Unemployment insurance and part time work?

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I was laid off work and filed unemployment insurance and received my first check this week. However, it’s been difficult for me to find full time employment. I am a teacher, and the local schools are not hiring. I had to move back home when budget cuts at my last school necessitated lay-offs, and since dipping into my savings to pay off debts for the past couple of months, I no longer have a nest egg to facilitate relocation to a new school district. Not that it would do any good as most schools are continuing with furloughs and budget cuts, and no one is hiring, or they’re swamped with hundreds of applications per job. But in my local search, I came across a company that offered me part time employment. It pays only 25 cents above min. wage and there’s little to no hope of going full time, but it’s a job. I’ve accepted, and I’m going to be telling the UI people at the Department of Labor on Monday. However, I would like to know how this will affect my UI benefits. I know and don’t expect to draw the same amount, but I’m hoping UI will make up the difference between my low wage salary and what UI benefits would have been had I not gotten the job. But that’s not the problem. The continuing job search is.

I imagine they will still want me to seek employment, but I can’t keep up with the min. 3 a week requirement as it is. Sure, I could just randomly put in applications for jobs I know I’m not qualified for, but the truth is that, besides teaching, not a lot of jobs out there are available for someone with my experience and degree. And almost all require experience in that particular field. I’ve even gotten turned down as a cook in a cafeteria b/c I didn’t have any professional experience…despite cooking everyday for myself. All the retail stores and jobs with high turnover want to hire only part time. With my current part time job (with no fixed schedule), I don’t know or even guess at what my hours of availability are, and the new job was adamant that I be available when they required me to be and that shifts were even variable. It’s a call center btw. I don’t want to lose any supplemental UI benefits, but I’m not having much or any luck finding full time jobs and my current part time job prevents me from seeking another part time job to go along with it. So what do I do? Do you expect they’ll be understanding in this soft market and lower the min. search criteria, or do you think they’ll use the situation as an excuse to stop payment altogether? And I just hate the thought of putting in “empty” applications for jobs that I know I won’t be able to accept. What do I tell them if they call and ask what hours are I’m available “Um…I don’t know. I was just filling this application out for UI?” ::rolls eyes::
Sorry, I forgot. I live in Georgia.
Main thing is that I don’t know how to continue with the job search requirement when the market is this soft and any part time opportunities will be the same as the one I currently have landed. I’m not looking to cheat the system. I just want to know how to navigate the whole “applied to three jobs a week” when in order to do that, I would have to apply to jobs I can’t afford to take (relocation), can’t take (hours conflict with my current part time job), or aren’t qualified for. It’s no skin off my back to do these things, but I feel like a jerk to employers who might contact me thinking that I can actually take the job if offered.
Not saying I would stop looking, but three applications a week for full time employment within my field and in this small of a town is just unreasonable in this market, and I don’t know how to go about doing it and still be honest.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 6:13 am

    You don’t mention what state you are in, so we won’t be able to give you state-specific information and it does vary.

    But generally, any money you make via employment is deducted from your benefits. You can’t collect full benefits AND a wage.

    Here in TX, when you have wages, they give you a 25% bump in your benefits before they deduct the wages, to encourage you to work. For example, if you got 100 per week in benefits, they would raise that benefit to 125 and then deduct what you actually earned, and pay you the difference.

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