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How to Collect Unemployment While Working Part-Time in New York State

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Unemployment compensation is available for those who lose their job through a layoff or no fault of their own. Other criteria such as reduction in hours and various termination reasons allow you to collect unemployment in New York State. While collecting unemployment, you can work part-time; however, you must work less than four days a week, earning less than $405 to receive unemployment benefits. The state does pay partial benefits, and working part-time and filing allows you to extend your unemployment claims period.

File an initial unemployment claim as soon as you lose your job. You can file online through New York State’s Department of Labor's Unemployment Benefits Online webpage (see Resources). You can file by calling 888-209-8124 from within the state.

File subsequent claims through the online system if you have access to a computer and Internet service. You can also file through the automated TEL-SERVE phone system at 888-581-5812. If you worked more than four days and earned over $405 in a week, you should not file a claim for that week.

Report any part-time work when filing your claim. Failure to report this information is considered fraud by the New York State Department of Labor. You must report all employment when filing or you risk fraud charges leading to criminal penalties if found guilty.

Call the New York State Department of Labor at 888-209-8124 if you have questions about how to file when working part-time. Representatives can explain reporting requirements to you. Even if you work and do not get paid, volunteer, work for a friend, freelance or become self-employed, you may have to disclose this to the Department of Labor.

Check your unemployment payment amount for each week you worked part-time. Each day or partial workday may reduce your benefits by 25 percent. For instance, if you worked two days in a week, you would receive half of your full weekly payment. Ensure that your compensation is correct based upon how you filed.


Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.

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