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Guidance for Returning to Work

Frequently asked questions regarding returning to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I refuse to return to work?

If you are unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason allowed under the Federal CARES Act, including compliance with the state’s Stay-at-Home order, you continue to be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits simply because you would prefer to continue to collect unemployment. In order to be eligible you need to be able to certify to meeting one of the COVID-19 reasons listed on your continued claim as to why you are unable to work.

Can I still file if working part time?

Yes, you are allowed to work part-time and still file for benefits but you may be earning too much to qualify for a benefit. Depending upon how much you earn will then determine whether you still receive a weekly benefit. You are allowed to earn up to 30% of your weekly benefit amount without any reduction. For earnings above 30% of your weekly benefit then your benefit is reduced dollar-for-dollar for every dollar above the 30%. In order to be eligible to receive the $600 Federal CARES Act payment you need to still be eligible for some portion of your base benefit. Always, report all work and all earnings on your weekly continued claim. These earnings will be reported to the department by your employer. It is always better to have reported the information correctly on your weekly claim rather than receiving a call from a department investigator down the road.

When do I stop filing for Unemployment benefits?

As soon as you start full-time work you are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. When you start working full-time is when you should stop filing for benefits. You should not wait until you start getting paid for full-time work. Your return to work date will be reported to the department and will be compared to the weeks for which you have filed for benefits. Following this simple rule will ensure that you do not receive a call from a department investigator down the road.

Am I allowed to work while collecting unemployment benefits?

You are not allowed to work full time and still collect unemployment benefits. However, you are allowed to work part-time and still be considered eligible but you may be earning too much to qualify for a benefit. Depending upon how much you earn will then determine whether you still receive a weekly benefit. You are allowed to earn up to 30% of your weekly benefit amount without any reduction. For earnings above 30% of your weekly benefit then your benefit is reduced dollar-for-dollar for every dollar above the 30%. In order to be eligible to receive the $600 Federal CARES Act payment you need to still be eligible for some portion of your base benefit. Always report all work and all earnings on your weekly continued claim. These earnings will be reported to the department by your employer. It is always better to have reported the information correctly on your weekly claim rather than receive a call from a department investigator down the road.