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Unemployment Benefits for Seasonal, Temporary and Part-Time Workers In New York State

If you are a seasonal, temporary or part-time worker you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if:

  1. You lost your most recent job through no fault of your own.
  2. You are currently unemployed, available to work and are actively seeking employment.
  3. You are legally allowed to work in the United States.
  4. You have earned sufficient wages in the past year and a half—in your “base period.”

What is my “base period”?

Your eligibility for unemployment benefits is determined by the amount of wages you have earned in your “base period.” Your base period is a period of time that covers four of the five most recent calendar quarters excluding the calendar quarter in which you apply for unemployment benefits. If you haven’t earned enough wages to qualify for benefits during your initial base period, you may qualify under an “alternate base period.”

Calender Quarter Base Period Alternate Base Period
Jan—March 2006 *

April—June 2006 *
July—Sept 2006 *
Oct—Dec 2006 *
Jan—March 2007
April—June 2007 Applied for unemployment benefits
Applied for unemployment benefits

How much do I have to earn during my “base period” to get benefits?

To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have earned a certain amount of wages during your base period:

  1. You must have earned wages in at least two calendar quarters in your base period;
  2. You must have earned at least $1600 in one of the two quarters; and
  3. The total wages earned in your base period must equal at least one and one-half the amount you earned in the calendar quarter in which you earned the most wages.

Eligibility can be complicated, so if you are uncertain if you meet the eligibility requirements you should apply for benefits. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, see How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits.

What if I am currently working part-time?

If you lost your full-time job and began working at a new job part-time, you may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits if:
  1. You work less than four days per week; and
  2. You earn less than $405 per week.

If you are working part-time, your benefit amount will be reduced depending on the number of days you work in a given week. In other words, the more days you work, the less your weekly benefit amount will be.
1 day of work = ¾ your benefit amount
2 days of work = ½ your benefit amount
3 days of work = ¼ your benefit amount
You cannot receive benefits for any week that you earned over $405.

If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits, you can continue to claim benefits for any week that you work part-time to receive partial benefits.

What if I work seasonal or temporary jobs?

If you are a seasonal or temporary worker you can claim unemployment benefits between jobs when you are not working. When a temporary or seasonal job ends you can apply for unemployment benefits. Then, if you begin another temporary job before collecting all 26 weeks of benefits, you can collect benefits from your original claim when this job ends and do not need to apply again.

I received unemployment last year and used up all of my benefits. I am now unemployed, can I file a new claim?

If you have received unemployment benefits in the past year, and have worked temporary, part-time or seasonal jobs since you first filed for unemployment, you may have earned enough to qualify for a second claim.

You may be eligible for a second claim if you meet the regular qualifications for unemployment benefits (listed above), and:

  1. You have earned wages of at least 5 times your weekly benefit amount since you filed your first claim. For example, if your weekly benefit is $405, you must have earned at least $2025 ($405 X 5= $2025) from part-time or temporary employment since you filed your first claim.
  2. It has been at least one year since you last filed for unemployment benefits.

In most cases, it is beneficial to file for the second unemployment claim soon after the first year expires. Depending on how much you have earned, your weekly benefit amount in the second year may be lower than what you received in the first year.

If I am a temporary or seasonal worker, how will my benefit amount be calculated?

If you are a seasonal or temporary worker and are found eligible to receive unemployment benefits, you may be entitled to receive a higher weekly payment if you request that your benefit amount be calculated from your average weekly wage. To do so, you can submit a form found in your claimant handbook with proof of your wages for each week you worked.

This article was posted January 29, 2008