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Unemployment Eligibility for Part-time Educators

Dear All,

Part time employees who had reasonable assurance of employment whose hours were cut are likely eligible for unemployment benefits and should file a claim. For example, part time faculty whose assignment for a class was removed from that assignment because either the class was reassigned to a full time faculty, or whose course was canceled, are eligible for unemployment insurance claims. This is true even if the part time faculty member has other work.

Part time non-teaching educators may also be eligible to apply. For example, a part time NTE with a history of working 25 hours per week, may be eligible for partial unemployment insurance if hours have suddenly been reduced to 10 hours per week. In addition, if you qualify for any amount of NYS unemployment, you will automatically qualify for an additional $300 per week from the federal government until mid-March.

According to the Dept. of Labor’s FAQ website (

At a minimum, to be eligible for unemployment, persons seeking unemployment benefits must satisfy these the three following elements:

1. You must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your base period (calendar quarters are 3 months, therefore 6 months in total).

2. For claims filed in 2020, you must have been paid at least $2,600 in wages in one of the calendar quarters (the website does not yet include updated information for 2021) in your base period.

3. The total wages paid to you in your base period must be one and one-half times your high quarter wages.

The state will use no more than $11,088 of your high quarter earnings to determine if you qualify. You must have earned at least half that amount ($5,544) in the other base period quarters. This website ( will take you through the steps of filing your first claim.

If one's current weekly wages from all sources total at least $504 (the weekly unemployment amount in NY), anticipate that a claim for unemployment in NY will be denied. Anything less than $504 should qualify you for the difference (plus the extra $300 in the coming weeks until mid-March).

Note the RCC Adjunct Faculty Association has no connection to unemployment, unemployment claims, or claim approval or denial. All questions should be directed to NYS Department of Labor.


RCC Adjunct Faculty Association

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