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Law Update Regarding Eligibility for UI Benefits During Summer Months

A law was passed amending the Between Terms Language as it relates to non-instructional staff. 

This law may affect you if you worked for an educational institution and were a paraprofessional, bus driver, office worker, support staff, or other non-instructional employee. The law is effective May 28, 2023.

What does the change do?

  • The change to the law means the Between Terms provision no longer applies to non-instructional staff beginning with the 2023 between term summer period. 
  • In other words, if you work for an educational institution in a non-instructional position and are unemployed at the end of a school term, you will be able to use the wages that you earned from that employer in the calculation of your weekly benefit amount -- even if you are returning to the same or a similar job during the next school term. 
  • Federal law requires that the Between Terms provision continues to apply to those working in an instructional capacity.

What does this mean to you?

  • You should apply for benefits if you are unemployed or had your hours significantly reduced. 
  • Once you tell us that you worked for an educational institution, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire so we can find out about your situation. 
  • Because we won’t know if you were instructional or non-instructional, the questionnaire will ask some questions that may not apply to your particular situation. Do your best to answer all the questions. 
  • Be specific about your job title and answer all the questions carefully. 
  • We will review the responses in your questionnaire and let you know if we have more questions. Most of the time we will not need more information. 
  • We will verify your information with your employer. 
  • If you work in a non-instructional capacity, you will be able to use the wages you earned during the Between Terms period. 
  • You will still need to meet all other eligibility requirements and request benefit payment each week to receive a payment. 
  • If your position with the school is instructional, or a mixture of instructional and non-instructional, we will review your information to determine whether reasonable assurance of substantially similar work exists for you during the next year or term.

What else do you need to know?

  • The law change removed one part of UI law, making it much more likely that non-instructional staff will be eligible for UI during the summer. It did not change any other eligibility requirements or the processes to apply for benefits or file weekly requests. The law change did not create a new program for school employees. 
  • Over 95% of applicants apply for benefits on their own and do not need our assistance. We continually scan through the data and information you provide in order to speed up processing. You help us do this by answering all the questions in your application and weekly requests. 
  • We have plenty of capacity to handle increased activity due to the law change. However, we also expect that there will be more calls than usual during the first few weeks of summer and we may not be able to maintain our usual, 30 second wait times. 
  • We want to talk to you if you have a question, but quite often you can avoid waiting on the phone by following these tips: 
    • Watch your account and respond to any requests for information online. 
    • Review the Information Handbook we send you and the information provided on our website.
    • If you need to call, try a little later in the day – we are usually busiest in the morning and again later in the afternoon. By avoiding those, times we can answer your call a bit faster. 
  • Due to higher levels of attempted fraudulent activities during the pandemic, all UI programs have had to implement additional steps in their processes to prevent fraudsters from applying for benefit using other peoples’ information. It’s important that you provide all information asked for when you apply so we verify that you are who you say you are as quickly as possible. 
  • For more information about applying for benefits and how to get paid, go to, and then select Applicants.

Questions and Answers

What is the Between Terms provision and what does it do?

  • The Between Terms provision restricts the use of wage credits from educational institutions in calculating unemployment benefits during the period between two academic years – most typically the summer months. 
  • Congress created this provision decades ago at the same time that Unemployment Insurance was extended to cover government workers (who were previously not covered by UI).
  • The Between Terms provision is one of the more complicated parts of UI law. It restricts the use of wages you earned from educational institutions in the calculation of your weekly benefit amount during the period between two school years – but only if you are returning to the same or a similar job in the next school term. 
    • Basically, if you were going back to pretty much the same job in the fall, the wages you earned with an educational employer could not be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount during the Between Terms period (summer). 
    • Wages from other work could be used during the summer months if, say, you had a part-time job with another employer. 
    • You could always apply for benefits, we just needed to determine whether your wages from your educational employer could be used. 
  • The provision mostly affects school employees during the summer months when there is a break between academic terms. 
  • The Between Terms provision does not actually make you ineligible for benefits, but it may result in a period of ineligibility or a reduction in your weekly unemployment benefit amount during the period Between Terms
  • Federal Law Regarding Between Terms 
    • Federal law requires that the Between Terms provision be in place for instructional staff – this means teacher, instructors, professors, principals, etc. 
    • States cannot make changes to the Between Terms provision for instructional staff. 
    • Federal law does not require that the Between Terms provision be in place for non-instructional staff. Non-instructional staff means paraprofessionals, bus drivers, office workers, support staff, food service staff, etc. 
    • States can make changes to the provision for non-instructional staff. The Minnesota legislature has done that - effective May 28, 2023.


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