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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Finding Employment May Impact Your Ability to Collect UC Benefits

Unemployment compensation benefits are extremely helpful to individuals looking to bridge the gap between jobs. As you apply for new jobs, it’s important to know that your earnings may impact your ability to continue to collect unemployment.

When you find full-time employment, you automatically lose your eligibility to continue to collect unemployment benefits. This is true both if you are rehired to your former position or if you find a full-time position with a new employer. It is important to notify the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Department of your newfound employment right after you are hired.

Although full-time employment means you lose eligibility to continue to collect unemployment benefits, you are still entitled to seek benefits for the weeks in which you were unemployed. Before you begin to work again, be sure to file claims for all weeks in which you were unemployed.

The combination of part-time employment and unemployment compensation is a bit more complex. When you are hired to a part-time position, the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Department will review the number of hours that you work as well as your rate of pay to determine how your unemployment benefits will be impacted. The department does so by evaluating what is known as your Partial Benefit Credit.

While on unemployment, you can work on a part-time basis to earn up to 30 percent of your weekly benefit rate. The 30 percent you earn is your Partial Benefit Credit. Any amount that you earn that exceeds 30 percent of your weekly benefit rate is deducted from your unemployment benefit amount. The deduction is made dollar-for-dollar, so if you exceed the 30 percent marker by $10, your unemployment benefits will be deducted by $10 for that given week. If your earnings on a given week are more than or equal to your weekly benefit rate, you will not receive unemployment benefits for that week.

Generally, if you start your own business or begin to work as a self-employed independent contractor while on unemployment, you lose eligibility. However, if while you were employed you also assisted in a secondary business, you may be considered as participating in a sideline activity. You will not lose eligibility for benefits while unemployed while continuing to work in a sideline activity if you are available for full-time work, you don’t increase your participation in the business, and the business is not and was not your primary source of income.

Always inform the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Department of newly found employment, whether it is full or part-time work. Doing so will help to prevent you from fraud-related claims.

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