I guess I may have to build up the courage to call the WI unemployment office and have them clarify this for me.
Honestly is the best policy; although with bureaucracies (like the Employment Development Department) I sometimes have difficulty with employee's lack of compassion (it's strictly a job to them (my assertion is that they should be required, by law, to have to find a new job every eighteen months so someone else can have "a" job (made to share "the gravy" as it were.))) You certainly do NOT want to run amok of any government agency.
I inadvertently reported my "net" earnings as "gross" one week and was not only required to reimburse the great State of California for their "overpayment" to me that week ... I was also fined $250 for the error and
penalized eight weeks (had to wait eight weeks before I could file for another check).
I received a notice that a telephone interview was scheduled for a certain date and that I would have the opportunity to explain my "fraudulent" claim. I don't know about you all, but the word "fraud" rings pretty loudly in my ears, and I was more than a little annoyed at being accused to "defrauding" the government. In the end, the telephone interview never occurred, and I was left sitting by the phone all afternoon wondering what had happened (it had be pre-determined by EDD that my "error" was unintentional ... apparently they didn't feel it necessary to notify me of the outcome).
You can bet that the gate would have swung the other direction if it had been me that failed to answer the phone if they had called.
Essentially there isn't anything to be afraid of;they can kill you, but they can't eat you. Look at it as a learning experience. The U.S. economy will be in flux for many years I'm afraid, and you may be well served learning how to deal with this particular bureaucracy.