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How To Go Back To Work And Still Keep Unemployment Benefits

GOBankingRates logo GOBankingRates 6/20/2021 Georgina Tzanetos
a group of people sitting at a table: Corporate meeting and group work in modern company in office interior. © Prostock-Studio / Getty Images/iStockphoto Corporate meeting and group work in modern company in office interior.

Millions of people throughout the country have been receiving unemployment benefits as part of the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill. While traditionally, one might lose these benefits once they find work, there are programs now in place to ensure workers can go back to work and still retain some of their benefits.

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President Joe Biden highlighted this in a speech Monday during which he claimed that his administration would be helping to reaffirm programs already set in place that allow workers to return to work without giving up all of their unemployment insurance.

In an accompanying press release, the White House outlined this program. It stated that as businesses reopen without knowing if they will operate at full capacity or not, given the ongoing economic recovery, some will only bring on workers part-time.

In order to encourage people who would otherwise seek full-time employment to take these positions, the Unemployment Insurance system will offer two different programs for this kind of worker.


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“Workers shouldn’t have to choose between losing their full UI benefits to take part-time work that represents only a portion of their original salary,” the White House claimed.

The Department of Labor is expected to release further details this week on the two programs which include short-term compensation and partial UI. Short-term compensation is intended to help employers rehire their laid-off workers. If an employer brings back a laid-off employee part-time and participates in this program, the worker will receive “prorated UI benefits to help cover reduced compensation for not working full-time, as well as $300 weekly supplement.” These federal supplements are set to expire Sept. 6. The programs are currently available on a state level in more than 25 states and are also fully federally funded through Sept. 6, according to The White House fact sheet.

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Partial Unemployment Insurance is another option that the White House claims is overlooked and not enough people are taking advantage of. This program allows workers to return to work for a new employer at reduced hours while still receiving some of the unemployment benefits they currently receive. States can enhance the amount of partial unemployment insurance they claim by “raising the income threshold where workers can both work and receive some UI benefits.” Although the White House has stated the Dept. of Labor will encourage states to do so, there are no further details at this time as to whether or not this will happen for certain, or what those thresholds will be.

Both of these programs, as well as regular unemployment insurance, will require those who receive unemployment benefits to be actively searching for employment. The Department of Labor will highlight rules and guidance to states this week in order to reiterate these requirements.

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