School Employee Claims

In the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, school employee and school supportive employee claims have specific eligibility requirements. You are still considered to be employed when on a break or recess. Because you will return to work, you are not unemployed through no fault of your own.

Note: Unless stated otherwise, any reference made about a school employee also applies to school supportive employees.

School Employees and School Supportive Employees

There are two types of school employees: school employees and school supportive employees.

You are a school employee if you work for a public or private, nonprofit school employer. You are a school supportive employee if you work for a nonprofit or public employer that provides services to, or on behalf of, a school employer.

You may not be eligible to receive benefits based on wages earned if all of the following occur:

  • A claim is filed during a recess period.
  • You receive an offer to return to work for a school employer when the recess period ends.
  • You earned school wages during the base period of the claim. A base period is a specific 12-month term used to see if you earned enough wages to establish a UI claim. To learn how we determine your base period, review How Unemployment Benefits are Computed (DE 8714AB) (PDF).

Professional and Nonprofessional

In the UI Program, the terms professional and nonprofessional are used differently than in the traditional sense. For example, traditionally a librarian is considered a professional employee. However, in the UI Program, a librarian is considered a nonprofessional because they do not teach, or perform research or administrative tasks.

Note: These terms are based on your type of work, not your classification.

Both school employees and school supportive employees are either professional or nonprofessional.

  • Professional: Employees who perform an instructional, research, or principal administrative role (teachers, principals, registrars, etc.) These employees are also known as certificated employees.
  • Nonprofessional: All other employees (custodians, cafeteria workers, teachers’ aides, etc.). These employees are also known as classified employees because they do not teach, perform research, or work in an administrative role.
    • Note: Nonprofessional school employees and nonprofessional school supportive employees can receive retroactive benefits if they are not called back to work after the recess period ends.

Examples of School Employee Claims

The following examples show the different eligibility conditions for school employee claimants.

Professional School Employee - Not Eligible for Benefits

The school employee is a teacher and only worked for a school employer during the base period. The teacher filed the claim during a recess period and had reasonable assurance to return to work after the recess period ended.

The EDD told the teacher that they were not eligible for benefits during the recess period because they were given reasonable assurance to return to work following the end of the recess period by their school employer.

Nonprofessional School Employee - Eligible for Retroactive Benefits

The school employee is a custodian and only worked for a school employer during the base period. The custodian filed the claim during a recess period and had reasonable assurance to return to work after the recess period ended. The EDD told the custodian that they were not eligible for benefits during the recess period. But, they could request retroactive benefits if the school employer did not recall them back to work after their recess period ends.

To be eligible for retroactive benefits, they must contact the EDD within 30 days after the new school term begins. They must also continue to certify for benefits and meet all eligibility requirements during the recess period.

School and Non-School Employee

The employee worked for a school employer and a non-school employer during the base period. The employee filed the claim during a recess period and had reasonable assurance to return to work after the recess period ended.

The EDD told the employee that they were not eligible for benefits based on their wages with the school employer because they were given reasonable assurance to return to work following the end of the recess period. But, if all other eligibility requirements were met, they would be able to receive benefits based only on the wages earned from the non-school employer.

Recess Periods and Reasonable Assurance

A recess period is the period of time between terms, or within terms, when classes are not usually scheduled. Examples of recess periods include summer vacation, off-track weeks, and holiday recesses such as Christmas or Spring breaks. For school employers in higher education, such as colleges and universities, this may also include breaks between semesters or quarters.

Reasonable assurance is a written, verbal, or implied agreement that says the school employee will perform services for an educational organization during the next academic year, term, or remainder of a term. The agreement must make sure the economic terms and conditions are generally the same as the conditions in the previous school year or term.