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Accepted a new job that is 100% Commission

by Denise
(California)

I live in California, first of all. I was laid off a little over a month ago and I have just started receiving unemployment checks.


I have been looking for work the whole time. I was interviewed for a independent representative position in home-based sales. The job is 100% commission. But I won't be receiving any paychecks until I actually close any deals.

For for the first weeks or so I won't be getting paid. How do I fill out my unemployment form to reflect that I worked x hours but didn't make any money?

Do I have to still look for work and list off all the places I have applied? And also I understand I can keep collecting unemployment until I start making enough, correct?

So when I start making enough do I just stop collecting? I don't wanna screw up my paperwork and IRS stuff. Any help with this would be much appreciated.




Hi Denise,

No, you do not collect unemployment until at which point you are making enough to survive without them.

This does tend to get a lot of people into trouble .. because the fact is .. that part-time employment that pays weekly and reporting those wages is applicable to determine what the "partial benefit" amount will be.

But what you have totally avoided mentioning is another condition you must meet to collect unemployment in any state .. and that is being able available to accept new offers of suitable work .. and in most states being able to prove you've looked for work in each week per instructions from the state.

So I want to know .. if this 100 percent commission job is actually covered employment or if it will be considered "self employment" and if it is self employment .. can you still comply with the A&A requirements. (I'm pretty sure XE means "excluded employment").

See here for what is covered employment.

It looks to me as if you should be okay in CA as long as you're still performing a job search for covered employment .. unlike some states that make self employment often disqualifying .. like PA or NY.

So my main concern would be if you were devoting 40 hours a week to self employment and stop looking for a regular job or unable to prove your search for that.

If CA has any questions about your continuing claim forms .. I'm sure they will schedule a phone interview to assure themselves you're still entitled to collect at least a partial benefit .. when you start earning some money from this.

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