The unemployment rate in New York (9.2%), is still higher than the national average of 8.7%. This means thousands of New Yorkers are having a difficult time finding work or having to settle for part-time or temporary work. In many cases, part-time or temporary work does not pay enough for families and individual to be self-sufficient. As a result, many worry about what will happen to their unemployment benefits if they can only find these types of jobs.
If you are collecting unemployment insurance and are only finding temporary or part-time work, you must report any side income you earn while receiving unemployment insurance. This is important and will prevent you from having your benefits cut off. To report this information, you must call the Tel-Service Toll-Free number at (888) 581-5812 (if you live outside of NYS, call (888) 864-9920) on a weekly basis. Even if you work part-time or temporary, you may still qualify for partial benefits. For example, if you only work three or fewer days in a week, you can still get partial benefits. The law does not consider you unemployed on a day when you spend any time doing:
• temporary work,
• self-employment or free-lance work (even if you
don’t earn anything that day), or
• work or “favors” for a business belonging to a
friend or relative.
If your unemployment benefits have been denied, contact a legal aid program in your area that deals with unemployment issues. For a list of all New York State Legal Aid Programs that deal with unemployment and public benefits, click here.