UIPL 39-83 Attachment III

 

III.  Benefits for Partial and Part-Total Unemployment

UI benefits are payable under all State laws to some claimants who work less than full-time hours(as defined in each State law): partial benefits are payable to a claimant whose hours of work at his regular job are reduced; part-total benefits are payable to a worker with part-time employment for some other employer, and whose hours of work are less than full-time.

Most State laws completely disregard small amounts of earnings in the compensable week, and thereafter reduce benefits on a dollar-for-dollar basis for each dollar of earnings up to the weekly benefit amount.  If a claimant's earnings for the week are greater than the amount disregarded under State law, his combined income from benefits and wages will not be increased, no matter how many hours he works.  Moreover, some States totally discontinue benefits when earnings for the week equal the weekly benefit amount--with the result that an additional dollar of earnings brings a complete termination of benefits, resulting in a sharp decrease in total income for the claimant.

Under work-sharing, partial benefits are payable when the claimant's hours of work at his regular job are reduced to a lesser extent than the wage loss for which State laws now pay benefits.  It is recommended that State benefit formulas also provide a similar more liberal allowance for part-time work, to encourage claimants to seek out part-time jobs, which would not only increase the claimant's overall income, but which in many cases may lead to full-time employment.

An effective encouragement for claimants to seek part-time work would be to increase the amount of wages to be disregarded in a compensable week, expressed either as a fraction of earnings, or of the weekly benefit amount.  There should be some maximum to the combination of earnings and benefits that a claimant could receive to ensure that the combined income would not exceed the claimant's regular weekly wage.  Such a cap could be twice the weekly benefit amount, or some similar limitation.

Any formula developed should assure that reductions in benefit payments would be gradual, up to the maximum allowable combined income, to avoid total loss of benefits by only a small increase in earnings.

Technical assistance from the UIS is available for any State which desires to review the applicability of these recommendations to its own benefit formula.