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Period between school terms: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are Sections 590.10 and 590.11?

A: They are sections of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Law that deal with people who:

  • Work directly for a school or educational institution and
  • File a claim for UI benefits
If we determine that Section 590 applies to your case, then you may not use the wages earned with an educational institution to qualify for a claim.   


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Q: What types of workers fall under Section 590.10 of the UI Law?

A: Section 590.10 applies to someone who is employed by an educational institution in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity. Examples include:

  • Teacher
  • Tutor
  • Guidance counselor
  • Department chairperson
  • School athletic coach
  • Staff performing research
  • Business manager


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Q: Which employees fall under Section 590.11 of the UI Law?

A: Section 590.11 applies to someone who is employed by an educational institution in other than an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity. Examples include:

  • Nurse
  • Maintenance worker
  • Teacher aide
  • Cafeteria worker
  • Clerk
  • Bus driver
  • Secretary
  • School crossing guard


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Q: When is Section 590.10/590.11 an issue?

A: Section 590.10 or 590.11 is only an issue when you work for a school or educational institution and file a claim: 

  • Between successive terms
  • For a customary vacation/holiday recess that is NOT between terms (such as Christmas week)
  • For schools that use a trimester system where the break may be between two regular but non-successive terms
 


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Q: What if I work in a school, but am not directly employed by the school itself?

A: If you work in a school but are not directly employed by the school itself, Section 590.10 or 590.11 does not affect you. For example, Section 590 would not apply to you if you work for a private bus company or a private food service vendor that contracts with a school.
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Q: What if I work for a school, but also have work for a non-school employer?

A: If you are a teacher or other school employee, you cannot use the work with that educational institution to qualify for a claim if Section 590 applies. However, if you also have work for a non-school employer (during the base period), we will still consider those wages to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits.
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Q: What constitutes reasonable assurance if I am a ‘regular’ employee?

A: You would have reasonable assurance of a job, if you receive:

  • A letter for hire
  • A letter for re-hire
  • Verbal assurance that you are to return to work for the following term
Or

  • If you have a history of re-hire (unless you have been told that you will not return) AND you can expect to earn at least 90% of the prior term's wages and benefits
 


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Q: What constitutes reasonable assurance if I am a per diem employee?

A: You have reasonable assurance if:

  • You receive written or verbal notification that you will be placed on a substitute list
  • That list will be used for placing substitutes
  • There is a reasonable expectation that sub positions will exist
  • You can expect to earn at least 90% of the prior term's remuneration (including wages and benefits)

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Q: How does reasonable assurance affect my claim?

A: If you receive reasonable assurance:

  • The wages earned with that educational institution DO NOT COUNT for UI
  • You cannot use those wages to establish an unemployment claim

Note: If you filed an additional claim and:
     •   You had previously filed an original claim that has not expired using wages from an educational institution
      THEN 
     •   You cannot collect UI benefits if you needed those wages in the base period to qualify

 


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Q: Are the school wages removed for an indefinite period of time?

A: No. They are removed only for a specific period of time. Reasonable assurance takes effect on the later of these two days:

  • The Monday following the last day of the school term
  • After you receive reasonable assurance
It ends the day before the first day of the school year.


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Q: How is reasonable assurance determined if I worked for more than one educational institution in the prior school term?

A: This requires a more complex evaluation. The Department of Labor will first consider whether your earnings (including fringe benefits) in the upcoming school term are expected to be 90% of your earnings (from all schools) in the prior school term (for work in the same capacity).
If Yes - We disregard all educational wages in the base period (you cannot use them for UI)
If No
- The Dept. of Labor will consider each educational institution in the claim separately:

  • Wages from those not providing reasonable assurance remain on the claim
  • We disregard wages from those providing reasonable assurance

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Q: What if the reasonable assurance that I was given doesn’t turn into actual employment?

A: You may receive retroactive UI benefits for every week in which you claimed benefits when your work in the prior term was classified as 590.11 ONLY:       

  • If you never get the chance to perform services
         • Even if you had reasonable assurance given in good faith by the employer
 


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Q: What if I’m still within a period covered by the school contract?

A: If the contract remains in force, you would be considered:

  • Not Totally Unemployed
  • Not eligible for unemployment benefits, even if you:
         o Performed no services
         o Were paid no salary due to a compressed schedule
However, if the contract period has ended and you:

  • Still receive a salary (for example, you have a 10-month contract, but spread pay over a 12-month period)
  • Would be considered Totally Unemployed, and eligible for unemployment benefits

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Q: What if I was laid off, but I’m also receiving Severance Pay?

A: Your Severance Pay issue will be reviewed in the same manner as any other claimant who files. Generally, individuals who receive Severance Pay are eligible for unemployment benefits. For details, see our frequently asked question about severance and other separation-related payments.
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Q: What if I was laid off, but I’m also receiving a Pension?

A: Your pension issue will be reviewed in the same manner as any other claimant who files.  For details, see our frequently asked question about pensions.
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Q: When should I file a claim?

A: See our frequently asked question about when to file a claim.
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Q: How can I find out if I am eligible for unemployment benefits?

A: The only way to find out your eligibility is to file an unemployment claim. The Department of Labor cannot provide predeterminations, because:

  • Each case presents different circumstances
  • We investigate and evaluate each case on its own merits
 


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