I have been on unemployment for the month of May and am confused as to how I should answer the question "Did you work or earn wages during the week?"

My employer pays me monthly for work that was performed the prior month. I worked in April and just received payment. Do I need to answer "Yes" when my weekly claim is submitted next week?

I'm confused as to whether they just want to know if I worked this week and earned wages for it or if they also want to know if I received payment from work that was performed prior to being on unemployment? I don't want to submit fraudulent information, but I also don't want to short myself additional money I could receive since I am currently missing out on work due to being laid off due to COVID-19.

This is what is listed on the Maryland Department of Labor FAQ:

Question 1. Did you work or earn wages during the week?

This question asks whether you earned any income during the week. Income from self-employment and wages earned as an employee must be reported in the week that you performed the work. If you have not been paid yet, you still must report your earnings. If you answer YES, then you will be asked to report your Gross Earnings. Gross earnings is the amount that you receive for work before taxes or deductions (such as for medical insurance premiums) are taken out. If you earned income from self-employment, please report what you will actually take home in earnings by deducting your expenses.

FRAUD WARNING: Making of a false statement or representation or knowingly failing to disclose a fact to obtain or increase a benefit or other payment may disqualify an individual for these and additional benefit payments, trigger the imposition of interest and fees and the recovery of benefits paid.

  • This may be too late for you, but "earning" a wage and being paid it are two separate things. The wage is "earned" at the point when all conditions for it becoming payable have been met—this is almost always when the work is actually performed, but in some strange situations could conceivably be at a different time. The question is not interested in when you were actually paid.
    – eggyal
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


If I understand the quoted question correctly, you must report the week where your worked and are to recieved unemployment benefits during the same week.

If you receive benefits for the 27th (Monday) to 30th of April and the 1st of May (Friday), you must report the time in April which will eventually be paid.

You do not need to report the paid sum recieved later for April, since they are only interested when you worked and not when you were paid for that work.

The goal is that you should not recieve benefits for the days you worked (no overlapping).

Only the 1st May will be paid for that week, since you will eventually be paid for the days worked in April.

(This conclusion is based solely on the reading of the text, so was originally given as a comment. But since no other answer was offered... )

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