Can you collect work as a freelancer while collecting unemployment if you still actively seeking work outside the home?

Does it matter how much and if you are an actual LLC or not? I am a freelance graphic artist. I am looking for a job but told I can still collect unemployment. I claim to be self employed each week in my weekly claim.

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can collect unemployment while working as a freelancer, though what you earn will reduce your benefits (potentially to zero, if you earn enough). For unemployment insurance (UI)  purposes, it doesn't matter if you are working as an individual freelancer, through an LLC, or as a contrct or part-time employee--the income from work still counts against your benefits.

Subtract $30 from your weekly income that week. Multiply the remainder by 0.67 (basically 2/3). Subtract the product from your weekly benefits. The result is your partial benefits that week.

Say you are getting $300/week benefits and earn $270 as a freelancer. Subtract $30 from $270: $240. Multiply that by 0.67 (we'll use 2/3 for simplicity): $160. Subtract $160 from $300: $140. You'll get to keep your earnings that week plus get $140 in UI.


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