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New York Modifies Partial Benefit Calculations

By August 31, 2021January 16th, 2022UI Claims, Unemployment Cost Management

Effective August 16, 2021, New York State has modified the rules for partial unemployment eligibility. NYS DOL has now switched to an “hours-based” approach. Under the new rules, a claimant can work up to 7 days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week, provided they work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay excluding earnings from self-employment. With this change, the claimant’s benefits will not be reduced for each day they engage in part-time work. Instead, benefits will be reduced in increments based on their 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. Under the new approach, the claimant would still be entitled to their full weekly benefit amount.

How it Works

If the claimant lost work and they are working part time 30 hours or fewer a week and making $504 or less per week, the following guidelines apply when reporting their part-time work (round up to the nearest hour), effective August 16, 2021:

  • 10 or fewer hours of work = No reduction in weekly benefit rate
  • 11 – 16 hours of work = 75% of weekly benefit rate
  • 17 – 21 hours of work = 50% of weekly benefit rate
  • 22 – 30 hours of work = 25% of weekly benefit rate
  • 31+ hours of work = 0% of weekly benefit rate

*Note: If the claimant worked more than 10 hours in one day, they should only report the first 10 hours from that day in their weekly total. The hours cap does not change the $504 gross weekly payments rule – they must still report their total earnings for the week. If they earn more than $504 in weekly gross pay (the amount of money they earned before taxes and deductions are taken out), they will not be eligible for benefits regardless of the number of hours they worked.

This update will apply to the benefit week of Monday, August 16, 2021 to Sunday, August 22, 2021 and all benefit weeks going forward. When certifying for benefits, New Yorkers should refer the new guidelines for reporting part-time work. For more details on how this change will impact your employees, check out the NYS DOL site at

As always, we will continue to monitor for changes in benefits and provide updates as they become available.  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website for the latest news and updates.

Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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