Can You Collect Unemployment After Losing a Part-Time Job?

May 7th 2016

An unexpected split from your employer can pose financial challenges while you search for a new job. Although most states provide unemployment income for people who worked full-time, the laws vary from one state to the next regarding unemployment income for part-time employees.

What Is Unemployment Income?

As unemployment rates fluctuate, the need to provide assistance for those at poverty level beckons the need to offer unemployment benefits. Federal and state government entities offer unemployment compensation for individuals who have been fired or quit due to no fault of their own. Unemployment benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are actively seeking employment after losing a job. However, unemployment benefits are not based on financial need. Instead, the amount of unemployment compensation allowed depends on income previously earned. Unemployment benefits are typically based on the amount of payments made into the previous employer's fund. If the employer did not establish an unemployment fund, however, the state may provide funds to cover compensation.

Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Income?

Although the requirements vary by state, most states stipulate that the individual must have worked four of the last five quarters of the year to claim benefits. Some states do offer benefits for individuals who worked part-time, though the compensation is based on the hours worked and income earned.

How you left your last place of employment can impact your eligibility for unemployment compensation. If you were fired for misconduct, resigned due to illness, to attend school, get married or become self-employed, you are likely not eligible for benefits. Individuals involved in a labor dispute or those who quit without good cause, as defined by the state's unemployment office, may be denied for unemployment benefits.

In order to continue receiving unemployment compensation, you must be actively searching for a job and show proof of your efforts to the unemployment office. If you were offered a job and declined the offer, unemployment benefits can be discontinued.

How Do You File for Unemployment?

In order to inquire about eligibility for unemployment benefits, employees who have been laid off or fired from a full-time or part-time job should contact the unemployment office within their state of residence. An application is required, and proof of unemployment may be necessary to process the paperwork and determine eligibility. In most states, applicants need to provide names, addresses and dates of employment from the last two years, a social security number, mailing address and phone number with the application.

Once eligibility is determined, it may take several weeks or even up to a month to receive compensation. In the meantime, applicants are required to begin job searching and can request assistance through the state's job services office.

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