Question about unemployment benefits
October 4, 2009 7:07 AM   Subscribe

I started a new job this week after over a year collecting unemployment. I got my last unemployment check the wednesday of my first week of work. Then on Friday, I got paid.

I didn't know the pay schedule when I started this job so it was a surprise to me that I got a paycheck. My question is this: how will this be handled by the State of NY? Will I be charged criminally? I assume this won't be an issue until tax time when they see my 1099 from unemployment and my tax forms from my job and that they overlap.

I was collecting unemployment from NY and now live in MD.
posted by josher71 to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Typically you apply and are paid unemployment for the previous week. If you did not work that week (even if you had accepted the job) you are OK.
posted by Gungho at 7:18 AM on October 4, 2009

Here in MA, you file at the beginning of the week for the previous week of unemployment and receive funds towards the middle of the week. I'm pretty sure that you're fine.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:22 AM on October 4, 2009

Call the unemployment office and ask how to resolve this. Most likely, they'll just ask for the money back and everything will be copacetic.

Also, I am not a lawyer, but it's my understanding that federal tax returns cannot be used as evidence of a crime other than tax evasion, and that the IRS does not report back to other agencies. In fact, you're even supposed to pay taxes on your illegal activities. And if you're being paid in MD, then NY won't see your employment income.
posted by Netzapper at 7:25 AM on October 4, 2009

Just call them and explain the situation. They're not going to haul you off to jail for it; in fact they'll be relieved someone is honest and employed now.
posted by asciident at 8:26 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't judge on whether or not NY will judge that your unemployment and employment have overlapped, but here in TX the state said there was an overlap in my wife's situation. They made here pay back some of the unemployment money she had received, a couple of hundred bucks. I don't think you should worry about doing hard time in the Graybar Hotel.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2009

In California, you get your form to fill out for whatever weeks you're claiming unemployment, then you fill it in and mail it the day after that period ends. Then a few days later, you get a check for that period - so it's quite possible that this check could come while you're working, because the check is paying you for the previous two weeks or so, not "this" week.
posted by LionIndex at 9:26 AM on October 4, 2009

I'd just call them. Get the name of the person you speak to, and note the call date and time. If you can, get some sort of hard copy confirmation of what they tell you, whether that's a mailed letter or email. Congrats on getting a job!
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:26 AM on October 4, 2009

If I'm reading this correctly, this is what happened (minus a couple dozen weeks or so).

Week N - 1: You do not work.
Week N: You do not work. You receive unemployment for week N - 1.
Week N + 1: You do work and are paid for it. You receive unemployment for week N.

Why would this be illegal? You received unemployment for the weeks you were unemployed, not the weeks you worked. You were paid for the week you worked.
posted by kdar at 9:27 AM on October 4, 2009

You're fine. In NY, you have to call or go online to make your claim for the previous week. So, let's say you started work this week, but did not work last week. You would have gone online or called on Monday of this week and answered "zero" when they asked how many days you worked last week. You would get the check or direct deposit or however you choose to get paid anytime from a few days to a week later.

In other words, the money you received from NY State Unemployment on Wednesday of your first week was payment for the week prior, when you were not working. There is no overlap. Just go online to the NY unemployment website during your second week of work and after you fill out the section that says you worked 4 or more days during the previous week, check the box that says you returned to work full-time. You'll be all set.
posted by bedhead at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2009

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