How To File for Unemployment if You Work Part Time

In today’s uncertain job market, many individuals find themselves in situations where they’re working reduced hours or part-time due to various circumstances. If you’re in this position, you might be eligible for partial unemployment benefits, but understanding how it works can be confusing. Let’s break it down in simple terms.

What is Partial Unemployment?

Partial unemployment occurs when you’re working fewer hours than usual through no fault of your own. It’s often referred to as being “underemployed.” For example, your employer might reduce your hours, or you might be unable to find full-time work. This situation affects millions of people in the U.S.

What To Expect With Partial Unemployment

When you’re partially unemployed, you still need to certify your benefits each week with your state’s unemployment office. This involves reporting the number of hours or days you worked in the previous week. Your benefit amount is determined by your state and is typically based on your earnings and hours worked. Each state has its own rules, so it’s essential to understand your state’s requirements.

How To File for Partial Unemployment

Filing for partial unemployment is similar to filing for regular unemployment. You can usually do it online through your state’s Department of Labor website. Be sure to gather all necessary information beforehand, such as tax returns, employment history, and earnings. If you have questions, check your state’s FAQ page before contacting them directly, as call wait times can be long.

Potential Roadblocks

One challenge of partial unemployment is the limit on how much you can earn while still receiving benefits. If you earn too much, you may not qualify for benefits. Additionally, you must actively search for full-time work to remain eligible. It’s crucial to be honest and thorough when reporting your earnings and job search activities to avoid penalties.

COVID-19 Unemployment

During the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits have been expanded. This includes coverage for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and those affected by COVID-19. Federal assistance programs have also provided additional benefits to help those who are unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic.

How To Save Money While on Partial Unemployment

Budgeting is essential during partial unemployment. Look for ways to reduce spending and increase cash flow. Even small savings can add up over time. Consider transferring some money into a savings account regularly to build a financial cushion.


Partial unemployment can be a challenging situation, but understanding how it works and taking proactive steps can help you navigate it more effectively. Be sure to stay informed about your state’s requirements and seek assistance if needed. By managing your finances wisely and staying diligent in your job search, you can overcome the obstacles of partial unemployment.


1.How do I know if I’m eligible for partial unemployment benefits?

Eligibility for partial unemployment benefits varies by state and depends on factors such as reduced hours or inability to find full-time work. Check with your state’s unemployment office for specific guidelines.

2.Can I work part-time and still receive unemployment benefits?

Yes, you may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits if you’re working reduced hours. However, there are limits on how much you can earn while still receiving benefits, so it’s essential to report your earnings accurately.

3.What should I do if I’m struggling to make ends meet while on partial unemployment?

If you’re facing financial difficulties, consider reaching out to local resources for assistance. Many community organizations offer support with food, housing, and other essential needs. Additionally, explore ways to reduce expenses and increase income, such as finding additional part-time work or freelance opportunities

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