Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






August 8, 1980















for Regional Management




Period of Time Within Which a Claim for a Week of Partial Unemployment is to be Filed


  1. Purpose. To advise State agencies of the minimum period of time which must be allowed for an individual to file a claim for a week of partial unemployment.

  2. Reference. Section 303(a)(1), Social Security Act; Employment Security Manual, Part V, Section 5001.B

  3. Background. Section 303(a)(1), Social Security Act provides for

    "Such methods of administration . . . as are found by the Secretary to be reasonably calculated to insure full payment of unemployment compensation when due."

    The Secretary has interpreted these provisions to require that a State law provide for

    "Such methods of administration which do not unreasonably limit the opportunity of individuals to establish their right to unemployment compensation due under such State law."  (Employment Security Manual, Part V, Section 5000.B2)

    In applying this interpretation to the filing of claims for weeks of partial unemployment, the Secretary has determined, in part, that an individual

    "shall not be required to file a claim for such week or other claim period, earlier than 2 weeks from the date that wages are paid for such claim period or, if a low earnings report is required by the State law, from the date the employer furnished such report to the individual."  (Underlining supplied) (Employment Security Manual, Part V, Sectionn 5000.B2)

  4. Interpretation.  Recently the meaning of the phrase "not earlier than 2 weeks" has been questioned so that the minimum amount of time which must be allowed under the State law needs to be clearly defined.

    The intent of the requirement is to ensure that a claimant who is partially unemployed is allowed a reasonable time in which to file a claim for a week of unemployment.  This is appropriate because the claimant may be working irregularly during the week and find it burdensome to file a claim immediately.  In addition, it is necessary to report exact earnings and this cannot be done until payment is made so that a paystub, check stub or other verification is available or a low earnings report is furnished.  It is considered that a 2 week period from the date wages are paid or the low earnings report issued is a reasonable minimum time which must be allowed.

    The following example illustrates the 2 week requirement: Partially unemployed for the week ending March 8, 1980.  Paid for that week on March 14, 1980.  Low earnings report furnished (either mailed or delivered in person) on March 18, 1980.

    To satisfy the Manual requirement, the claimant must have at least until and including March 28,1980, to file his partial claim for the week ending March 8,1980, (two weeks from the date wages were paid: March 14, 1980).  If there is a low earnings report requirement, he must have at least until and including April 1, 1980 in which to file his claim (two weeks from the date the low earnings report was issued: March 18, 1980).

    When a low earnings report is required the period of time is counted from the date the report is furnished the claimant.  The date wages are paid is not pertinent.  However, in instances when the low earnings report is not required the date wages are paid becomes significant.  Section 5001.B is satisfied if the claimant is allowed at least 2 weeks from the date wages are paid in which to file the claim for a week of partial unemployment.

    Our interpretation does not prohibit the State from prescribing a longer period than two weeks within which a partial claim must be filed.  Section 5001.B merely establishes the shortest period which is permissible.

  5. Action required.  State rules, regulations and procedures should be reviewed and appropriate changes made in those instances in which partial claim filing requirements are not consistent with the above interpretation.

  6. Inquiries.  Questions should be directed to the appropriate regional office.