WorkShare eligibility and benefits

WorkShare allows you to avoid getting laid off. You work fewer hours and receive your reduced wages, while unemployment benefits help make up the difference.

During tough times, employers may feel the need to cut hours. WorkShare allows your employer to cut your hours anywhere from 10% to 60%. You will continue to make your regular wage at reduced hours. But, with WorkShare, unemployment benefits help offset the cost of reduced hours. Additionally, nothing will change with your regular health insurance benefits.

WorkShare eligibility

  • You must be a permanent full-time or part-time worker. Seasonal and temporary workers are not eligible.
  • You must work the reduced hours decided by your employer 
  • You must be eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits
  • If you choose to find a part-time job during the period of the WorkShare plan, you must report the pay you earn to your WorkShare employer
  • Your combined WorkShare and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits cannot exceed the benefits you would receive under the regular unemployment insurance program
  • You must work or get paid for all the hours your employer has set for the WorkShare plan
  • If you miss any time during a week that is not covered by leave, you may not qualify for WorkShare benefits during that week
  • Your employer must request weekly benefits online each week that you are working reduced hours

Additional Resources

Determining your unemployment insurance benefits

WorkShare benefits are based on regular unemployment insurance benefits. You have to file an unemployment claim and based on your earnings your weekly benefit amount will be determined. The amount you receive cannot exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount.

Once you establish an unemployment insurance claim, we can calculate your benefit credit. This benefit credit is the total amount of benefits you can collect during your benefit year (52 weeks).

  • Each claim also has a duration of benefits, which is the greatest number of weeks you can collect unemployment insurance benefits
  • When you collect WorkShare benefits, your benefit credit is only reduced by the amount of your WorkShare payment
  • Since your WorkShare benefits are less than what your regular unemployment benefits would be, your duration of benefits may be longer
  • Any benefits remaining after the end of your benefit year (52 weeks) will no longer be available

Additional Resources

How WorkShare determines your unemployment insurance benefit rate

After your unemployment rate is determined, your WorkShare benefits are calculated. The rate is figured using the percentage of lost hours you work. 

For example:

If you were to lose 20% of your weekly hours, WorkShare would be 20% of your unemployment insurance benefit rate.

  • If someone had a benefit credit of $7,500 and a regular UI benefit rate of $250, full unemployment insurance benefits could be collected for 30 weeks
  • Under WorkShare, your weekly benefit rate would be 20% of your regular UI benefit rate, $50. You can collect up to the duration of your WorkShare plan or up to the 52 week maximum. Any remaining balance will no longer be available. 

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