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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Can a person work part-time and still collect UI benefits?

If you are back to work but working less than full-time hours, you may be able to continue receiving unemployment benefits. However, the amount you earn will affect your weekly benefit amount (WBA). If you are working with reduced hours (underemployed), you are required to report your gross earnings for each week you work when you certify for benefits. Earnings include any wages from employment or payment for personal services. You can check your MiWAM account page for the reduced payment amount.

Other types of payments that you are required to report include the value of room and board related to employment (for example, a property manager living on site that does not pay rent or utilities), vacation or holiday pay; bonus pay, severance pay and pension payments.

When special payments are reported, the Unemployment Insurance Agency determines if these payments will reduce a claimant’s benefit payment, and if so, the amount of the reduction. For special payments you will receive a determination (Form UIA 1302) with details about the reduced payment. 

In general, if gross earnings or special payments for the week exceed 1.5 times your weekly benefit amount (excessive earnings), you will not be eligible for benefits for that week, including the $600 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) payment.

To calculate your earnings for the week, multiply your hourly rate of pay by the number of hours you worked during the week (Sunday through Saturday).

For Example:

1. If you earn more than $1.00 up to but not equal to your weekly benefit amount in any week, subtract half of your earnings from the payment: You can figure this out by following this formula: Weekly Benefit Amount - 1/2 of the amount you earned _______________________________ Your new amount 2. If you earn an amount equal to your weekly benefit amount but not more than 1.5 times your payment during a week, follow this formula: Multiply your weekly benefit amount by 1.5 - the total amount you earned __________________________________________ Your new amount 3. If you earn an amount equal to 1.5 times your weekly benefit amount or more (or if you worked full time) you are not entitled to a payment for that week.

When certifying each week online or by phone, be sure to answer yes when asked if you worked during a specific week. Be sure to report earnings for the week in which you performed the work, NOT the week in which you received the payment. Report the total amount of earnings before taxes are taken out.