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Working while collecting benefits

Report work when requesting benefit payments

Each time you request a benefit payment, you are asked if you worked during the week you are requesting. You must answer Yes if you worked at all, including:

  • The last week of your old job or first week of a new job
  • A temporary job
  • A part-time, or on-call job, even if you had it before you became unemployed from your main job
  • Self-employment, working for cash, or volunteer work
  • A job outside your usual occupation or industry
  • A training or trial period at a new employer, paid or unpaid
  • If your hours were reduced

If you worked, you must report your:

  • Total hours worked that week.
  • Total gross earnings that week (before deductions and taxes). Earnings include:
    • wages, tips, salary, commission, cash
    • self-employment income
    • the value of any rent, goods or services you receive for working

Keep a record of your hours worked (Sunday through Saturday) regardless of when you will be paid for those hours. If you worked for more than one employer in a week, combine your earnings and hours from all employers.

You must report your earnings for the week you perform the work, not when you are paid for it. For self-employment, report your weekly earnings after you deduct your direct business expenses for that week.

How does working affect my benefits?

You are not eligible for benefits in any week you work 32 or more hours, or when your gross earnings for the week are equal to or greater than your weekly benefit amount.

A partial benefit payment will be made for any week you work less than 32 hours and your earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount. The system will deduct 50 percent of your earnings from your benefit payment. The amount not paid for that week stays in your account.

What if my hours vary week to week?

If the number of hours that you work varies from week to week, you should request benefits every week. Report the hours you worked and your gross earnings each week and the system will automatically determine whether you are due a payment and the amount.

What happens if I fail to report my hours and earnings?

  • If you did not report your hours and earnings, call us immediately to correct your mistake, otherwise it may be considered fraud.
  • If you do not report all hours worked and all earnings, you will be overpaid and must repay benefits you received.
  • If we determine that your overpayment is fraud, you will be charged a 40 percent penalty and interest on the overpaid amount. In some cases there may be criminal penalties.

Your earnings will be verified! Your earnings and hours will be verified with information reported by employers.

If you made a mistake when you reported your earnings, contact Customer Service immediately to make the correction.

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