IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO WORK WHILE YOU ARE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.
You are able to work at a job and make a certain amount of money while still collecting unemployment benefits. When you apply for unemployment, this amount will be determined, and how this works will be explained to you by your unemployment counselor.
IT IS A CRIME TO COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WHEN YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THEM
If you willingly collect unemployment benefits when you are not eligible for them, and when you don’t meet all the requirements – this is considered unemployment fraud and there are stiff penalties for committing unemployment fraud.
Unemployment Fraud Penalties include some or all of the following:
1. Fine. You may have to pay back the unemployment money you collected (this is called restitution) and pay a large criminal fine.
2. Jail. You may be sent to jail if you are found guilty and convicted of unemployment fraud.