money earned from the weekly benefits. It all depends on the nature of work and the law of each state.

If your gross earnings for a week equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount or if you work 32 or more hours in a week, you are ineligible for unemployment benefits for that week.

While if you work less than 32 hours and make less than your weekly benefit amount, you are eligible to receive only a fractional benefit payment. Moreover, your weekly compensation will be reduced dollar by dollar for every 55% of part time earnings in a week. Any money not paid due to a reduction remains in your account balance throughout the end of your benefit year.

The first concern of any unemployment insurance office is that your business doesn’t hamper your ability to find out and accept your next full-time job. The general rule for unemployment eligibility is that you must be able to accept work and must be looking for work.

State Specific Rules for Part-time Pay

Each of the states has different set of rules for mixing side income and UI benefits. With some states as long as you’re available full-time and looking for work, your part time self employment doesn’t affect insurance check. So if you do some consulting work or want to run an online store on weekends, your benefit check won’t suffer.

While selling your own goods is often considered converting your existing assets to cash, some business activities could be seen as earning a salary. So, depending on how your state views it, the activity may not your benefits at all.

The start of your unemployment benefits is also delayed by severance pay. For example, if you collect ten weeks of severance pay, you will be ineligible for receiving UI benefits for the first ten weeks after your last day of work. Moreover, if you want to stop receiving benefit payments, simply stop requesting payment and your account will become inactive. But keep your unemployment debit card and password in a safe place in case you need to reactivate your benefit account.

Pension Payment and Unemployment Compensation

Pension payments from a fund your base period employer contributed will reduce your UI benefits unless:

• You roll the pension into another retirement fund without taking a taxable payment or,
• You have to pay a penalty for early withdrawal.

According to one of the experts, “A person has to make out a mental plan,” “No multi-tasking.” If you analyze how much your part-time employment generates and what it costs can help you out in making some important decisions while you’re looking for your next job. Moreover, it will also give some realistic expectations for how you want to schedule your time and what you want to do next. Don’t use the same block of time for both job hunt and your business but switch back and forth between the two.

    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) has been around for more than 10 years and we’re one of the leading forums for unemployment insurance and unemployment in general. Our daily visitor and patron base is of considerable size and we truly believe in being a center for jobless workers to access resources and share their queries.

  1. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  2. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  3. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  4. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  5. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  6. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  7. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  8. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  9. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  10. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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