Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS - WILLFUL MISREPRESENTATIONS

Another issue I consulted on recently: it is so important when certifying each week to disclose any form of employment, whether full time, part time, volunteer, non-paying, etc. - otherwise, you might be penalized for willful misrepresentations. This is from the FAQ of the Department of Labor:

"Q: What if I work part-time?

A: If you work less than four days and earn $405 or less in a week, you may receive partial benefits. You are considered employed on any day when you perform any services - even an hour or less - regardless of whether you get paid for that day. Each day or partial day of work will reduce your benefit rate by one-quarter. If you are unable to work, your benefits are determined on the same basis. Receiving partial benefits extends the length of time you may collect benefits until you reach the maximum or your benefit year ends, whichever comes first. If you earn over $405 in any week, regardless of the number of days worked, no benefits can be paid for that week.

Each day or part of a day of work will result in a payment of a partial benefit as follows:

1 day of work = 3/4 of your full rate

2 days of work = 1/2 of your full rate

3 days of work = 1/4 of your full rate

4 days of work = No benefits due


If you work while receiving benefits and do not report that employment, even if it is part-time work, you may be committing fraud. You must report all full-time and part-time employment to the Labor Department or you risk criminal penalties.


Q: What if I do volunteer work?

A: In certain instances, you may collect unemployment benefits while you do volunteer work provided you meet all of the following criteria:

The volunteer work is for a charitable, religious or cultural organization;
And, you do not receive payment in any form for your volunteer work;
For example, if you “volunteer” at a school in exchange for tuition abatement or scholarship, this work would not be considered to be true volunteer work, and would affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

And, the volunteer work is not a precondition to being hired or rehired into a paid position;
For example, if you volunteer while on a lay-off from a social services agency that is between budgets or grants, this work would not be considered to be true volunteer work, and would affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

And, your volunteer duties do not interfere with your ability to search for work, and do not affect or limit the number of days and hours you are willing to work."

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