I was collecting unemployment for a few weeks, then found a freelance job. I’ve stopped claiming because I will get paid more at the freelance than collecting UI. And frankly, having to meet their job search requirements is a waste of time – they send me irrelevant jobs, so I’d rather look on my own that I know am qualified and trained to do.
Anyways, right before I found the job, I was called in to attend a mandatory meeting with a DOL Workforce rep, and I’m scheduled to meet her 2 more times with records of my job search. But after the first meeting, I stopped claiming, so technically I have no need to report for the 2nd and 3rd meeting. I was given a sheet to bring to my next meeting, and there’s a section that says “If you’ve returned to work please provide Employer name, address, start date, rate of pay.” I’d really prefer not to list the employer name and address because I don’t want my new employer knowing I was on UI. Am I legally bound to provide this info? Will they actually contact my employer, and if so, what will they ask them?
Congratulations on losing the old ball and chain that unemployment benefits can definitely be.
Although I can’t point you to official information at the NYDOL about whether you have to report this new freelance work (another way of saying self employed), I know I would not feel legally bound to tell the NYDOL crap if I didn’t file for benefits in any week I started making money ..
However, it would become an issue to resolve should the freelancing not work out and you find yourself having to reopen the claim.
The dept. will certainly want to know if a separation from the last covered employment needs to be investigated for a possible disqualification of benefits, or if a freelance job .. that the employer wasn’t just trying to avoid paying unemployment and other taxes by calling covered employment .. freelancing.
So, you probably should check the state law comparison coverage chart (located on the UI law page) to check the expectation of your new work isn’t to be someone’s employee.
And while you’re on that page, you might open up the NY Interpretation Indexes to find out how turning self employed might impact your ability to collect future benefits .. if the freelance jobs don’t work out to be a viable permanent solution.