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Old 02-24-2010, 11:14 AM   #41
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If you are referring to collecting unemployment benefits when you never really intend to return to work (ie, you are retired), then it may not be a problem for those who can sleep at night while committing a fraudulent act.

I see it as stealing from some young wage earner who really does need unemployment to keep food on the table for his/her family while looking for another job. But hey, I'm an old dinosaur who still comes to attention and stops talking when the national anthem is played prior to the start of a ball game...
I think anyone would consider returning to work should the right offer come along.

I don't think it is an "either/or" proposition in regards to a wealthy older person receiving benefits versus a truly needy wage earner receiving their benefits. Both parties will receive their benefits as long as they comply with the terms of the program. By me taking $2000 in child tax credits even though I don't really "need" the money, am I somehow depriving someone else (say a single wage earning mother) of their child tax credits? No; we both receive our benefits/credits.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #42
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I don't think it is an "either/or" proposition in regards to a wealthy older person receiving benefits versus a truly needy wage earner receiving their benefits.
I don't agree but I've already admitted I'm a dinosaur when it comes to this subject.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:33 AM   #43
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Legality (i.e. getting away with it because it's not technically a crime) is one issue, but morality is at the heart of it. Regardless if you (and your employer) paid into UI for 50 years, it's not money owed to you unless you become unemployed and intend to get another job. If you don't think there is anything wrong with doing otherwise, then when you go down to the unemployment office go ahead and honestly tell them that you may be able to work but you have no intention of making yourself available for work.

If you have to lie to get it you have to know that it's not right.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:36 AM   #44
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I don't agree but I've already admitted I'm a dinosaur when it comes to this subject.
Yeah, but you're our dinosaur and we love you.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:08 PM   #45
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Legality (i.e. getting away with it because it's not technically a crime) is one issue, but morality is at the heart of it. Regardless if you (and your employer) paid into UI for 50 years, it's not money owed to you unless you become unemployed and intend to get another job. If you don't think there is anything wrong with doing otherwise, then when you go down to the unemployment office go ahead and honestly tell them that you may be able to work but you have no intention of making yourself available for work.

If you have to lie to get it you have to know that it's not right.
Maybe it is the lawyer in me, but unless they are asking you to affirmatively swear to something, you don't have to disclose anything. Of course you are welcome to do so, however it may prejudice your claim for benefits that you may otherwise be entitled to.

From what others have told me, you have to certify each week that basically you looked for work, and that you didn't turn down suitable work. If you can truthfully certify to this, then you are entitled to your benefits.

No one is saying "lie to get unemployment benefits". If you do so and intend to deceive, then that is fraud.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:14 PM   #46
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Maybe it is the lawyer in me...
Yep, that must be the reason you don't have any issues with the moral/ethical problem others see here.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #47
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Here is what my jurisdiction's unemployment office says:

"All claimants, except those who are still attached to an employer's payroll, must (a) register for work with the Employment Security Commission; (b) file a claim for each calendar week of benefits they request, and (c) actively seek work during any week for which unemployment benefits are claimed. Actively seeking work means doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. Unless otherwise instructed, a claimant must seek work in person on two different days with at least two different employers and must keep a written record of all work search contacts for periodic review by ESC."

Their instructions don't mention intent to find a job, just that a person must "actively seek work" by doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. I think the minimum is 2 contacts per week. And keep notes on your work seeking activities.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:25 PM   #48
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Yep, that must be the reason you don't have any issues with the moral/ethical problem others see here.
Could be. I'd suggest following the guidelines set forth by the agency doling out benefits. Don't lie. They can change the guidelines if they think a narrower set of people should qualify for benefits.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #49
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FWIW, for me "actively seeking and logging activity" was clipping 2 references from the want ads. Was told the unemployment office can ask for your log at any time. Didn't happen to me thou.

After 20 years in mega corp and leaving on THIER terms ... I have zero guilt after collecting 30 weeks.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #50
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FWIW, for me "actively seeking and logging activity" was clipping 2 references from the want ads. Was told the unemployment office can ask for your log at any time. Didn't happen to me thou.
From having a number of family, friends, and coworkers being out of work these last couple of years, that is what I gather as well. Very minimal effort is sufficient. I guess if there was ever a full hearing and you had to show that you were acting in a manner consistent with one who is seeking work, you may have to discuss what you did beyond the bare minimum clipping want ads or searching monster dot com 2x a week. So maybe clip 3 ads each week!

And I have never heard of anyone actually be asked for their log of contacts or searching effort.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:14 PM   #51
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I know a couple people in Ohio collect benefits and all they have to do is call a 1-800 number each week and answer a couple prompts via the touch tone pad on their phone. The whole thing takes them about one minute per week and they never have to actually talk or explain anything to a real person.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:45 PM   #52
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Again, there is a difference between what is legal and what is moral, and I see a lot of hiding behind legality and denial of morality.

But I can play legal as well. 20 CFR 604.5 - Application--availability for work
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(a) General application. A State may consider an individual to be available for work during the week of unemployment claimed under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The individual is available for any work for all or a portion of the week claimed, provided that any limitation placed by the individual on his or her availability does not constitute a withdrawal from the labor market.

(2) The individual limits his or her availability to work which is suitable for such individual as determined under the State UC law, provided the State law definition of suitable work does not permit the individual to limit his or her availability in such a way that the individual has withdrawn from the labor market. In determining whether the work is suitable, States may, among other factors, take into consideration the education and training of the individual, the commuting distance from the individual's home to the job, the previous work history of the individual (including salary and fringe benefits), and how long the individual has been unemployed.
It's clear that the intent here is for people receiving unemployment insurance benefits be genuine seekers of jobs and are ready and willing to take up such work. Pretending to be seeking or available is not the same thing. Just because there is a easy way to comply with regulations only makes it legal, not morally right.

Whose money is it anyway? OP is asking each of us to support his early retirement by an extra year with our tax dollars because he's tired of working and he sees a way to get around the law.

No wonder this country is so f&($ed up.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:47 PM   #53
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If I had to take the money I would feel really bad about it and cry all the way to the bank.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #54
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No wonder this country is so f&($ed up.
Yep.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #55
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You make it sound as if "unemployment benefits" consists of sitting on the couch eating bonbons all day.

I think it's closer to being paid to do a job search. Most unemployment rules require the beneficiary to actually be going through the motions, if not the intent, of finding a job: answering ads, floating résumés, going to interviews. Sure, fraudulent intent isn't difficult to implement, but keeping up the scheme requires serious effort. Why, it's almost like... work.

My sister is collecting unemployment and she looks at it as a job... she knows she will not be hired as her computer programming skills are very old school.... so she puts in X number of hours doing what she needs to get her paycheck...


ALSO... where do people think these funds come from They come from companies paying unemployement insurance... so if you get paid benefits, the company has to pay more the next year to pay for your benefits...
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:59 PM   #56
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ALSO... where do people think these funds come from They come from companies paying unemployement insurance... so if you get paid benefits, the company has to pay more the next year to pay for your benefits...
I don't remember exactly when it was -- I think it was in 2007 -- the state of Texas got the genius idea of suspending collection of unemployment insurance premiums paid by employers because the fund was in such strong shape.

Oops.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #57
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As far as a separation package, take whatever is offered and do whatever you want to with it. I have heard of cases where an employer offered larger separation packages to employees who agreed not to file for unemployment benefits. I guess this keeps their unemployment insurance expenses lower -- not really an expert on that subject, though. Maybe somebody else can comment on that. Seems a little sleazy on the surface.

Perhaps you can negotiate a better separation package if you agree not to file for unemployment. Then feel good about not taking unemployment.
My wife is an HR consultant, she has never lost a an unemployment hearing if the employer challenged the claim.

If Anyone here negotiates a larger severance to forgo unemployment, call my wife- she can help you sue the employer. She says no employer can legally prevent you from claiming unemployment benefits even if it was in writing in the severance, as the employer would face large fines for putting it in writing to begin with. Meaning you can double dip the larger severance and the unemployment if you negotiate this way.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:21 PM   #58
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Taking unemployment cost the last employer in a higher experience rating. Our company pays 6.03% into unemployment. That is the max so my collecting might not cost them anything but would cost the state.

If you have a small employer paying a low rate it cost them in a much higher rate the next year. When working for a company with 3 employees for 11 the new owner didn't make payroll and when we demanded our pay he terminated everyone.
I collected 5 months wanting to cost him money. I didn't really want to work the first couple of months then my boyfriend was injured and couldn't drive so I took care of him. I got a job the first day I looked.

Now in this company 8 years I would be embarrassed to have them think I couldn't get a job or cheated the system. I am 61 and unemployment is more than SS. If you take SS they assume you are retired I think.

If I wanted to collect while having a year or two off I might work as a temp or take a job I didn't really want. Work there a while doing the minimum, putting in my 40 hours taking all vacations and sick days I could stretching that job to a couple years or temping a couple of years unemployed several weeks at a time. Then collect SS after unemployment ran out.

Construction workers and others collect several months a year. I might do seasonal work like only tax returns in tax season and be laid off the rest of the year. How much call to do 1040s is there in the fall?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:57 PM   #59
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But I can play legal as well. 20 CFR 604.5 - Application--availability for work It's clear that the intent here is for people receiving unemployment insurance benefits be genuine seekers of jobs and are ready and willing to take up such work. Pretending to be seeking or available is not the same thing. Just because there is a easy way to comply with regulations only makes it legal, not morally right.

Whose money is it anyway? OP is asking each of us to support his early retirement by an extra year with our tax dollars because he's tired of working and he sees a way to get around the law.
So you are arguing legislative/regulatory intent? The CFR regs seem pretty clear without trying to divine regulatory intent. The regs say you can't limit your availability for work, except to the extent the regs say you can limit your availability (work must be suitable). So if you are offered a suitable job, take it or stop collecting.

If you are morally opposed to taking government money through unemployment, then don't. You could always forgo your government pension a month or two, you know, for the cause. These are difficult economic times after all. You seem pretty well off.

Or wait, you worked a job, you took the other end of the bargain. You got your loaded government pension. I'm not going to begrudge you that.

But consider a person who takes a W-2 job gets unemployment insurance coverage regardless of whether they want it or need it. It costs them in the form of a lower salary than what it would otherwise be were they self employed or an independent contractor. So they become unemployed through no fault of their own, and they collect UI payments as long as they fulfill the established guidelines (look for work, don't refuse suitable employment). They are taking advantage of the bargain they entered.

I wouldn't feel bad if our family collected $110,000 in UI payments over the course of 99 weeks if we were not able to find suitable employment during that time. What are we to do in these difficult economic times after all? High unemployment and all that. This is real money we are talking about. Obviously I would not violate any laws. In fact I would probably conform to the laws more than most would.

Now if you want to talk about how broken the system is where two able bodied workers like myself and my DW could get paid $110,000 as long as we look for suitable work and don't turn down suitable offers, let's talk. But not here, since I'm afraid that would be politics.

I'll just say I think it is ridiculous and that it is a clear economic incentive to NOT work unless you find the perfect job. I'd shovel horse manure for $2 an hour if I had to in order to provide for myself and my family. Except wait, the government will pay me a nice hefty sum to not work, and hold out for suitable employment. I have been a small business owner and could not find temps to work for me because they made more on UI. It is frustrating. Broken system. I agree with your statement "No wonder this country is so f&($ed up. " But the solution isn't for me to turn down $110,000 on offer. It's to stop offering $110,000. /rant off
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #60
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If your goal is to retire early (before the official retirement date allowed by your company) wouldn't it be better to try to get the company to lay you off or eliminate your position instead of just flat quitting? The implication is you could draw unemployment benefits for a year or so.

I realize the idea is a bit of an ethical dilema but I will be somebody who will have worked my whole life (hopefully) and not drawn one dime of unemployment, food stamps, welfare, etc..... Basically paid "into" the system and not taken any sort of handout or even a subsidized loan. Part of me thinks I could get over the guilt pretty quickly.
Frank retired in conjunction with a big layoff today. He is old enough to qualify for retirement. After all the check-out procedures, and turning in his badge, the next step was for those laid off to go to the "transition center", across the street from work.

Representatives of the unemployment office and of megacorp were there to straighten out who was to get unemployment, and who was not. They will be looking at Frank's case, and at the case of everyone who is being laid off. Everything was out in the open and aboveboard and there is no way that he or anyone would get unemployment in any unethical way as far as I can figure out. Frank will find out more there tomorrow but the unemployment guys know that he is retiring, and I know he is not counting on unemployment.

The great thing about being laid off when retiring is not the unemployment - - it's the severance pay, the retention bonuses, and so on. These can be huge in a big layoff, because they don't want everyone to quit as soon as it is known that a layoff is in the works. Frank will not even need to touch his savings for quite some time. So who needs unemployment?
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