How much do my hours have to be reduced? I am full time but have not worked 40 in a couple of months.

A) The exact hour reduction required to qualify for partial unemployment benefits varies by state. There’s no federal minimum reduction.

Here’s some general information to get you started:

  • Partial Unemployment: This refers to situations where you are still employed but your work hours (and likely pay) have been reduced.
  • Earnings Threshold: Most states have an earnings threshold system for partial unemployment. This means you can earn some income while still receiving partial benefits, but only up to a certain amount. If your earnings exceed the threshold, your benefits might be reduced or even stopped entirely.

Here’s how to find out the specifics for your state:

  • State Unemployment Department Website: Search for “[Your State] Unemployment Department” and look for information on “Partial Unemployment” or “Reduced Hours.” The website should explain the eligibility requirements, including any minimum hour reduction.
  • Contact your state’s unemployment department: As mentioned earlier, try reaching them through their website’s contact options or a local office if available.

Even if your specific reduction doesn’t meet the minimum for partial benefits, it’s still worth filing a claim. In some cases, having a claim on file can expedite receiving benefits if your hours are further reduced or you are laid off completely.

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