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Will an Internship Affect My New York State Unemployment?

In order for a person to be eligible for unemployment benefits in New York State, he is not allowed to hold a compensated job. This is true for two reasons: a person receiving income is generally ineligible for unemployment; secondly, a person must be available to look for a new job while receiving benefits. A person is an unpaid internship may be deemed ineligible, as he has too little time to look for employment.

Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

A person can only receive unemployment benefits is he was laid off recently from a job for which he was compensated. Other types of workers, such as students, for example, are not eligible for unemployment benefits. So, a student who is choosing to take an internship over the summer will likely not be able to receive benefits, as he was not laid off from a full-time position.

Internships

Internships come in several varieties. Paid internships are generally internships in name only, as the person is compensated for his work. In some cases, the person may receive a modest stipend that does not meet the minimum wage. In addition, internships may be uncompensated. However, a person working an unpaid internship may not be eligible for unemployment benefits unless he can show it provides valuable training for his career.

Compensation

If the internship is compensated, then the person will likely not be able to claim benefits, even if he is otherwise eligible. However, if the person receives only a small amount of money, under New York State law, he may be allowed to receive a partial amount of benefits. However, the candidate may still be ruled ineligible for benefits for other reasons.

Searching for a Job

The main reason that an intern would not qualify for unemployment benefits would be that he is deemed to not have enough time to search for a job. A person must be available to search for work. Holding down an internship can make that difficult. However, if an intern can prove that his internship provides critical career experience, in a hearing before the New York Department of Labor, he may be allowed to collect benefits.



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