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Accepting a Temp Assignment Allows You to Still Collect Unemployment Benefits

Posted on May 17, 2019

If you find a temp job or part-time job with a new employer, the good news is that you are still eligible to collect unemployment benefits. You still should continue to look for full-time work (if your unemployment claim is based on full-time work), but if you do not look for full-time work or a temp job, you may be ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Whether you are working less than full-time or part-time, you must report your weekly gross wages when you claim your benefits. The wages you report will be subtracted from your Partial Benefit Rate. The Partial Benefit Rate is 20% higher than your weekly benefit rate. Since you are now working for UNIFORCE and can still collect unemployment, you actually earn more than your weekly benefit rate. (Read below for more information about weekly benefit rates).

For example, if your weekly benefit rate is $200, your Partial Benefit Rate is $240 (20% higher than $200). If you earn $50 during a week, you would receive $190 in unemployment benefits ($240 – $50 = $190).

The Truth About Unemployment Benefits.

The amount of unemployment benefits you may collect each week is your Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR). In 2013, the amount is 60% of the average weekly earnings during your base year period, up to a maximum of $624.

The total amount of benefits you may collect is called your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA). The MBA is equal to the WBR times the total number of weeks worked in the base year period. Generally, for every week you worked during your base year period, you may be entitled to a week of benefits, up to a maximum of 26 times your Weekly Benefit Rate.

Example 1: An individual worked 20 weeks during the base year period. His Weekly Benefit Rate is $200. His Maximum Benefit Amount will be $200 times 20 weeks ($4,000).

Example 2: An individual who is entitled to a maximum 26-week claim (because he worked at least 26 or more weeks during the base year period) at a Weekly Benefit Rate of $300 will have a Maximum Benefit Amount of $7,800. (This is because $300 times 26 weeks = $7,800.)

Your unemployment claim will be in effect for approximately one year from the date of your claim. If you return to work before you collect all the benefits in your claim, and then become unemployed again before the one-year period ends, you should immediately reopen your claim. If your one-year benefit year expires before you collect all the benefits in your claim, all you need to do is file a new claim for benefits.

Source: New Jersey Department of Labor

The moral of the story is to remain vigilant in pursuing a position that suits your career path, whether it be a temp job or a full time job.  A job seeker should continue to gain work experience, earn comparable wages, develop a rapport with an employment agency and still be able to re-open and collect unemployment when the temp job ends.