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Old 03-14-2010, 12:32 AM
2 posts, read 5,855 times
Reputation: 10


I've been collecting unemployment since Feb. of '09 and am currently collecting Tier 2 EUC. I've been offered a temporary job with the Census which will supposedly be "up to 40 hours a week." However, it will pay me less than my weekly unemployment benefit rate and far less than I made with my prior employer. I'm unsure if it's to my benefit to take the job.
1. Would I qualify for partial benefits during any weeks I work less than 40 hours? Even if it's 40 hours, is it considered "my normal full time hours" since it's a temporary job and not a full-time job?
2. I worked another part-time seasonal job during the summer of '09. At the end of my claim year (Feb. '10), I was told I was not eligible for a new claim because I fell short of earning 6X my weekly benefit rate. Would this census job then make me eligible for a new claim... and is that a good thing? Or would it decrease my weekly benefit rate?
3. If this is not to my benefit, am I allowed to refuse the work? I've read conflicting info in other threads. Some say that you can refuse it if it's less than $7/hour, others say if it's less than 80% of what you made at your prior place of employment.

I really really want to get back to work, but I'm worried that I can't financially afford to! (How backwards is that??) Please help. I'm in a time crunch. Thanks so much!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:27 PM
Location: PA
56 posts, read 173,035 times
Reputation: 30
1. Yes, any week you work less than 40hrs you may qualify for partial benefits provides your earnings were less than your combined rate. But you must have worked LESS than 40 hrs.

2. The Census job could qualify you for a claim. You very well could qualify for a lower rate. Unemployment is calculated by the highest quarter in the base year. Also depending on when you earn your 6x would also depend on which base year would be used. The base year will change April 4th. The good news would be if you qualify for a new uc claim it would be good for another 26 wks vs balance of tier 2 and a possibility of tier 3- 13wks, tier 4- 6 wks & 20 wks of eb/sb hup.

3. Refusing suitible work would only be enforced if the employer turns you in. Chances are if you don't show up it should be no problem. They have more pressing issues like getting a census going rather than worrying about no-shows and besides they have a ton of people waiting in line for jobs anyway. UNLESS you have already started earning wages from this employer it is too late. You have a much better chance of being caught.

Remember, taking a part time job isn't only money. It is also another line on your resume. Getting experience in a totally different field, honing your interview skills and possibly expanding your network.

FYI...Sign up for Civil Service jobs , the state is hiring in certain areas, including the unemployment office!
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