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Benefit eligibility can vary from state to state. Not all states will allow a claimant to collect partial unemployment. However, there are different reasons someone may file for partial benefits. The definition of partial benefits is when someone is working less than full-time (40 hours per week). The main requirement is that you’ve earned enough or worked enough time to collect unemployment. In most states, you usually need to work a full year before being eligible for unemployment, and you must establish monetary eligibility. Every state has different rules about who qualifies for unemployment. You should check with your state’s unemployment benefits page on their website.

If an employer reduces a claimant’s hours from full-time to part-time because there isn’t sufficient work, depending on the state, this claimant should be eligible. The only reason that makes you work less than standard full-time hours should be lack of work and nothing else. However, if the employee chooses to reduce their own hours, for instance, if they want to attend school or cut their hours because they want to spend more time with family, this would not be good cause, and they can be denied benefits. All information regarding the reduction in hours should be reported to the state, providing the details on why someone is no longer working full-time.

Each state will determine the weekly benefit amount. Each week the employee must file for benefits to report any income earned. The state will subtract the reported earnings from the weekly benefit amount. If the claimant made over the amount allowed, no benefits would be paid; they will receive a calculated amount.

A person must be able and available for work to collect benefits. The state will ask this when filing their weekly claim. They must agree to these terms to remain eligible. Please keep in mind that eligibility for partial unemployment benefits is determined by state law. Check with your state unemployment office for information on eligibility for partial unemployment and how to report your wages.

Common requirements to file a claim may include a valid state identification, such as a driver’s license, social security card, copies of their most recent pay stubs, or proof of under-employment, such as a notice of reduced hours. If direct deposit is preferred rather than a check in the mail, you will need to supply your bank account and routing number as well.

Employees should also keep in mind that all unemployment benefits are taxable income. They can ask the state to withhold a portion of their benefit amount so they don’t get hit at the end of the year when filing taxes.


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