UI Online: Reporting Self-Employment and Commissions using UI Online

Welcome to UI Online – your fast, convenient,
and secure way to certify for continuing unemployment benefits and
manage your claim. In this video, we’ll demonstrate how to answer Question #6 on the
claim certification in order to properly report your earnings for self employment and commissions.
In addition, if you work for the entertainment industry or have regular earnings, you’ll
want to look at our other instructional videos specific to these situations. In order to
certify for continuing benefits using UI Online, you first need to register in Benefit Programs
Online and create a UI Online account. If you haven’t created an account yet, or
you need information on how to certify, please see our other instructional videos for help
with these topics. Unemployment Insurance benefits are designed
to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers. So,
if you’re working less than full-time, you may also be eligible for UI benefits in
certain situations. Therefore, it’s important to properly report all work and wages to the
EDD to ensure that you receive the benefits that you are eligible for. How is your benefit
payment calculated? The EDD uses the information that you provide
during the certification process to determine the amount and type of income that is deductible
from your Weekly Benefit Amount. When you report earnings, the EDD will use the criteria
shown on this chart to calculate your payment. In order to understand how to report self
employment, we first need to identify what self employment is.
Generally, you are self employed if any of the following apply to you: You carry on a
trade or business as a sole proprietor or as an independent contractor.
You are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business. You are otherwise
in business for yourself (including a part-time business). Most customers certify for continuing
benefits two weeks at a time. If you have multiple weeks that need to be certified,
you’ll start with the oldest week first. For self employment, you must report your earnings
on your certification for the weeks in which the work was performed, regardless of when
you actually get paid. Also, don’t wait for your payment to report your earnings. If you
receive a payment for self employment, calculate your earnings by dividing the contracted amount
across the contracted time period. For example, if you receive $1000 for self
employment contract work which covered a one month contract period (30 days), divide the
contracted amount ($1000) by the total number of days covered by the contract (30 days).
This would give you approximately $33.33 of earnings for each day of the contract. Use
this amount to calculate your earnings for each week by multiplying $33.33 (the estimated
earnings for each day) by seven, the total number of days in each week. On your claim
certification, you would then enter $233.31 of earnings for each week.
In cases where the contract period is not defined, divide your payment over the time
that you performed the work. For example, you receive a payment of $500
for a project you worked on which took you 14 days to complete. Divide the amount of
the payment by the number of days it took you to complete the project. This would give
you approximate earnings for each day you worked on the project. Next, multiply this
amount by seven to get your earnings for each week. You would then report this amount for
each week on your claim certifications. With self employment, if you’re making yourself
unavailable for salaried, full-time work in order to pursue your entrepreneurship, you’ll
need to answer “Yes” to Question #2 and report this information to the Department. You only
need to report this once during the benefit year, or if you change your self employment
or add additional self employment activity since you last reported this information.
Now that you know a little bit more about how to report your self employment earnings,
let’s talk about commissions. A sales commission is a sum of money paid to an employee upon
completion of a task, usually for selling a certain amount of goods or services.
Some examples of industries where employees may be paid a commission include: The auto
industry, such as car sales, retail sales, and real estate. A commission may be paid
in addition to a salary or instead of a salary. Employees who receive a commission will either
know the amount in advance, before getting paid, or as in most cases, won’t know the
amount until later, when they actually get paid. For example, an employee always receives
a $5 commission for every $100 of items sold. In this case, the employee is considered to
know the exact amount of commission she’ll receive, as long as she keeps track of the
dollar amount of items she sells. Here’s another example, a real estate agent
sells a property but won’t know the exact amount of his commission until escrow closes,
and he receives his check. In this case, the real estate agent is not considered to know
the amount of his commission in advance. This is important since when you know how
much commission you’ll receive (either in advance, or not until getting paid), will
determine on what week of your claim certification you’ll report this information.
If you receive commission and you know the amount of the commission up front, report
the commissions on your claim certification for the week in which they were earned. If
the amount is unknown, report the commission on your claim certification for the week in
which you were paid. Our benefit week is usually Sunday through
Saturday. So, when reporting your earnings, you must report your earnings on your claim
certification for that time period only, for each week. For example, on August 21st, you
received a paycheck for commissions in the amount of $300. This was for $200 of commission
you received from sales during the first week, August 2nd through August 8th, and $100 of
commission you received from sales during the second week, August 9th through
August 15th. If you know the amount of the commission you
earned during each week (before actually getting paid), you would report the commission on
the claim certification for the week in which they were earned, even though you’re not actually
paid until later. In this example, the $200 would be reported on the claim certification
for the first week, and the $100 would be reported on the claim certification for the
second week, even though you’re not actually paid until the third week. Now that we’ve
gone over what self employment and commissions are, let’s talk about how to enter the information
using UI Online. This video focuses specifically on how to answer Question #6 on UI Online
to correctly report self employment or commissions. Question #6 asks, “Did you work or earn any
money, whether you were paid or not?” You should answer “Yes” to Question #6 when you
receive self employment or commission. After selecting “Next,” you’ll be directed to the
next screen where you will answer two follow-up questions. By selecting “Yes” to Question
#6, you’ve indicated that you need to report income such as self employment or commissions.
Answer “Yes” for the first question to confirm that you’ve received any of the income
listed. The second question refers to other types of income, like the ones listed below
it. Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether or not you’ve received any of the income listed.
If you received a type of income that doesn’t appear on either list, go ahead and select
“Yes” for this question. On another screen, you’ll be given a list of some of the other
options that may apply to you. After making your selection, select “Next” to continue.
Now we’ll show an example of how to report self employment using UI Online. When you
select “Yes” to Question #6, “Did you work or earn any money, whether you were paid or
not?,” and “Yes” to the first follow-up question, you’ll be asked additional questions on the
“Work Details” screen, as shown here. Complete the required fields indicated with an asterisk
(*). To begin, enter your company’s name and address. For self employment, this could be
your name and home address. Next, enter the last day you worked for this employer during
the week shown above. In this example, you reported that you worked 12 hours during this
week. To calculate your earnings, report your net pay. This is your gross pay minus the
costs, as defined by the IRS, associated with self employment. Assuming you’re self-employed,
and you’re contracted for $1000 for a week of work, but you had costs to complete the
project of $250, you would take $1000 minus $250, which would give you your net earnings
of $750. This is the only time that net pay is reported to the EDD. Select your Wage Type.
You would choose “Self Employment or Independent Contract Work Pay.” Select “Self Employment”
for your employer type. When answering the question, “Are you still
going to work for this employer?,” if you are performing self employment ongoing, and
you don’t need any more claim certifications, answer “Yes,” if you’ve finished the job and
need to continue collecting benefits, answer “No.” The next question asks, “What is your
employment status?” In this example, you’ll select, “Still working part-time or on-call”
if the project continues to be ongoing, or “Laid off due to Lack of Work” if the project
has ended and you won’t be working at the moment. Enter additional details about your
employment status. For this question, answer “Yes” if you would have been willing to change
or stop your self-employment to accept full-time work during the week.
Answer “No” if you would not have been willing to stop or change your self-employment
to accept full-time employment. In this example, this box is left unchecked since you are not
working full-time and would like to continue to receive benefits. Select “Yes” or “No”
to answer the question, “Do you have any additional employers to report for this week?” Selecting
“Yes” will direct you to a similar screen for each employer you worked for.
For example, if you have an Avon side business but also work for another employer part-time,
you would answer “Yes,” so that you could record the information for both employers,
your self employment, and your part-time employer. Be careful to only provide the amount of earnings
you received for the week indicated. After entering all information for your self employment,
you would then select “Next” to continue. But first, before we continue, let’s go over
how to report a commission. Reporting a commission is similar to reporting
self employment. You’ll even use this same screen. For this example, we’ll just highlight
the differences. When you report commission, you’ll enter the actual name and address of
the employer who’s paying your commission. When entering the amount of your commission,
report the gross amount received, or anticipated, if known in advance. When selecting your wage
type, select commissions. Also, be sure to select your correct “Employer Type.” The most
common type of employer is “Private Sector Employer.” When entering additional details
about your income, enter details specific to your commission, such as the week the commission
was earned, if the amount of your commission is unknown in advance. Other than the sections
we just highlighted for you, the rest of this screen should be completed in the same way
as for reporting self employment. After entering all the information for your
commission, select “Next” to continue. You’re almost done. Once you answer all the certification
questions, it’s time to review your answers for accuracy. Please read the Acknowledgement
section below. If everything is correct, select the Acknowledgement check box, at the bottom
of the page, and enter your ZIP code. Checking the box and entering your ZIP code also serves
as your electronic signature indicating you have read and understood the Acknowledgement
statement. Customers who make false statements or withhold information are punishable by
law and could be subject to penalties, including being denied UI benefits, in addition to having
to pay back any amount that you were not entitled to receive with a 30% monetary penalty. If
you need to make changes to any of the answers, simply select the “Previous” button to
go back to any of the previous screens. When you’re ready, select “Submit.” Selecting
“Submit” finalizes and completes the certification process for those weeks. You are done! You
have successfully submitted your certification to the EDD
when you see this screen with your confirmation number. You
should save this number for your reference or select the “Confirmation” link to print
a copy for your records. If you have additional weeks that are available
to be certified, click the “Return to Certify for Benefits” button to repeat the process.
If you feel that you have reported incorrect information on the claim certification, just
send a message to the EDD through your UI Online account by selecting the “Contact
Us” link at the top of the screen. Be sure to specify the week, amount reported,
and correct amount. We hope you have found this video helpful on how to properly report
your self employment and commission earnings in a fast, convenient, and secure way online.
Additional information about this topic is available on our EDD website. We also invite
you to view our other instructional videos that are available to learn more about the
many different benefits and conveniences of UI Online.

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