I’ve received some questions about unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. I address the two most frequently asked of those questions in this blog post. Please note that this pertains to Tennessee employees, particularly. But you can check with your state’s unemployment website for specifics if you live outside of TN.
Q1: What is the maximum amount someone can get from unemployment, full-time and part-time?
- The Tennessee Dept of Workforce and Development (TDLWD) determines this.
- Your weekly benefit amount is determined by averaging your wages from the two highest quarters in your base period and plugging that number into a benefits table.
- There is a minimum weekly amount of $30, and a maximum weekly amount of $275.
Q2: Are employees eligible to receive unemployment when working part-time?
- A: Possibly. To determine the amount of unemployment benefits they’re eligible to receive, Tennessee’s unemployment office looks at work history. The employee must have earned a minimum of $780.01 in each of 2 quarters of a time frame called the Base Period.The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which the initial claim is filed. If they’ve earned sufficient wages during this time frame, the wages earned will then be used to calculate the weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks the employee may receive benefits.
- If an employee is laid off from a part-time job, he still may be eligible for unemployment. He can get benefits as long as he worked enough hours or made enough money during the Base period (defined above). If an employee worked a low-paying job, or one with very few hours each week, he may not meet the standards to collect unemployment benefits.
If an employee previously held a full-time job and he accepts part-time work while he’s receiving unemployment benefits, the amount he earns will reduce his benefit, but may not eliminate it altogether.
I hope the information above is helpful to you in these trying times. Remember, the most important thing to do during this pandemic is to stay healthy for your own sake and the sake of those around you. So follow doctor’s orders: wash your hands often; don’t touch your face; eat nutritious food; and get plenty of sleep.