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A Detailed Look At Unemployment Insurance For Educational Employees

Updated : August 4th, 2020

The federal government provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to the unemployed to temporarily meet their financial needs. The benefits will be provided to only those who lost their job through no fault of their own. The benefits can be collected by people belonging to any industry, including (but not limited to) retail, manufacturing, construction, etc. But can people from educational institutions also collect UI benefits? 

Unemployment Insurance For Educational Employees

Under federal law, educational employees do not qualify for unemployment benefits during traditional break periods if they have “reasonable assurance” that they will return to work after the break. 

However, if they do not have any “reasonable assurance” that they will return to work after the break, then they may be eligible for the UI benefits. 

Definition Of Educational Employees

Educational employees are people working for any level of the educational institution, including higher education and K-12. This includes administrators, teachers, librarians, principals, custodians, bus drivers, and professors.

Eligibility Criteria 

To qualify for unemployment benefits, educational employees must clear three eligibility tests.

Test One – Does the situation meet the prerequisites like:

  • Is the future job at the same level and capacity as the applicant’s current job?
  • Is there any authentic oral, written, or implied offer by an authorized person to offer a job? 
  • Is the compensation at least 90% of the present job? 

If the answer is no to any of the listed questions, the employee can apply for an educational employment claim. 

Test Two – Is there a contract?

  • Is the contract non-contingent? 
  • Is the contract legally enforceable? 
  • Is the contract for an annual period or academic year?

If the answer is no to any of the listed questions, the employee can file for unemployment insurance benefits. 

Test Three – Is there reasonable assurance?

  • Will the job be available after the break?

If the answer is no, the employee can file for the unemployment benefits. 

How Can Educational Employees Apply For Unemployment Benefits?

The employee must file an unemployment claim with 7 days of the last working day if he/she

was notified about being laid off, and he/she does not have any written reasonable assurance of returning to work when school reopens. 

Unemployment Insurance for educational employees can be applied in two ways.

(1) The claim can be filed online by visiting the respective state’s Department Of Labor (DOL) website.

(2) By directly calling the authorities at Tele-Center at a toll-free number. For instance, employees living in Texas can reach 800-939-6631. 

While filing for unemployment insurance for educational employees, the applicant, be it a teacher or other employee, should provide certain details. They should also be prepared to answer several questions, such as:

A. In the recent academic term/year, have you been employed by an educational institution or school?

B. Is this a term break period or summer vacation? If the applicant is a school employee filing the claim May through August, then he/she is required to answer “Yes”

  1. Are you employed by a:
    • Private School
    • City/Town
    • College/University
    • Daycare or Preschool
  2. Your title/position
  3. Employer Name
  4. Contract Coverage
  5. Last physical date of work
  6. Your status for the past year
    • Substitute
    • Permanent Part-time
    • Permanent Full-time
    • Temporary Part-Time
    • Temporary Full-Time

C. Have you received a termination letter?

D. Will you be returning to the same position in the next academic year/term?

E. Will you work for a different department in the next academic term/year?

F. Have you received a written assurance that you will be recalled in the upcoming academic term or after the vacation period?

Note that it is important for employees to file a claim at the earliest. This is because if found eligible for benefits, employees must serve a one-week waiting period between filing a claim and receiving the first benefit payment.

What Happens If Educational Employees Worked Under More Than One Employer?

If the applicant has worked under more than one employer, he/she can file for UI benefits, and provide employer details from whom they have not received any reasonable assurance. 

Final Words 

UI benefits can be a temporary financial solution for education employees without reasonable assurance. In cases where the employees have reasonable assurance but have quit their job voluntarily, they may or may not be eligible for benefits depending on the reason for quitting and state rules. 

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  1. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  2. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  3. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

  4. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  5. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  6. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  7. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  8. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  9. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

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