The short answer to that is NO, assuming you have your own home business and are self employed. That is one reason the national unemployment rate is really much higher than the 9.2% that it is advertised as. All the people that have given up trying to get jobs aren’t counted in that percent nor are people who’s small businesses have taken a big hit in this economy.
I have been a self employed sub contractor for more than 10 years until I called it quits last month. I didn’t get fired or laid off. My business just dried up and many of those clients weren’t paying regularly so I just stopped. Unfortunately for me and for many other people in the same situation, there are no unemployment benefits to fall back on. In most instances, you cannot collect unemployment if you work for yourself.
This is also one of the risks of trying to start a home business. The hot thing for a while now has been to try to learn how to make money from home as thousands of people jump online everyday looking for opportunities. It’s all the rage in this terrible economy as people need money and are hoping to find it online.
Most people get bored quickly and never make anything, but those that are successful and transition themselves into a work from home business will then be left without the safety net of unemployment if things go bad and dry up. That is something to seriously consider: working from home sounds great but it doesn’t have some of the safety nets that a job with an employer will have.
If You Are Collecting Unemployment Now
Likewise, people who ARE collecting unemployment right now should be careful about what they do online to make money. There was the much publicized case in New York where someone got their benefits terminated because they were making a couple dollars a day online with their blog through Adsense.
In order to qualify for unemployment in most states, you have to fill out many forms and one of the questions will ask about whether you are employed part time or whether you have any income from a business. If the answer to either of those is “yes” then you probably don’t qualify. The important part here is that any money you make online can be considered income and part of a sole proprietor business. So, if you just goof around online making a couple of bucks here and there, it might technically disqualify you from unemployment. Even though you may not tell anyone, they could find out which might result in you losing your insurance benefits.