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Moral dilemma with new covid unemployment package
Old 03-26-2020, 06:23 PM   #1
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Moral dilemma with new covid unemployment package

When community spread started happening in our area my wife stopped going to her job at a candy store. While the place is still open for carry out the owner put his main candy maker on unemployment.

Under the new package that is being approved in Congress, and going by the unemployment FAQ for Covid related issues, my wife would qualify for about $800 a week.

This is the moral dilemma for us. It didnít feel right to even run the numbers as her job was just for extra spending and gift giving to people, her candy store income isnít figured into our living. Ye that is a decent amount of money, and of course the current tragedy affects our finances in other ways too. Just not really employment related.

Iím curious what others think. At this time we are not planning on her filing for unemployment and while that feels like the right call, I also have a nagging voice in my head saying that isnít chump change either.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:34 PM   #2
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If her job was for extra spending cash, and not for subsistance of your lively hood, I say that you are doing the morally correct thing by not accepting the government help.

Most of the businesses in Ohio have shut down other than the "essential" ones. I am at home for at least the next two weeks, and had to go through the painful unemployment online process. This is the first time in 40 years that I have been unemployed, or accepted outside help.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:41 PM   #3
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Wow she makes good money working in a candy store.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #4
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Another option is to apply for the benefits and then donate the proceeds to charities in your area. That way you don't personally benefit but your community does.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:44 PM   #5
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I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer here. We have all been paying into the unemployment system for many years so that if something like this happened it would be there for us. If you feel you don’t need it and don’t want to file that’s really a personal decision for you to make. Just be sure you really don’t need it if you make that decision.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:52 PM   #6
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Curious, is the $800 she would get from unemployment more/less/same that she would make working? Getting unemployment use to require that one is actively looking for another job, not sure if that requirement holds with the new package. Will your wife be looking for another job? There was concern by some that one could get more from unemployment under the new package and maybe disincentivize one wanting to go back to work. I'll be getting a check from the package but not sure why, my income hasn't gone down because of what's going on. Probably would of been better to focus on those who will really need it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:52 PM   #7
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Given the shakiness of the economy I think I'd take it. I might opt to give it away later if not needed.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:52 PM   #8
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.... We have all been paying into the unemployment system for many years so that if something like this happened it would be there for us. ...
Eh... employees don't pay into unemployment... only employers pay unemployment tax. Were you thinking of something else?
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
When community spread started happening in our area my wife stopped going to her job at a candy store. While the place is still open for carry out the owner put his main candy maker on unemployment.



Under the new package that is being approved in Congress, and going by the unemployment FAQ for Covid related issues, my wife would qualify for about $800 a week.



This is the moral dilemma for us. It didnít feel right to even run the numbers as her job was just for extra spending and gift giving to people, her candy store income isnít figured into our living. Ye that is a decent amount of money, and of course the current tragedy affects our finances in other ways too. Just not really employment related.



Iím curious what others think. At this time we are not planning on her filing for unemployment and while that feels like the right call, I also have a nagging voice in my head saying that isnít chump change either.


I would look at it from a different angle. This package the government has passed in the Senate is intended not only to help those in need, but also to keep afloat the economy. We need to keep these businesses afloat or weíll be hurting for a long time. I suggest you take it and use it wisely to either help small businesses, charities, your parish or give it to someone who lost a job. I say this as a taxpayer that will not be receiving unemployment or the money the government is sending to individuals and couples under certain income levels.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:01 PM   #10
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I think she should take what she's entitled to. Her taking the money doesn't mean someone else goes without. And it is an opportunity to give to charity. So it's a win-win all around.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
Curious, is the $800 she would get from unemployment more/less/same that she would make working? Getting unemployment use to require that one is actively looking for another job, not sure if that requirement holds with the new package. Will your wife be looking for another job? There was concern by some that one could get more from unemployment under the new package and maybe disincentivize one wanting to go back to work. I'll be getting a check from the package but not sure why, my income hasn't gone down because of what's going on. Probably would of been better to focus on those who will really need it.
My *guess* is that her regular UI payment would be only $200 a week based on her wages, but the bill tacks on an extra $600 per week, equalling $800 per week. This is based on what I *think* I heard on CSPAN when they were debating this bill. But I could be totally wrong.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:33 PM   #12
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:40 PM   #13
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I'll be getting a check from the package but not sure why, my income hasn't gone down because of what's going on. Probably would of been better to focus on those who will really need it.
Couple of points. Even for many who haven't lost a job there may well be extra costs that exist due to what is going on. For example, paying to have more things delivered to you. Paying to have things done for you that you might normally have done for yourself. Extra costs from higher prices. Example -- I eat Turkish Antep Pistachios. I buy them on Amazon and have for a long time. Well the price is much higher now than it used to be. Lots of things cost a little more now (not price gouging so much as just reflecting lower supply).

Also, part of what is wanted is for people to spend money for the overall good of the economy. By getting this money and spending it, that will help the economy recover.

As far as focusing on those who really need it, you can argue that it would be ideal to focus on the individual needs of people. But, there isn't the time to do that right now. The bigger value is to get the money out to people sooner rather than later. If someone gets it who doesn't need it then they have donate it or use it in a way that will help the overall economy.


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Given the shakiness of the economy I think I'd take it. I might opt to give it away later if not needed.
Agree with this.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
Curious, is the $800 she would get from unemployment more/less/same that she would make working? Getting unemployment use to require that one is actively looking for another job, not sure if that requirement holds with the new package.
Her actual unemployment amount is closer to $200, but the new bill adds $600 on top of that. Also the normal requirements (looking for another job, etc. and even the employer is not taxed heavier if it is Covid-19 related) are waived temporarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dash man View Post
This package the government has passed in the Senate is intended not only to help those in need, but also to keep afloat the economy. We need to keep these businesses afloat or weíll be hurting for a long time. I suggest you take it and use it wisely to either help small businesses, charities, your parish or give it to someone who lost a job..
That is a different way of looking at it, something to definitely ponder.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:03 PM   #15
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The moral hazard was created by Congress, so IMO not really your issue. I'm not a fan of the way they enhanced unemployment insurance, but I believe it was Mnuchin who said it was the simplest way to do it quickly.

And as others have said, the objective is to stabilize the economy. There are much worse moral hazard provisions in there than, arguably, over-compensating folks who are actually laid off.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ready View Post
I donít think there is any right or wrong answer here. We have all been paying into the unemployment system for many years so that if something like this happened it would be there for us. If you feel you donít need it and donít want to file thatís really a personal decision for you to make. Just be sure you really donít need it if you make that decision.


^^^^^yes
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:14 PM   #17
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If she "stopped going to her job" does she qualify for unemployment? Isn't that a "quit" situation not "laid off"?

And yes, the employer pays. But, it is part of the cost of an employee and therefore I have always considered the premium the employer pays part of employee compensation (like healthcare, 401k match, etc).
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:00 PM   #18
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WTF, the new bailout bill gives anyone unemployed an *additional* $600 per week, on top of std unemployment? This is crazy, nobody will return to work for less than they get staying home.
That's just so screwed up, politicians have no concept of reality. Helping people out is understandable. But paying more than working wage amounts?
Now I'm convinced that government will never have any plan to reduce debt. Future generations 3-5 past current will never pay off the debt. The compounding alone ensures that. Or out of control inflation.....
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HarveyS View Post
If she "stopped going to her job" does she qualify for unemployment? Isn't that a "quit" situation not "laid off"?

And yes, the employer pays. But, it is part of the cost of an employee and therefore I have always considered the premium the employer pays part of employee compensation (like healthcare, 401k match, etc).
The employer may normally pay, but the way I read this question and answer it doesn't seem so for these circumstances:
Question 3: If an employee receives unemployment benefits as a result of a COVID-19 related
business shutdown, will the employerís unemployment taxes increase?

Answer: All unemployment claims filed and paid as a result of COVID-19 will have the charges
waived for employers.
As for your other point, these would be pertinent:
Question 4: If an asymptomatic employee imposes a self-quarantine because of the COVID-19, will
they be eligible for unemployment benefits?

Answer: Maybe. If the employer allowed this individual to telework, they would not qualify for benefits
because they would not be unemployed. Employees should first see if the employer will offer paid
time off to cover the time the employee must be out of work. If the employer does not have
teleworking options, the employee will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
and
Question 16: What if I have a fear of work, or doing my job because I fear that I may come into
contact with the COVID-19. I donít have an underlying medical condition; I just donít want to work
while this is going on. If I leave work or refuse to work would I be eligible for benefits?
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and
Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Workers

Answer: We will not be making the determination as to the extent of someoneís fear to be in the
workplace near COVID-19. Please contact your employer regarding potential telecommuting, sick
leave, PTO, FMLA, Disability and other options they may be offering. If no other options are
available, you will be eligible for unemployment insurance.
I thought there was one for if you did have underlying conditions (which she does) too, but didn't immediately spot it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
WTF, the new bailout bill gives anyone unemployed an *additional* $600 per week, on top of std unemployment? This is crazy, nobody will return to work for less than they get staying home.
That's just so screwed up, politicians have no concept of reality. Helping people out is understandable. But paying more than working wage amounts?
Now I'm convinced that government will never have any plan to reduce debt. Future generations 3-5 past current will never pay off the debt. The compounding alone ensures that. Or out of control inflation.....
Yes, they are paying $15/hour on top of what you would have received under normal unemployment rules. Wonder where that number came from?

I'm not opposed to enhanced unemployment for government-ordered shutdowns, but it should be capped at your existing wage.
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