Can I collect unemployment while working part-time to supplement my income after being laid off from my job?

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Can I collect unemployment while working part-time to supplement my income after being laid off from my job?

My cost of living is high.

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can, but once you start earning more than a certain amount, your wages from part time work will start reducing what you can receive from unemployment. Example: say that based on your prior income, you receive $300 a week in benefits. Calculate an amount 20% (or one-fifth) higher than that: $360. Now subtract your part time weekly earnings from that figure. Your weekly benefits will be the lower of the difference you calculate or your base $300/week benefits.

So, say you earn $50/week parttime, walking friends' dogs or mowing their lawns. $360 - $50 = $310; since that's more than your regular $300 benefits, you get $300 that week.

Say instead you work part time (20 hours/week) at minimum wage in a a coffee bar. That means you earned $150 that week. $360 - $150 = $210; since that's lower than your regular $300 benefits, you get $210 that week. (With the $150 your earned, your total is $360.)

What this means in practice is that your total, between your unemployment benefits and your part time work, cannot be greater than 20% (one fifth) more than your benefits level.


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