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Department of Labor

Shared Work : Frequently Asked Questions

Weekly certifications must be submitted online. To create or log in to your online services account, go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin.
For more information about Shared Work, see the fact sheet:
Shared Work - What you should know about your employer's Shared Work Plan (Español)

Q: What is Shared Work?

A: Shared Work is a program that allows you to collect partial unemployment benefits if your hours and wages have been reduced by 20% to 60%, and your employer has been approved by the Department of Labor to participate in this program. Under the Shared Work Program, the weekly amount of unemployment benefits you receive is connected to the percentage your hours and wages have been reduced. For instance, if your work hours and wages have been reduced by 20% on a given week, you may receive 20% of your unemployment weekly benefit rate.


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Q: What are the advantages of the Shared Work Program?

A: The Shared Work Program gives employers an alternative to laying off employees when they have downturns in business. Rather than laying off a percentage of the workforce to cut costs, an employer can reduce the hours and wages of all or a group of employees. The employees whose hours and wages have been reduced can receive partial unemployment benefits to supplement their lost wages. The Shared Work Program helps employers avoid some of the burdens that accompany a layoff situation, and helps employees by sparing them the hardships of full unemployment.


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Q: How does it work?

A: Your employer designs a Shared Work Plan and submits it for approval to the New York State Department of Labor. Once the plan is approved, your employer will notify you so that you can start claiming your Shared Work benefits.

You must file your claim between the Monday and Sunday of your first reduced Shared Work week. (If you have an existing Unemployment Insurance claim, your employer must call Shared Work Benefits at 518-485-6375 to request that your claim be transferred to a Shared Work claim.) You can file by:

  • Going online at Online Services for Individuals between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday (Eastern Time), 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, all day Saturday, and Sunday until 7:00 p.m., or
  • Calling (888) 209-8124 during the hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
You can file your claim online or by telephone in English or Spanish. If you need translation services for languages other than Spanish, call (518) 485-6375.

If you do not want to have your benefits direct deposited into your personal checking account, you will be issued a debit card. The debit cards are a safe, easy, and convenient way to access your benefits. You will receive a welcome packet from KeyBank with your debit card, instructions for activating the card and selecting a Personal Identification Number (PIN), and general information about using the card. You will need to call KeyBank Customer Service at (866) 295-2955 to activate the card. Further information about the debit card is available on the Department's website at dol.ny.gov/unemployment-insurance-payment-options.

You will receive the debit card about one week after your Shared Work claim has been established in our system.

After you file your claim, you must claim credit for the first week of your claim , and claim benefits for each week your wages and hours are reduced. You can claim the credit for the first week of your claim and claim benefits by going online at Online Services for Individuals from 7:30 am to midnight, Monday through Friday (Eastern Time), all day Saturday and all day Sunday.

Your Shared Work benefits will be electronically transferred to your personal checking account or to your debit card account two to three business days after we process the certification.


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Q: What are the Shared Work Plan requirements?

A: To be able to participate in the Shared Work Program, your employer has agreed:

  • To reduce the hours and wages of all or a particular group of employees by no less than 20% and no more than 60%.
  • To include in the Shared Work Plan only workers who normally work no more than 40 hours per week.
  • Not to reduce or eliminate fringe benefits, including health, medical insurance, and retirement, provided prior to the start of the Shared Work Plan unless the fringe benefits of the entire workforce are reduced or eliminated.
  • That the plan cannot exceed 53 weeks.
  • Not to hire additional employees for the work group that is covered by the Shared Work Plan.
  • That the Shared Work Plan must be approved by a collective bargaining agent, if there is one.
  • That the Shared Work Plan must be in lieu of a layoff for an equivalent percentage of employees.
  • That all employees in an affected unit must be included in the program and reduced to the same extent during each week of the plan. The percentage of reduction may vary from unit to unit or week to week as long as it remains between 20% and 60%.
If you feel that your employer has not honored these requirements, please contact the Department of Labor – Liability and Determination Section at (518) 457-5807.


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Q: What are your eligibility requirements?

A: If you are on the approved Shared Work Plan:

  • You must meet the same basic eligibility requirements that apply to regular unemployment insurance benefits, except that you only need to be available to work for the Shared Work employer; i.e. you are not required to look for other work.
  • Any work with a different employer or self-employment will reduce the amount of Shared Work benefits for which you are eligible.
  • You are not eligible for Shared Work benefits in any week in which you receive supplemental unemployment compensation benefits (SUB pay).
  • You may receive a maximum of 26 weeks of regular Shared Work benefits during your benefit year. You may not receive more in a benefit year from Shared Work benefits combined with regular UI benefits than you would receive under the regular UI program alone (26 times regular benefit rate).
  • You must physically work at least one day with your Shared Work employer in order to be eligible for Shared Work benefits in a particular week.

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Q: How are Shared Work benefits claimed?

A: Actions must be taken by both the Employer and the Shared Work participant (Employee) in order for a Shared Work payment to be made:

  1. Employees must certify during the week following their first reduction under Shared Work. Each employee must complete the certification by signing in to their online services account at www.labor.ny.gov/signin, selecting the "Unemployment Services" button, and then selecting "Certify to Claim Your Weekly Benefits Here."
  2. Employers MUST log in to their UI Online Services Account, go to Shared Work, click on “Weekly Certifications,” and follow the prompts.
Shared Work benefits are always claimed for the week prior. This means that in any given week, you and your employer will be certifying to work performed during the previous week.

If you have an existing Unemployment Insurance claim, your employer must call Shared Work Benefits at 518-485-6375 to request that the claim be transferred to a Shared Work claim.


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Q: What is the weekly amount that I will receive?

A: Under the Shared Work Program, you may receive your weekly benefit rate multiplied by the percentage that your hours and wages have been reduced by your employer. For example, if your weekly hours and wages have been reduced by 30% and your regular benefit rate is $400, you will receive $120 ($400 x 30%) per week in Shared Work benefits. (See chart below)

Weekly Unemployment Benefit Rate ($)Percent Reduction (%)Weekly Shared Work Benefits ($)
400 20 80
400 30 120
400 40 160
400 50 200
400 60 240

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Q: What if I believe my Shared Work weekly benefit amount is incorrect?

A: After filing your Shared Work claim, an initial Monetary Determination (form LO 403) will be mailed to you, showing your work and wages over the past 18 months that were used to calculate your benefit rate. If you believe that the form is incorrect or needs to be recalculated, you can contact the Shared Work Unit at (518) 485-6375. You can also correct incomplete or missing wages by using the Request for Reconsideration form found on our website in the Unemployment Insurance Forms section.


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Q: Is there a limit on the amount I can earn at work in one week and still be paid Shared Work benefits?

A: No, there is no limit on how much you can earn with your Shared Work employer. As long as your work hours and wages are reduced by 20% to 60% in a given week, you may collect Shared Work benefits for that week.


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Q: Will working a second, part-time job affect my benefit rate?

A: Yes. Any work with a different employer or self-employment will reduce the amount of Shared Work benefits that you may receive each week. As with regular unemployment, for each day that you work in a week, you lose one-quarter of your Shared Work benefits. For example, if you normally receive $80 in Shared Work benefits and you work two days in a week, your benefit amount would be reduced by half to $40.


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Q: If I normally work overtime, can I receive Shared Work benefits for a reduction in my overtime hours?

A: No. Shared Work benefits can only be paid to compensate for wages lost because of a reduction in your normal work schedule of no more than 40 hours per week.


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Q: Can I receive benefits if my normal hours and wages are reduced less than 20% or more than 60%?

A: No. Benefits cannot be received from the Shared Work Program if your hours and wages are reduced less than 20% or more than 60%. However, you may be eligible to receive partial benefits under the regular unemployment insurance program. Contact the Shared Work Unit at (518) 485-6375 for additional information.


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Q: What is the maximum amount of Shared Work benefits I can receive?

A: You may receive a maximum of 26 weeks of regular Shared Work benefits.


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Q: Can I receive regular unemployment benefits after receiving Shared Work benefits?

A: If you are still partially unemployed after collecting all Shared Work benefits, or if you become totally unemployed, you may be eligible for regular unemployment benefits. However, the amount you will receive for Shared Work benefits and regular unemployment benefits under a single claim cannot exceed the amount you could receive under the regular unemployment insurance program alone (26 times your regular benefit rate).

For example, if your benefit rate is $400 and your work was reduced by 40% for 10 weeks, you would have received $1,600 (400 x 40% = $160 x 10wks) in Shared Work benefits. On a regular claim, the maximum amount that you could receive in a benefit year would be $10,400 (400 x 26 wks). In this case, you could be able to receive the remaining balance, which would be 10,400 – 1,600, or $8,800. (See chart below.)

UI Rate % Reduction# of WeeksSW Amt ReceivedUI Max AllowedRemaining Balance
400 20 10 800 10,400 9,600
400 30 10 1,200 10,400 9,200
400 40 10 1,600 10,400 8,800
400 50 10 2,000 10,400 8,400
400 60 10 2,400 10,400 8,000

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Q: How will Shared Work benefits affect my income taxes?

A: Any unemployment benefits that you receive, including Shared Work benefits, are subject to federal, state and local income tax.


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Q: Can I have income tax withheld from my Shared Work benefits?

A: Yes. You can have federal and New York State withholding tax deducted from your weekly Shared Work benefits. Learn more about withholding taxes from Shared Work benefits.


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Q: How are Shared Work benefits or payments issued?

A: Payments are issued through a debit card. The debit card allows you to withdraw your benefits at ATMs and MasterCard-affiliated banks. It also allows you to spend your benefits directly at retail point-of-sale locations and through online, phone, and mail order purchases. If you would prefer, you can get your benefits electronically transferred into your checking account if your bank has a direct deposit program.


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Q: Who should I contact if I have a question about my Shared Work benefits or if I have not received my benefit payments?

A: You should contact the Shared Work Unit at (518) 485-6375. Do not contact the Telephone Claims Center. They do not have the information needed to assist you.


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