Can I get underemployment benefits if my job of 5 years cut my hours from 40 to 33 due to low business?

I was just notified that the physical therapy clinic I work for just changed ownership and business has hit a decline. Consequently, my hours will be cut by 7 hours a week. I have worked 40 weeks for the last 5 years. Even with this cut I’m considered full-time and will continue to get my insurance benefits. Am I entitled to underemployment benefits?

Asked on January 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You MAY be able to receive some underemployment benefits. You have to go to the unemployment office's website, use the worksheet or tools there to calculate your weekly benefit amount (WBA) based on your earnings prior to the cut, then multiple that number by 1.5: if what you were paid after the pay cut/reduction in hours exceeds 1.5 times your WBA, you will not receive any benefits. If your earnings after the hourly reduction is less than 1.5 times your WBA, you will get some (not necessarily a lot) of benefits. My guess is that a reduction of 7 out of 40 hours, or around 17.5%, is not enough to entitle you to benefits (that is, it won't drop your pay enough to qualify), but it's worth it for you to do the calculations based on your actual prior and current pay. Here is a helpful link:

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