How Should I Report a New Job to Unemployment Services When There's a Gap in Receiving a Paycheck?

When you receive unemployment compensation, there are reporting requirements you must follow in order to maintain your eligibility for benefits. Specific procedures are set up by each state. Reporting your new job may cause some concern when you find a new job if there is a gap between the date you are hired and the date you start receiving paychecks. Such gaps are not unusual since there may be a delay in starting work. In addition, there can easily be an interval of two or three weeks after you start work before you are paid.

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Step 1

Follow the procedures for filing your weekly unemployment benefit claim. In general, you must provide information about job applications, job offers and wages you earned during the past week. When you get a new job, report it even if you have not started work yet. Your benefit amount each week is based on wages earned, not on whether or not you have a pending job. Consequently, your weekly benefit amount won't be affected until you actually start working.

Step 2

Determine if you can still receive benefits after you start working. Many times, you will find a part-time job you can do while still looking for full-time work. In this situation, you may qualify for all or part of your weekly benefit amount. In general, a portion of your wages is disregarded and the remainder subtracted from your weekly benefit to arrive at a reduced benefit amount. Each state has its own formula. For example, Massachusetts disregards wages up to one-third of your weekly benefit amount, while Georgia disregards a flat $50. Suppose you live in Massachusetts, receive benefits of $360 a week and get a part-time job paying $250 a week. Firs, subtract one-third ($120) from $250, leaving $130. Subtract $130 from your weekly benefit of $360, leaving $230. In this example, you still get $230 a week in unemployment compensation.

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Step 3

Continue filing a claim each week until you are sure you won't be entitled to any more benefits. If you make too much, you just won't get a benefit check. However, if you skip filing one week, your claim will be closed. If you later qualify for further benefits, you'll have to contact your unemployment services agency and reactivate your claim.

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