As of January 18, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYS DOL”) changed its rules on eligibility for partial unemployment benefits. The NYS DOL now counts hours, not days, worked per week. Workers may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for weeks in which they (a) work 30 or fewer hours; and (b) earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding self-employment earnings.
Under the previous rule, the NYS DOL defined part-time work based on the number of days that a claimant worked each week. Claimants would lose 25% of their weekly benefits for each day worked, regardless of the number of hours worked each day. Claimants were not eligible for partial unemployment benefits if they worked four (4) or more days per week.
Under the new rule, the NYS DOL defines part-time work based on the number of hours that a claimant works each week. Claimants may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits if they work 30 or fewer hours per week, even if those hours are spread out over seven (7) days per week.
Claimants who report part-time work should use the following guidelines: (a) 4 or fewer hours of work per week is zero days worked; (b) 5-10 hours of work per week is 1 day worked; (c) 11-20 hours of work per week is 2 days worked; (d) 21-30 hours of work is three days worked; and (d) 31 or more hours worked is four days worked.
Claimants should round up their time worked to the nearest hour. Claimants who work more than 10 hours in one day should report only the first 10 hours from that day in their weekly total. But claimants must report total earnings for the week, including any earnings for hours worked in excess of 10 hours per day.
Workers who exceed either the limits on hours worked or gross earnings per week will not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.