How Much Can I Work and Not Lose My Money?
March 24, 2011 12:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently collecting unemployment in New York State, and am considering taking on some very part-time freelance work. How much can I earn per week without giving up my employment benefits/violating the law?

I can't find this info on the Department of Labor info site FAQ, or through Google, or in any other of the AskMe questions and answers on unemployment. I'm leery of calling the help line to ask directly, because you have to identify yourself and I am reluctant to raise any eyebrows.

I'm grateful for any information you can provide.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Work & Money (5 answers total)
It looks like the magic number is $405/week, although the exact amount that affects you will depend on which level of benefits you are receiving.

I went through a summer of uneven employment in Oregon a few years back, and it basically just meant partial or no benefits for weeks where I earned too much, and then back on the dole the next week of no work.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 12:23 PM on March 24, 2011

When I've been on ue in NYS, each day I worked (regardless of the number of hours) reduced that week's benefits by 25%. Even if I only worked for two hours, it counted as more than a day against me.

It's been a few years-----find out for sure ---dont take anyone's word for it.
posted by vitabellosi at 12:38 PM on March 24, 2011

Although if it's freelance work, presumably you could just invoice all of it on the same day? That way you only have to worry about the dollar amount.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 12:45 PM on March 24, 2011

I did some freelance work about 3 weeks ago. When I claimed unemployment benefits that week, I said I worked 1 day. My benefits were reduced by 25% for that week. I am almost out of my weeks of benefits. I think I can get that day at the end.

My friend had a long-term freelance job. Every week she would claim benefits, say she worked 5 days, and get 0 dollars.
posted by oreofuchi at 5:29 PM on March 24, 2011

You can earn as much as you want and keep your benefits as long as you're still claiming every week. In NYS you are assigned a lump sum that's parceled out weekly over the length of your claim. If you're not paid from it for a week, that money doesn't go anywhere. Your benefits last until you've used up that sum of money or your benefit period ends, whichever comes first. (And even then, there are extensions.)
posted by greenland at 10:07 PM on March 24, 2011

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