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Seasonal Workers

Written by Jennifer Borland, Spectrum Enterprises

What types of jobs come to mind when you think of “Seasonal Workers?” Farm Workers? Landscapers? Construction? Holiday Retail? Resort Employees?

What about Teachers & Cafeteria Workers & other school employees? Remember “seasonal” refers to anyone who doesn’t work a job year-round, regardless of how often pay is received. Some seasonal workers are paid year-round even though they do not work every week or month of the year. Be sure to ask about income in the “off season.” I waited tables while in college and almost half of my co-workers were teachers.

At Spectrum, we have developed a Seasonal Worker Affidavit. This isn’t a new form,
but it is a helpful tool and we see it not used or misused almost every day. Here’s what it asks:

Are you employed at this job for only a portion of the year?
YES / NO
Please list the dates that you do not work at this job:
________________________________________________________________
During your lay off period, please check the following as applicable:
1. I will receive unemployment benefits [ ] YES [ ] NO
2. I have/will look for another job [ ] YES [ ] NO
3. I will receive gift income from friends/family/etc [ ] YES [ ] NO
4. I will remain with zero income status [ ] YES [ ] NO
5. Other [ ] YES [ ] NO
• If YES to 1, 2 or 3 please list the amount of income expected to be
received:
___________________________________________________________
• If OTHER please explain:
___________________________________________________________
Based on the Seasonal Worker Affidavit answers, you’ll need to do some additional
work.

1. If unemployment will be received – verify for past year(s).
2. Does the employee have a history of this type of work? If so, get verification of past
years’ income (tax returns). In some cases people return to the same seasonal job year
after year, others seek new, similar work each season. In either case, you should use
history to anticipate future earnings. If person has another job lined up, be sure to get a
third party verification.
3. Gift income is countable income and will need to be thoroughly verified with the
source(s).
4. When a person says they will remain at zero income, be sure they can explain how
expenses will be met.
5. The “Other” answer needs clear explanation. This is often where we see folks explain
that they receive salary pay year round. This needs to be verified.

When it is known that an employee’s work is seasonal, you should follow up with the current/primary employer as well as the household member. Be sure to ask the employer to give a clear explanation of how employee is paid and whether any benefits are expected in weeks off. Will there be unemployment compensation? Will salary continue? Does employee receive paid time off? Remember, if future circumstances cannot be verified, be cautious and annualize the household’s current income.


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