Residual Income & Unemployment in New York


New York state sets its own rules in regards to unemployment eligibility and the ability of an unemployment recipient to claim benefits when receiving residual income. An individual's ability to claim weekly unemployment benefits after an initial claim for unemployment has been approved depends on wages earned, working hours and work searches conducted. Residual income must affect one of these three key areas to alter unemployment eligibility.

Residual Income Defined

Residual income is a form of passive income that allows an individual to continue earning payments for a sale or service after the initial transaction and work concludes. Royalties for books, music sales, TV shows and films are well-known forms of residual income. Creating websites and populating the site with ads that continue to earn funds after the site ceases to be updated is also a method of earning residual income.

Earning from Work

For a recipient of unemployment insurance benefits to avoid payment reductions for residual income, no effort or work must be invested in the project generating the income while the benefit recipient receives unemployment payments. Unemployment relies on wages to determine initial eligibility for the program and continued eligibility. Funds received through pensions, Social Security and previously established residual income streams do not alter benefit eligibility, although certain pension plans may reduce the benefit amount.

Time Worked

The potential for benefit revocation based on residual earnings exists when an unemployment recipient begins to work on the income stream. For example, an author who passively collected residual payments for a book without expending effort while employed may choose to actively promote the book while unemployed. The promotion activities and effort can be considered work. The New York State Department of Labor declares that any activity that may bring in income is considered work whether or not a payment is received. The amount of time invested in the activity does not matter. Work done on the behalf of friends and family members and commission work also falls under these guidelines.

Verifying Residual Income Streams

When an unemployment recipient benefits from non-typical residual income streams, it is best to contact the New York state Department of Labor and verify that the earnings do not alter unemployment eligibility. Recipients should also inquire about the necessity of reporting the income when claiming weekly benefits. Since improperly claimed unemployment benefits must be repaid to the state, it is important to verify eligibility prior to receiving a benefit payment.

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