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Unemployment and Part Time Work- is this ethical?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 7:28 pm
For some background, until COVID I was earning about $50k a year through self employment. Covid knocked out pretty much most of my clients as my specialty was very much affected by the pandemic. Sometime in April, self employed people were able to file for unemployment and PUA and I was able to get on.
Fast forward to the summer, I finally had a new client and certified that week that I earned $200. I was knocked off unemployment. It was annoying but I was trying to earn more money now. I probably pulled in about $3k for the rest of that year. Through the rest of the year, I continued to get some odd jobs but I was earning nothing like I used to. I’ve probably earned about 5k 2021 while usually at this point I’d be at 30k Sad .

Recently someone told me I should still be on unemployment. I called up the office and they said I can apply as long as I record each payment I’ve received. I’ve gone back online and started registering which weeks I’ve earned pay checks and which weeks I’ve earned nothing. But something feels funny. Am I really eligible? Is this not just considered my business doing badly? Or is that a reason in itself to get unemployment? What would you do? It seems the system is open to me registering my work or lack thereof from back to last summer when I last got an unemployment check. Is it enough to let them see my earnings for themselves and determine what I receive?
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amother




Eggplant
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 7:40 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
For some background, until COVID I was earning about $50k a year through self employment. Covid knocked out pretty much most of my clients as my specialty was very much affected by the pandemic. Sometime in April, self employed people were able to file for unemployment and PUA and I was able to get on.
Fast forward to the summer, I finally had a new client and certified that week that I earned $200. I was knocked off unemployment. It was annoying but I was trying to earn more money now. I probably pulled in about $3k for the rest of that year. Through the rest of the year, I continued to get some odd jobs but I was earning nothing like I used to. I’ve probably earned about 5k 2021 while usually at this point I’d be at 30k Sad .

Recently someone told me I should still be on unemployment. I called up the office and they said I can apply as long as I record each payment I’ve received. I’ve gone back online and started registering which weeks I’ve earned pay checks and which weeks I’ve earned nothing. But something feels funny. Am I really eligible? Is this not just considered my business doing badly? Or is that a reason in itself to get unemployment? What would you do? It seems the system is open to me registering my work or lack thereof from back to last summer when I last got an unemployment check. Is it enough to let them see my earnings for themselves and determine what I receive?


Ask a Rov. No one here can answer you.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 7:57 pm
amother [ Eggplant ] wrote:
Ask a Rov. No one here can answer you.


Do you think this is a halachic question? What do I ask exactly?
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:18 pm
If it’s legal, it’s ethical. Just answer all the questions honestly.
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amother




Lightblue
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:23 pm
call them up and explain the situation. They can help you by the phone through the backend to give you benefits you missed but you wont have that option online.
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amother




Butterscotch
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:23 pm
I think you're allowed to work part time and earn up to a certain amount per week. They mention part time work on the recorded message.
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amother




Azalea
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:24 pm
If your business was so affected by COVID, and now you have not nearly as much business as before, wouldn’t you say that lack of business is a result of COVID? If COVID had never happened you’d likely be on track for 50k this year, right? So I’d say it’s legit
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number




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:28 pm
If you follow the law then it’s ethical. You’re entitled to unemployment so accept unemployment.

Unless you’re one of those people who won’t take govt money.
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amother




Bluebell
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 8:29 pm
Yes, you are allowed to receive unemployment if you work part time. However, all of the extras are ending in September (so no extra $300 or $600). And the process is long and daunting. It might not even be worth it unless you feel it really is.
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BrachaVHatzlocha




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 9:56 pm
I don't know about elsewhere, but in NY they have this partial unemployment. So just answer the questions honestly and if you can get it, you get it. Basically, as long as you work under a certain amount of hours a week and earn under $500, you can get some unemployment. I think that for self employed it says making $500 excluding self employment?? I am not sure about how that works.
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BrachaVHatzlocha




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 9:58 pm
I reread what you wrote and you are worried that maybe this is "just your business doing badly." Even if it is, you aren't making much $, so that means unemployed.
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amother




Cadetblue
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 10:00 pm
You can always check with an accountant.
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amother




Lemon
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 10:03 pm
If you answer honestly then it's ethical if you don't qualify you won't get it.
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wifenmother




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 10:05 pm
BrachaVHatzlocha wrote:
I don't know about elsewhere, but in NY they have this partial unemployment. So just answer the questions honestly and if you can get it, you get it. Basically, as long as you work under a certain amount of hours a week and earn under $500, you can get some unemployment. I think that for self employed it says making $500 excluding self employment?? I am not sure about how that works.


I've heard about this from a client of mine in NJ as well. He's not self-employed, but he's earning a lot less now than before COVID and qualifies. According to NJ.GOV "Yes, a claimant may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits while working part time due to lack of work. However, the worker's weekly benefit amount will be reduced dollar-for-dollar for all earnings in excess of 20% of the worker's full weekly benefit rate."

OP, check with your state. If you're eligible and struggling, then why shouldn't you go for it?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 10:27 pm
amother [ Lightblue ] wrote:
call them up and explain the situation. They can help you by the phone through the backend to give you benefits you missed but you wont have that option online.


I did call them.
Actually, I originally wanted to file again for the summer when things were becoming especially dry. The system only let me certify from when I last certified, something like August 2020.

Like another poster said, I have never been eligible for any programs. I’ve never earned enough to be rich but it was comfortable enough to support my family while DH was in kollel. A lot of what I did was essentially marked useless after COVID hit. Most of my earnings since are from odd jobs on a different track.
The system allows me to certify week by week and report my earnings. The problem is, every week there is a question that goes something like this: “Were you eligible and open to working/job opportunities?”. Does this mean I am wrong for not taking any minimum wage job and trying to revive my business instead?

Eta I am in NJ.
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amother




Black
 

Post Thu, Jul 15 2021, 11:19 pm
Yes it's fine. I also know someone who had 2 jobs before COVID and lost his main one but kept his side one and can stay on unemployment until he gets a similar main job. Just make sure to report everything.
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HeartyAppetite




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 12:17 am
In New York you can work part time. They ask you to write the amount of hours you worked, 0-4, 4-8 etc...
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amother




Clear
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 12:30 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I did call them.
Actually, I originally wanted to file again for the summer when things were becoming especially dry. The system only let me certify from when I last certified, something like August 2020.

Like another poster said, I have never been eligible for any programs. I’ve never earned enough to be rich but it was comfortable enough to support my family while DH was in kollel. A lot of what I did was essentially marked useless after COVID hit. Most of my earnings since are from odd jobs on a different track.
The system allows me to certify week by week and report my earnings. The problem is, every week there is a question that goes something like this: “Were you eligible and open to working/job opportunities?”. Does this mean I am wrong for not taking any minimum wage job and trying to revive my business instead?

Eta I am in NJ.


I don't know if they still have it up, but the unemployment website used to have instructions of how to answer these questions, if you were claiming unemployment due to covid. They said to just answer yes to the question you quoted. It doesn't matter that you weren't actively looking for work, it was a pandemic. I don't know what they say about answering the question for current weeks though.

And they were offering unemployment to those who had a partial loss of income. Not sure if that's always, or a covid thing.

I'm talking about in NJ
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