Can I earn wages while receiving unemployment benefits?

Working part-time or odd jobs while receiving unemployment is acceptable and even encouraged. However, you must report the amount you earn each week when filing your weekly claim. To learn more about how to report wages, click here.

If you physically worked during the week, you must report your gross earnings, which is the amount you earn before taxes or any other deductions; even if you have not been paid yet.

You may earn up to 25 percent of your weekly benefit amount without receiving a deduction in payment.

Failure to report your earnings is considered fraud. If you are found guilty of Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits for up to 52 weeks. Additionally, providing false information is a crime and subjects you to legal action with fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment up to 10 years.

You also will have to pay back any overpayments received as a result of incorrectly reporting wages. This might mean DEW intercepting your state and federal income taxes or the withholding of future wages to settle the debt.


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