Why do I have to report earnings when I haven’t been paid by my employer yet?
Each time you file a weekly claim for benefits, you must report if you performed any work or earned any money during the week you are claiming. You must report the total amount earned before deductions. It must be for the week in which the work was performed even though you may not have been paid for the work at the time you file your weekly claim.
What kind of payments do I need to report and how will my weekly UI benefits be affected?
When reporting earnings, include tips, meals, lodging, merchandise or any other kind of payment you receive for your services. Payment for show-up or process time (if you accepted a new job and are being trained, for example) is reportable even though you did not work or perform any services. If you have earnings equal to or greater than your UI weekly benefit amount, you will not be entitled to benefits for that week.
Earnings of more than $30.50 from partial or temporary employment, commission sales, odd jobs, self-employment or show-up/processing time within a claim week will reduce the weekly benefit amount to which you are entitled. The following example shows how earnings affect your weekly benefit payment:
How Earnings Affect
Weekly Benefit Payments
|Weekly Benefit Amount||$205.00|
|Less $30.00 Allowance||-30.00|
Since the amount payable is rounded to the nearest dollar (with 50 cents rounded to the next higher dollar), the payable amount in the example is $162. You must report your total earnings before deductions. The system will factor in the $30 earnings allowance for you.
If you worked during the week in which you initially apply for benefits (or reactivate an existing claim after accepting employment and again becoming unemployed), you must report your wages. The system checks the last day of work you reported and if it falls within a week in which you are claiming benefits, an issue is set on your claim if wages are NOT reported, this will result in a delay in receipt of UI benefits.
The Department conducts three types of Unemployment Insurance audits:
Quality Control - Each week unemployment claims are randomly selected for a thorough investigation to determine whether the claim was properly established and whether benefits were properly paid. This investigation requires department representatives to personally contact your previous employers to review pertinent wage and separation information.
Post Audit - This program is used to detect individuals who may be working and receiving wages while collecting unemployment benefits. An audit form is mailed to all employers who have reported wages in the same calendar quarter in which benefits have been paid.
"New Hire" Audit – All employers throughout the United States are required to report newly hired employees to a "New Hire" database. Each week, these reported "New Hires" are matched with individuals who have claimed weeks of benefits after the reported hire date and an audit form is mailed to the employer who reported the hire.
If improper payments are detected in either of these last two audits, you will receive a Notice of Overpayment which gives you a chance to request a review before a final Determination of Overpayment is issued to you.
Important Information - Unemployment Insurance Fraud is a Felony!
- A 15% penalty will be assessed on any fraudulently overpaid benefits
- Overpaid benefits may be recovered by diverting either your Arizona or federal income tax refunds (or both)
- Not reporting earnings can result in legal action
- You may be prosecuted for withholding or falsifying information to obtain or increase your benefits
Penalty for false statements: It is a Class VI Felony to misrepresent or fail to disclose facts or to make false statements in order to obtain or increase benefits. If you knowingly make a false statement or withhold information in order to collect unemployment insurance benefits to which you are not entitled, the Arizona Department of Economic Security may take civil or criminal action against you.Criminal action may result in up to 2 years in prison and fines up to $150,000 for each false statement. Meaning, if you fraudulently receive 10 weeks of UI benefits to which you were not entitled, each week is considered as a separate false statement and you could receive up to 20 years maximum in prison and a $150,000 fine for each offense. In addition, you will be required to repay the amount you illegally received.