Can I Collect Unemployment if I Become Self-Employed?If you have been unemployed for a while, you may be thinking about making a career change or seeking self-unemployment. Keep in mind, some state programs are not eligible for those who are self-employed but some states may allow you to collect unemployment benefits while working toward self-employment.  You’ll have to review rules and requirements with your state unemployment agency.

Collecting Unemployment While Self-Employed

If you are performing services and collecting income, it does count as income that is required to be reported when filing weekly unemployment claims.  The amount may leave you receiving a partial benefit payment instead of the full payment you may normally receive.

The unemployment agency may define self-employment as earning income that is not made by an employer.  Even if you work for a company that makes payments to you but you are not listed on payroll, this is considered self-employment.  This may include a freelancer or small business owner.

Eligibility for unemployment based on self-employment may vary.  Usually, you would be receiving unemployment based on your previous work history.  Once you start receiving income, your benefit payments are adjusted to reflect what you earned.  This is done when you report how much you make upon filing weekly claims.

There is an earned income balance law or regulations in place for each state that comes into effect when you earn income while unemployed. In some cases, certain amounts earned may not affect benefits received. It may also depend on how much is earned and how often before changes take effect to benefits.

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