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Hey, I am preselling an online course on investing, will I lose my benefits?

by Anonynous

Hey Chris,


Wanted your advice.
I am earning benefits right now and I decided to preselling an online course.
It was a successful launch and it stands to make me around $3K, which will be paid this week.
However the course will be actually delivered by me, not now. It will be given one day in August.
But if I am paid THIS week, when should I declare it as earned income to the state, THIS WEEK or in August? As it technically isn't earned income until it is actually given right?
Also could this take away all my future unemployment benefits or will it only be for that week that I don't receive them?
I also had to buy a new laptop to make this course and expensive hosting that basically offsets the money made. Do I have to report this as income at all? As I technically am breaking even. There is no profit.


Hi Anonymous,

I'll have to defer answering your question, of whether I think you need to report commissions, of fee for teaching a class .. after selling the online course, as a self employed person .. although you say you technically only broke even in the end, to whatever your claimant unemployment handbook tells you do.

The typical rule of thumb is you must report earnings and or wages when filing a weekly claim, in the week earned, not the week paid.

However, in your case, that you were lucky enough to get paid before you had to do any work (unless selling the course was commissioned based) I literally wouldn't take the usual rule too literally, just because I was paid .. well before I had to earn the money.

I think it would be a feat to make it all sound reasonable .. should the UI dept suspect you were trying to misrepresent a material fact .. while certifying for benefits, under penalty of perjury.

But then .. I'm a rule follower. Mostly because it's the easiest way I've found to avoid stressing myself out :)

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