FAQ: Factors that affect your weekly benefit rate
If any of these circumstances apply to you, your weekly benefit rate may be reduced.
Not all pensions affect unemployment claims, but some do. If you are receiving a pension from an employer whom your claim is based on, your unemployment benefits may be reduced by either 50% or 100% of your weekly pension amount, as follows:
- If your Base Year Period employer contributed the entire amount towards your pension and you contributed nothing, your unemployment benefits may be reduced by 100% of your weekly pension amount.
Example: If your monthly pension amount is $1,000, your weekly pension amount is calculated to be $231. If your unemployment weekly benefit amount is $400, your weekly pension amount, $231, is subtracted from that, leaving you with $169.
- If both you and your employer contributed towards the pension, your unemployment benefits may be reduced by 50% of your weekly pension amount.
Example: If your monthly pension amount is $1,000, your weekly pension amount is calculated to be $231. Since you contributed towards your pension, only half of your weekly pension amount ($116) is subtracted from your weekly benefit amount. If your unemployment weekly benefit amount is $400, half of your weekly pension amount, $116, is subtracted from that, leaving you with $284.
- If you contributed the entire amount towards the pension, and your employer contributed nothing, no reduction will be made to your unemployment benefits.
- If you were involuntarily separated from work prior to the age of 59.5 years, a lump sum payment of retirement pension will reduce your unemployment benefits, either for the week in which the payment was received or, at your option, prorated to a weekly deduction using actuarial tables.
NOTE: Getting Social Security benefits does not reduce Unemployment Insurance benefits.
If a suitable job is offered to you, you must take it. If you refuse the job, you may be denied benefits for the week in which you refuse the job and for the next three (3) weeks.
Because each person is not the same and has different circumstances, the definition of a "suitable job" is fitted to each person, depending on where he or she lives, his or her skills, experience and past salary. While you are unemployed, you will look for a job similar to your last job (distance traveled, job duties and salary). As you remain unemployed, you will be expected to revise your minimum job requirements. For example, you may have to travel a greater distance, accept a different type of job or accept a lower starting salary.
An offer of work is suitable if it is reasonably similar to your previous work experience in location, type of work, and pay, including benefits. The longer you remain unemployed, the more willing you must be to expand your work search. You may need to consider offers outside your normal trade or occupation, and to accept work at a lower pay rate in order to remain eligible for benefits.
If you are working less than full-time due to your employer's lack of full-time work, you may be able to collect all or part of your unemployment benefits. Less than full-time means that you are not working more than 80% of the usual hours for your occupation (for example, if a 40 hour work week is common in your occupation, you may be able to receive benefits if you work 32 hours or less).
If you find part-time work with a new employer, you must continue to look for full-time work (if your unemployment claim is based on full-time work). If you do not look for full-time work, 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 (including tips) when you claim your benefits. Please note that even if pre-existing part-time employment is not used to calculate your monetary, you must declare all earnings for each week of benefits that you claim. Wages must be reported for the week in which they are earned, not when they are paid. The wages you report will be subtracted from your Partial Benefit Rate. The Partial Benefit Rate is 20% higher than your weekly benefit rate. You cannot be paid more than your weekly benefit rate.
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).
If you return to full-time work during the weeks you are claiming benefits, you must notify us when you claim those weeks. You will have to answer questions about your return to full-time work, including:
- The specific date you returned to full-time work.
- The gross wages you earned.
- The amount of whole hours you worked.
- The employer's name, address and telephone number.
- If you notify us online of your return to full-time work, you will also need to provide the employer's name, address, and telephone number.