As of January 18, 2021, New York State has implemented a new rule that redefines how part-time work impacts unemployment benefits. This change makes New York’s partial unemployment system fairer and more equitable for New Yorkers who have the opportunity to work part-time while collecting regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
As a reminder: On September 5, 2021, several federal unemployment benefit programs, including PUA, PEUC, EB, and FPUC, will expire across the country, per federal law. For more information, visit dol.ny.gov/fedexp.
NYS DOL’s new partial unemployment system uses an “hours-based” approach. Under the new rules, you can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week, if you work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding earnings from self-employment. With this change, your benefits will not be reduced for each day you engage in part-time work. Instead, benefits will be reduced in increments based on your total hours of work for the week.
How to File a Partial Claim
If you lost work and you are working part time 30 hours or fewer a week and making $504 or less per week, the following guidelines apply when reporting your part-time work (round up to the nearest hour):
- 4 or fewer hours of work = 0 days worked: No reduction in weekly benefit rate
- 5 – 10 hours of work = 1 day worked: 75% of weekly benefit rate
- 11 – 20 hours of work = 2 days worked: 50% of weekly benefit rate
- 21 – 30 hours of work = 3 days worked: 25% of weekly benefit rate
- 31+ hours of work = 4 days worked: 0% of weekly benefit rate
See the chart below for easy reference:
|Hours You Worked Per Week||Number of Days You Should Report to UI||Percent (%) Reduction in Your Benefits|
|0 - 4||0 Days||0|
|5 - 10||1 Day||25%|
|11 - 20||2 Days||50%|
|21 - 30||3 Days||75%|
|31 - No Limit||4 Days||100%|
* Note: If you worked more than 10 hours in one day, you should only report the first 10 hours from that day in your weekly total. The hours cap does not change the $504 gross weekly payments rule – you must still report your total earnings for the week. If you earn more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money you earned before taxes and deductions are taken out), you will not be eligible for UI or PUA benefits regardless of the number of hours you worked.
Use this tool to help you determine how to report your number of days worked when certifying weekly:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What changes have been made to partial unemployment?
A: NYS DOL’s new partial unemployment system uses an “hours-based” approach. Under the new rules, claimants can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week, if they work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding earnings from self-employment. With this change, claimants’ benefits will not be reduced for each day they engage in part-time work and will be reduced in increments based on total hours of work for the week.
For comparison, NYS DOL’s previous system for partial UI counted part-time work in full-day increments. Under this approach, a claimant who worked part time would lose 25% of their weekly benefits for each day worked regardless of the number of hours worked on each of those days. For example, a claimant who earned just $45 during a three-hour shift would have lost a quarter of their weekly benefits.
Q: What has changed with my weekly certification?
A: This system update modifies how you calculate the number of days you report working each week. Please refer to the chart above to determine how your weekly hours worked translates to the number of days to report. For example, if you worked 4 hours or fewer in a week, you should report that you worked 0 days when certifying. If you worked 30 hours, you would report 3 days worked.
Another change is that you are only required to report up to 10 hours worked each day.
Q: What has not changed with my weekly certification?
A: You are still required to certify your weekly claim for benefits online or through the automated phone system. When certifying, the system will still ask for the number of days you worked. You should refer to the chart above to determine how your weekly hours worked translate to the number of days to report.
In addition, you are still required to report the amount of money you earned during the week for which you are claiming. If you earned more than $504 in weekly gross pay (excluding earnings from self-employment), you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits regardless of hours worked.
Q: How should I calculate my hours if I work more than 10 hours on one day?
A: When totaling hours for the week, you should use a maximum of 10 hours per calendar day. To determine how many days of work to report, you should add together all hours worked for each calendar day (with a maximum of 10 hours for any day you worked more than 10 hours) and refer to the chart.
For example, if you worked a total of 8 hours in a week, you should report one day of employment, and if you worked a total of 13 hours in a week, you should report two days of employment if you worked more than one day. If the 13 hours of work occurred on one calendar day, then you should report one day of employment because of the 10-hour maximum rule.
Note: This formula does not change the $504 gross weekly payments rule – you must still report your total earnings for the week. If you earned more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money earned before taxes and deductions are taken out) excluding earnings from self-employment, you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits regardless of hours worked.
Q: When does this change to partial unemployment go into effect?
A: Starting Sunday, January 24, 2021, New Yorkers will report using the new method for the benefit week of Monday, January 18, 2021 to Sunday, January 24, 2021 – and all benefit weeks going forward.
Q: Is there still an earnings cutoff for partial unemployment benefits?
A: Yes. If you earn more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money earned before taxes and deductions are taken out excluding earnings from self-employment), you will not be eligible for unemployment or pandemic benefits for that week no matter how few hours you worked.
Q: Does this change also apply to weekly certifications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits?
A: Yes. Claimants who are eligible for PUA benefits will report their days of work using the new calculation method. Unlike regular UI benefits (or extended benefits), PUA claimants must report earnings in self-employment over $504 as per federal requirements.
Q: If I work four hours in a week over four days, should I still report that I worked 0 days?
A: Yes. Under NYS DOL’s new partial unemployment system, four hours of work in a week - regardless of the total days worked - is equivalent to less than one day worked for certification purposes, as long as you do not earn more than $504 in gross pay (excluding earnings from self-employment) for those four hours worked.
Q: How does this change impact my benefits if I am not working part time?
A: NYS DOL’s change in how partial unemployment benefits are calculated will not impact you if work 0 hours in a week.
Q: How will this change to partial unemployment impact the overall time that I can receive unemployment benefits?
A: NYS DOL’s change in how partial unemployment benefits are calculated will not impact the number of weeks of unemployment available to you.
Q: I’m on Shared Work. How does this change affect my benefits?
A: Partial unemployment benefits for claimants enrolled in the Shared Work program are calculated differently. See additional information about certifying for Shared Work benefits.
Q: What should I do if I reported the wrong number of hours worked while certifying?
A: If you mistakenly reported the number of days worked for weeks starting January 18, 2021 or later, instead of the using the new formula, you should let NYS DOL know so we can ensure you are paid all the benefits you are entitled to.
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