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Can I Collect Unemployment if I Work Part-Time?

How to Qualify for Partial Unemployment Benefits


Woman serving customer in coffee shop,

You may still be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are working at a part-time job.

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Can you work part-time if you’re collecting unemployment? You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits even if you are currently working part-time. 

Who Qualifies for Partial Unemployment Benefits

If you have chosen to scale back your work hours for family or personal reasons, you most likely will not qualify. However, most states provide partial benefits to individuals whose work hours have been reduced through no fault or choice of their own. 

Many states also cover employees who have lost their full-time job and have partially replaced the lost income with one or more part-time jobs.  Some states cover individuals who were working two or more part-time jobs and lost one of the jobs.

Eligible workers need to meet state requirements for minimum earnings during the base period and minimum time of work. Generally, you must have worked for at least a year prior to filing for benefits. 

How Partial Unemployment Benefits Are Calculated

Most states will calculate the amount of your benefit by first figuring what you would be entitled to if you were fully unemployed.  The amount you are earning through part-time employment will be subtracted from this figure.  Many states will add a little more to your check as an incentive for beneficiaries to maintain some income through their part-time work.

You must be available for and actively seeking full time work to qualify for partial benefits.

Since requirements and benefits vary by state, check with your state's unemployment office for the precise information which is pertinent to your situation and for your location.

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