If I’ve been collecting unemployment while earning wages as an independent contractos, what consequences am I facing?

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If I’ve been collecting unemployment while earning wages as an independent contractos, what consequences am I facing?

I’ve collected $13,000 in unemployment wages because I could not afford to stop collecting. I only make $1300 per month on my current job and have been unable to obtain more sustainable income. I paid the taxes on it.

Asked on May 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are allowed to work and draw unemployment (if you are otherwise eligible) in GA, but:

1) You MUST report your income each week;

2) Any amounts over a certain threshhold (I think it's $50) that you earn are deducted from what you could receive in unemployment benefits; obviously, if you earn as much or more than your benefits--which basically would have been the case for you, since it appears that the maximum you can receive in GA benefits is around $333 per week, or around $1300 per month--you will not receive benefits.

Failure to report your income while collecting unemployment is unemployment fraud. You are potentially liable to repay all benefits; to pay fines and penalties; and in some cases, could even face criminal liability. You should consult with an attorney about how best to protect yourself and rectify this situation.


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