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Partial unemployment issues for some who have needed it

Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 17:57:12-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With in-school learning at a hybrid model, bus drivers like Cassy Schurr have been hit hard.

"It's a consistent struggle," Schurr said.

According to Schurr, she has not had a steady work schedule in more than a year, with her hours cut in half.

"I'm down to 20 (hours) if I'm lucky. Sometimes I'm down to 18 or 20 it all depends," Schurr said.

Her saving grace has been the introduction of partial unemployment, which allows those working part-time due to the pandemic a chance at a full paycheck.

"The amount of reduction is based on the amount of hours you work in the week total," Labor and Employment lawyer at Phillips Lytle James Grasso said, "So now you can work up to 30 hours a week and still receive partial unemployment."

Each week you cannot work more than 30 hours or make more than $504. For Schurr, three weeks ago she went over the hour limit by a couple of hours, hoping to make some extra cash for her family. Since those extra hours, the partial unemployment has stopped.

"I've been waiting for the partial benefit to kick in, nothing has come," Schurr said.

Three weeks have now passed with no check, despite her hours going back into the teens. Schurr says she has still been reporting her hours to the Department of Labor and made dozens of calls, but has not received a response. When asked for comment, the department said it would not discuss individual cases.

According to Schurr, if the part time unemployment doesn't return soon, she could see a few difficult months.

"How much longer can you go without the paycheck?," 7 Eyewitness News asked, "Not very much longer," Schurr said, "Probably another week."