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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

FAQs - Reporting Work and Wages

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Wages are any earnings or income received from:

  • Piece work pay
  • Residual pay
  • Self-employment
  • Severance pay
  • Strike benefits
  • Temporary Total Disability
  • Tips
  • Vacation pay
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance Allowance
  • Witness fees
  • Workers’ Compensation

You are only entitled to the full weekly benefit amount if you meet eligibility requirements and have no work or wages. The weekly benefit amount is provided on your Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award (DE 429Z). You may still be eligible for partial UI benefit payments if you are not working full time, but you must report your work and wages to receive the correct benefit amount. The Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data from employers to reduce UI fraud and can detect claimants who do not correctly report work or wages. It is against the law to collect UI benefits while working and not reporting wages. By properly reporting work and wages, you can avoid disqualifications, overpayments, and penalties for UI fraud.

You must report your gross wages. Gross wages are all earnings or income before taxes or any other deductions.

Report the wages during the actual week they were earned - NOT when you receive your pay. For an example of when to report work and wages, visit Fraud Prevention and Detection Activities for Work and Wages.

  • If your weekly earnings are $100 or less, the first $25 does not count. The amount of earnings more than $25 is subtracted from your weekly benefit amount and you are paid the difference, if any.

    Example: Your weekly benefit amount is $145 and you worked and earned $26 during the certification week. Since your weekly earnings are less than $100, the first $25 does not count. If you meet all eligibility requirements, you will be paid $144.

    Calculation Example (If Earnings Are $100 or Less)
    Weekly Benefit Amount
    (A
    Earnings Minus $25
    (B
    Benefit Payment Amount
    (A - B)
    $145 $26 - $25 = $1 $144

  • If your weekly earnings are $101 or more, the first 25 percent does not count. The amount of earnings remaining is subtracted from your weekly benefit amount and you are paid the difference, if any.

    Example: Your weekly benefit amount is $315 and you worked and earned $200 during the certification week. Since your weekly earnings are more than $100, the first 25 percent does not count. If you meet all eligibility requirements, you will be paid $165.

    Calculation Example (If Earnings are $101 and More
    Weekly Benefit Amount
    (A
    Earnings Minus $25
    (B
    Benefit Payment Amount
    (A - B)
    $315 $200 - (25 percent of earnings) =
    $200 - ($200 X .25) =
    $200 - $50 = $150
    $165

  • If you receive Temporary Total Disability or Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance Allowance, the EDD deducts the amount dollar-for-dollar from your weekly benefit amount.
  • If you receive a pension that the EDD determines is a deductible, the EDD deducts the amount dollar-for-dollar from your weekly benefit amount.

Reminder: The EDD collects employment data from employers and can detect unreported wages, so it is important that you report any earned wages to avoid committing UI fraud.

If you work or earn wages in a week that you need to certify for, you must certify by mail using the paper Continued Claim Form (DE 4581). For examples on how to report work and wages, visit How to Report Work or Earnings.

Always report your work and wages on your Continued Claim Form (DE 4581) during the actual week when you worked and earned the wages, even if you have not been paid by your employer or have not received your paycheck. For an example of when to report work and wages, visit Fraud Prevention and Detection Activities for Work and Wages.

You do not need to report volunteer work if you are not earning any wages from the work performed. While collecting UI benefits, you can build experience and make a difference in the community by volunteering, which could assist you in getting a job in the future. Unpaid volunteer work does not count against your UI benefits as long as you still are actively looking for work and meet all other eligibility requirements when certifying for benefits. Report any work only if you earn wages and expect to receive pay for the work performed. The EDD collects employment data from employers and can detect unreported wages, so it is important that you report any earned wages to avoid committing UI fraud.

The certification week(s) on the Continued Claim Form (DE 4581) always start on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. You must report work and wages according to the Sunday through Saturday week(s) listed on the DE 4581. If your payroll weeks are different than the weeks that the EDD has issued, the EDD suggests you keep a record of work and the wages earned for each day in order to correctly report work and wages under the appropriate week on the DE 4581.

Certifying for benefits while working and not properly reporting wages is considered committing UI fraud and you could face a variety of serious penalties. You are legally responsible for reporting work and wages correctly. For more information, visit Fraud Prevention and Detection Activities for Work and Wages.

If you misreport your wages, contact the EDD immediately through UI Online, by phone, or by mail. If you were not entitled to receive benefits during the week(s) that you misreported wages, you will be subject to repaying the benefits that you were overpaid. You may be subject to disqualifications and penalties if it is determined that you have committed UI fraud, so it is important that you correctly report work and wages. For more information, visit Fraud Prevention and Detection Activities for Work and Wages.