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Unemployment in California and working as a consultant

I will be unemployed this year. I would like to work as a consultant, but that is not steady work nor is it long term. As a consultant I will be make MORE than the maximum unemployment benefit.

My question is 2-fold: 1) should I apply for unemployment immediately when I am laid off, or should I wait until my consulting job is finished; and 2) if I do elect to apply for unemployment immediately after I get laid off, will making more than the maximum unemployment benefit cancel my unemployment claim?

If the consulting job is a short term contract position .. I think I'd wait until it's over.

Furthermore .. I'm more curious if the consulting work is self-employment or contract employment.

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