How many hours can you work and still get unemployment …

  • If someone were to claim 17,000 dollars in unemployment benefits while working full time, what should they do? Turn themselves in? What would they need to expect? Jail time? Can they pay it back to avoid jail?


    Mathematically this shouldn’t be possible.

    Even with the added $600 from the Federal Government most states have had a capped payment system in place. The added Federal Money couldn’t have lasted long enough to have run this number.

    Your employer, in most states, has to clear your unemployment insurance payments. I spent a good four hours a week trying to keep people cleared during the lockdown. In NC that required that I re-certified them if they missed on online filing deadline or didn’t fill all of the online fields correctly.

    So realistically someone at your job allowed you to take UI while paying you full time.

    That’s fraud and both you and the HR Director/Paymaster/Owner need a lawyer.

    Ive qualified, in years past, for nearly $900 a week in basic UI benefits so it is possible with the federal bonus money to hit this plateau of $1500 a week for 11 weeks but at this point you should have the savings base to just pay this back.

    I doubt your state has a mechanism for that but you could have your lawyer contact the Dept of Labor and Unemployment Commission to facilitate that. If you are proactive you should be able to escape jail time.

    Given how many states struggled to get people paid, I wouldn’t advertise this publicly. I know some people that would break your nose for scamming the system when they couldn’t get paid at all.

    I’ll be honest, this sounds like a hypothetical more than a real issue.

    If this happened and you do get caught up I would actually be more worried about getting outed by the local news for suffering from affluenza than the actual criminal repercussions.

    The state is just going to want it’s money back, plus fines because the States are broke and will happily settle with you for a full value plus penalties because they can keep the Federal matching funds. That’s a win for state treasuries but politically and optically you would make a pretty good scapegoat for local news to fixate on.

    At some point, we will be past the actual emergency and ambitious politicians will want to review the system to look for fraud. This is already happening in California. The egregious scammers will be pursued both criminally and publicly and this sounds like a situation where you might have your ass out and exposed.

    Im going to assume, given the values involved, that you didn’t go onto a debit card and most likely went direct deposit. Your bank records can be searched by states with almost no hurdles so the paper trail is an absolute wall you can’t bypass.

    Im sure people have scammed this and unfortunately the added $600 was actually an incentive to scam the system in many cases. I’ve had problems with certain sectors of employees who actually wanted to go under the table specifically for this reason.

    I put my foot down hard on this because it’s fraud and it puts me in a bad situation. Not just immediately but in the long term regarding UI rates going forward

    If your employer encouraged you to do this they might be an idiot. Blithely hoping that the chaos insulates everyone involved. What matters here is that it’s probably not just you but other members of your company. If ten or more people are involved it then moves into the types of values that State Auditors will absolutely go after at some point.

    States are flat broke, with free falling revenues and recovering $200k in fraudulent claims will be a feature in some emergency funding schemes. This is actually more likely with the legislative paralysis in Washigton DC.

    In my experience State auditors and revenue agents are much more aggressive and far less understanding than the IRS. The Balanced Budget protocols that most States operate under make that a necessity.

    You absolutely need a lawyer.

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