﻿ Partial Unemployment Benefit

# Partial Unemployment Benefit

## Definition

The term partial unemployment benefit refers to the ability to collect compensation if an individual is not able to secure a full time job.  Partial unemployment benefits may be available to a working individual if they are not able to work more than eighty percent of what is considered a normal workweek for their occupation.

### Explanation

While the exact rules for collecting this benefit will vary by state, an individual may be eligible to receive partial unemployment payments if they are unable to find full-time employment and their current compensation is under a specified threshold value.  Generally, this benefit is available to workers under the following conditions:

• An individual must be able to work and is available for work.
• The individual has returned to work, but their employer is not able to provide them with full-time employment due to the lack of full-time work.  Typically, this means the individual is working less than eighty percent of the normal hours for their occupation; this is sometimes referred to as being underemployed.
• The individual continues to look for a full-time job.

Compensation in a system that provides partial unemployment benefits may be slightly higher than what would be a weekly benefit rate.  This mechanism provides an incentive for an individual to return to work.  However, earnings provided by the employer are normally subtracted from the partial unemployment rate.

### Example

Ann is entitled to a weekly unemployment benefit of \$500, which is based on her earnings history.  Ann is able to find part-time employment, providing her with weekly earnings of \$250.  The partial unemployment rules in Ann's state specify they will disregard the first \$25 of Ann's earnings or 25% of her current wages, whichever is higher, when calculating her partial unemployment benefits.  Since 25% of \$250 is greater than \$25, Ann would receive the following partial unemployment payment under these rules:

= Full Unemployment Benefit + \$25.00 or 25% of Part-Time Wages - Part-Time Wages
= \$500.00 + (25% of \$250.00) - \$250.00
= \$500.00 + \$62.70 -\$250.00
= \$312.50

In the above example, Ann's total weekly compensation is now \$250.00 (part-time job) + \$312.50 (partial unemployment benefit), or \$562.50.