You probably have little time to hold a full-time job if you attend school full-time, but unemployment benefits likely won't pay the bill for your studies. Full-time students generally do not qualify for benefits, because they are not considered willing or available to take full-time work. Depending on your state, though, being in class doesn't always deny you unemployment.
In many states, you can collect unemployment if you're being trained for a specific vocation, such as truck driver, cosmotologist or health aid. Trainees in certain workforce development or displaced worker programs can qualify in some states. Check with your employment security or unemployment benefit office for a list of approved training programs.
A few states will qualify students who have earned a certain level of wages while in school for unemployment benefits. In some states, moreover, unemployment benefit examiners will accept applicants who agree to change their school schedules to take full-time work. In California, for example, students who make themselves available for part-time jobs are eligible for benefits.
- Congressional Research Service: Unemployment Compensation (UC) -- Eligibility for Students Under State and Federal Laws; Julie M. Whitaker and Alan Eder
- New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development: Requirements for Payment -- Full-Time Student
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Unemployment Benefits -- How to Apply and Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions
- Pennsylvania Bar Association: Unemployment Compensation
- California Employment Development Department: Able and Available AA 40 -- Attendance at School or Training
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