Over the last few weeks, due to the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus, 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment.  If you were one of the tens of thousands of Mainers laid off or downsized, we feel for you.

But, what if you are lucky enough to be able to find a part time gig while waiting for the pandemic to end and the economy to rebound?  Does that prevent you from filing for unemployment?

Fortunately, in most cases, no.

According to Money, most states will allow you to work a part time job while collecting unemployment as long as your part time gig does not provide more money than your unemployment benefits.

In some cases, states will subtract a percentage of the money you make from your part time job from your benefits.  Other states, like Texas, subtract your part time income from 125% of your benefits payout.

What about Maine?

Eligibility.com says Maine handles part time job like this:

"You must report any work performed and the amount of wages earned or in the space provided if you file online, even if you were not yet paid for performing the work.  This includes all employment of any kind, such as self-employment, odd jobs, babysitting, etc. Wages include cash, commissions, checks, tips, and the cash value of pay you receive in the form of food, lodging or any other means of payment.  The first $25 of gross earnings will not affect the amount of your unemployment payment for that week. Gross earnings above $25 are subtracted from your benefit payment for that week. For example: If you earn $40 in a week, only $15 ($40 minus the $25 “allowance”) will be deducted from your unemployment payment. You must continue to seek work even if you are claiming partial benefits."

What if your job went from giving you full time hours to part time hours?  In Maine, that type of situation falls under a program called WorkShare.  For employees, there are some very specific criteria for the program including: the reason for the loss of hours, the percentage of the reduction in hours, and the number of workers affected by the loss of hours.  Get more details HERE

Hopefully, this answered most of your questions.  You can always reach out to the Maine Department of Labor.  Ill-prepared for the shear number of people who would be filing for benefits, the Maine Department of Labor is slowly working their way through the claims.  So, please be patient.  Our thoughts are with you.

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