This page explains what work to report and when, what happens if you don't report all work and earnings, and how it will affect your benefits.
If you are working and requesting unemployment benefits, you must report your earnings and the hours you worked for each week you request benefit payments. There are no exceptions to what TWC considers “work.”
Work is any type of service for pay, including but not limited to:
- Full-time or part-time work
- Paid orientation and training
- Temporary and seasonal work
- Commissions and tips
- Contract labor and side jobs, including but not limited to day labor, mowing lawns, yard work and cleaning houses
- Financial compensation from bartering
- U.S. military service, National Guard, or reservist duties
Self-Employment or Odd Jobs
Examples of paid self-employment that you must report include, but are not limited to:
- Working for only a few hours per week
- Having your own registered business
- Helping a friend with his or her business
- Mowing lawns, doing yard work, or cleaning houses
- Taking photographs for special occasions
- Styling hair for friends, relatives, or clients
- Catering parties
Self-employed farmers must also report subsidy/price support payments, crop insurance payments and farm disaster relief (not Disaster Unemployment Assistance) payments.
If you work while requesting unemployment benefits, report hours worked and wages earned during the week that you performed the work even if you have not yet been paid. There are no exceptions to what TWC considers “work.” The workweek for reporting earnings begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, regardless of your pay period. View a tutorial on how to calculate and report earnings (En Español).
When you request a payment, you must answer these questions:
- Did you work in claim week one?
- Did you work in claim week two?
If you worked in either or both weeks, answer “Yes.” If you worked, you must report:
- Total hours worked each week. If you worked multiple jobs, add the number of hours worked at each job and report the total.
- Total gross earnings before deductions (gross pay, not take-home pay), for the week you performed the work even if you have not yet been paid.
- Calculate your earnings by multiplying the number of hours worked by your hourly pay rate.
- Round down to report gross earnings in whole dollars. For example, if you earn $100.75, report $100.
Common Mistake: Waiting to report earnings until you receive your first paycheck from your new job. You must report your earnings during the week you work, even if you have not yet been paid.
Reporting Work & Earnings from Self-Employment or Odd Jobs
If you are self-employed or work odd jobs, for each week that you request payment, you must report:
- The number of hours you worked
- All income you earned, even if you have not been paid yet, including
- Wages before deductions such as taxes
- Profits or earnings after subtracting expenses
- Zero dollars earned, if you worked but have no profits to report
If you underreport or do not report your work or earnings when you request payment, you may be committing unemployment fraud and:
- You will have to repay any benefits you received during the weeks you did not report your earnings.
- If we determine that you have committed fraud, you may face prosecution and, if convicted, you will face fines, jail time, or both.
- You may lose your right to benefits in your current benefit year.
We compare what you report with other sources to verify the accuracy and can detect when you have not reported all your earnings. If we find a discrepancy between your reported income and other sources, we will review your claim for potential overpayment or fraud.
Full-time and part time work affect your benefits in different ways.
Working Full Time
If you find a full-time job, you are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits beginning on the start date of the job, even if you will not receive your first paycheck right away. If you work the customary number of full-time hours for your occupation, you will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. You may still request payment for weeks before you start your job, but be sure to report work and earnings if you start work during your payment request period.
See also Stop Your Claim for additional information.
Working Part Time
If you work part time, you may be eligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits as long you meet all other requirements, including looking for full-time work.
The benefits of working part time include:
- You may get more money from the combination of part-time work and partial benefits than from unemployment benefits alone
- Your benefits may last longer
Separation from part-time work may affect your payment. If your part-time employer fires you or you quit, we will review your reason for the job separation and decide whether you can continue to receive benefits.
You may earn up to 25% of your Weekly Benefit Amount before we reduce your benefits for that week. If you earn more, then we will reduce your benefit payment by the amount that is over 25%. If you earn more than your weekly benefit amount plus 25%, we cannot pay you benefits for that week.
To calculate the amount of benefits you may receive, multiply your weekly benefit amount by 1.25 and then subtract your gross earnings. Your Statement of Benefits lists your weekly benefit amount.
For example, if your weekly benefit amount is $400, you may earn up to $100 (which is 25%) without a reduction in your benefits. If you earn more than $100, we subtract your earnings from $500 and pay you the difference. Either way, your benefits plus your earnings would total up to $500 for the week. If you earn more than $500 (your weekly benefit amount plus 25%), we cannot pay you benefits for that week.