How can I start an at-home business and collect UC benefits?

I am currently collecting benefits. I understand that I could lose my benefits if I take any action towards being self-employed. Before I was laid-off I started a small portrait business. But now I wanted to register the ficticious name, open a business account, etc. It will take some time to develop the business before I see an income. This law is a major roadblaock in my future. What can I do?

1 answer  |  asked Mar 1, 2011 10:06 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, self-employment generally makes you ineligible to collect unemployment benefits. If the self-employment activity is a sideline activity that preceeded your employment and the separation from your employment, and it doesn't substantially change in scope after your separation (i.e. turn into a full-time job), you are still available to take employment and the sideline isn't the primary source of your livelihood, then you may not be disqualified.

Taking steps to incorporate, open business accounts and develop the business until you generate an income is likely to be a substantial change in scope which could make you ineligible.

Any new business involves significant risk. The law essentially prevents those taking such risks from transferring the risk to the government by utilizing unemployment funds when they won't be looking for new employment. Whether this is a good policy is another discussion.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Mar 1, 2011 12:44 PM [EST]

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