DiceTV: How Your Job Search Can Impact Jobless Benefits

The Script

The rules on unemployment insurance vary by state, but in general, to collect you must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work.

If you’re doing so much freelancing and volunteering – or even so much networking that it gets in the way of your availability to work – you might have some explaining to do at your unemployment office.

The reasoning is this: Unemployment insurance is meant to help you get your next job. Volunteering and networking can’t get in the way of your taking a new position.

So when you’re communicating with unemployment officials, always be as clear as you can be. If you’re volunteering as part of your job search, say that. If you’re volunteering, but can leave any time someone calls you in to work or for an interview, say that, too.

Taking freelance or contract assignments can impact your eligibility, too. So when you disclose your activities, be as accurate as you can be, to help officials see the big picture. Try to anticipate their questions, and be ready to answer any you might have missed.

The same is true for working on your own business – or even pursuing an activity that might LOOK like a business.

One IT worker from Texas told us she lost a week of benefits for attending a sales-training course. Another, in California, had his benefits suspended when he launched a Web site about – unemployment. The state said it was a business, and it took him six weeks to get his benefits restored.

Yes, we still say freelancing, volunteering and networking are all critical aspects of a job search. But if you’re collecting unemployment, be sure you’re clear on your state’s rules, and weigh the risks and rewards of any assignments you take.

I’m Cat Miller, this has been DiceTV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.

Comments

  1. BY Bob N Neal says:

    CA Unemployment are sharks. They are looking for any excuse to screw you, seriously. Get deferred, under the table or barter payment for any work you do while on it. Old employer claimed I quit so they wouldn’t have to pay unemp benefits (they pay half). CA Unemp billed me for $15,000.00 in back benefits and 3,500 in fines. Luckily I forwarded ‘CYA’ work emails home regularly that supported that it was BS. GF made error and claimed one week too much and they are gouging her for $150 fine AND loss of 5 weeks potential benefits. ($2500!). Unemp Offices are total scumbags looking for loopholes. State budgets deficits? If the states were a business they’d be forced to run efficiently no sympathy for them. Maybe the people will wake up and do something, yeah right we see how campaign finance reform took off. This whole country is so corrupt and its people so distracted, ignorant and asleep.

  2. BY WhyIDontKnow says:

    Cat…are you serious?

    Great advice!? Not!

    Check on your states rules?! If any tax money is being wasted on looking for unemployed IT staff wasting time on social media, there’s gonna be some hell to pay for someone who’s wasting those funds.

    Give it up Kitty

  3. BY WhyIDontKnow says:

    Also…

    Let me think this through:

    1. I’m unemployed
    2. I’m networking to find a job.
    3. I’m volunteering to meet people.
    4. I’m volunteering to feel better while I’ve been kicked down.

    And Cat says the above is something to be concerned about?

    Uh…Earth to Cat Woman!

    Doh! Did you actually mean to provide some info about a short comment you made:

    :::: Taking freelance or contract assignments can impact “your eligibility,”

    Now how about some tips on that Kitty?

  4. BY Ericson says:

    STOP/cut this non-sense.
    This is the capitalist society.
    NOTHING is for FREE, so move this part to Russia or China!
    As far is concern availability for work, that is another CRAP set by the burreaukrats alike people, who just looking for any reason reason to make system difficult
    when unemployed need the money, isntead to help them.
    This should be ELIMINATE by REAL insurance, which
    would collect money to their account in the bank directly supply than supply them, when they need them w/o ANY
    restrictions, till account would run empty.
    Simple enough?

  5. BY Barry Crouse says:

    Whoever made a comment about Russia and China appears to be living in the past Russia is now the number 1 oil and Gas producer in the World they overtook Saudi Arabia China owns over 1 trillion in U.S. Debt in the form of bonds.

    I do believe Unemployment Insurance should be eliminated at least Temporary because most States are badly in debt and are ready to file their bankruptcy papers the State of Washington is 2.6 billion in debt

    I would think Self Employment even if limited could provide a self help measure States could lay off Public employees and cut their budget deficits ;therefore, the state would not be forced to file bankruptcy and yes Public entity’s can file this so do not think that it is not possible

  6. BY Unemployed in MA says:

    This article could have been better researched, but it really DOES depend on which state you live in. If you live in Massachusetts and have an S Corporation, you are allowed to work 20 hours to maintain your corporation while collecting unemployment so long as you are not being paid. Yes, you do still have to apply for jobs and you still have to be available for work.

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