Applying for Unemployment — The Rest of the Story

In January, I wrote about a coworker’s suggestion that I apply for unemployment when the contract that I was on was over — even though I didn’t need the job when I took it.  Comments on the piece overwhelming supported my decision not to apply for unemployment compensation. (see Applying for Unemployment)

aarp

The contract was over at the end of August.  In the turbulent economic months since then, I’ve had a few moments where I’ve thought about the extra cushion that unemployment income could provide.  However, I’ve never had a moment where I regretted my decision.

A few weeks ago I was at one of our every-other-week retirement breakfasts when I heard some fellows talking about putting in for unemployment benefits after thay had finished a contract job.  The nature of the industry that we retired from is that there is a lot of opportunity for contract work for those with the right experience and/or credentials. It wasn’t surprising that the idea of putting in for unemployment had occurred to others.

Apparently a couple of them had actually applied.

They were turned down!

They weren’t qualified because they were making too much money from their pension!

Since I was a contract worker working as an employee and NOT an independent contractor, if I didn’t have any other income, I could have applied for unemployment payments.  However, with my pension and other income, it didn’t seem right to apply.

In the end, I was not only morally right, but legally right, as well.

I would not have been able to receive unemployment compensation.

beliefs, economy, health, retirement, tanstaafl!, values, work
13 comments… add one
  • Interesting. Thanks for the update.

    <abbr>Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk’s last blog post..Not a Game for Control Freaks</abbr>

  • Vered - MomGrind Feb 16, 2009

    So you really did do the right thing, and now you've even silenced that little voice that kept saying "maybe I should have." Great!

    <abbr>Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Rain In California. Finally.</abbr>

  • Michelle Gartner Feb 16, 2009

    I think I would like a pension right about now. I don't qualify for unemployment benefits either I am a self employed person and have been for about 5 years now. I always thought there would be jobs to fall back on but it seems like a lot of people I know are getting laid off left and right. My sons BF came over this weekend…. His mom is laid off and so is Dad and stepmother, all recently and at different jobs.

  • XUP Feb 17, 2009

    On the other hand, I assume you've been paying into this insurance all your life, so it's not like you'd be taking something you're not really entitled to. Of course that's not really the point of any sort of insurance.

    <abbr>XUP’s last blog post..You Say Jupe & I Say How High***</abbr>

  • Jannie Funster Feb 17, 2009

    See, what was in your heart was right along!

    Again, I admire your decision a lot.

    And things are looking really really great over here, love the new design.

    <abbr>Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Like a bord on a wire, 4</abbr>

  • Dot Feb 17, 2009

    So your sense (and your readers' sense) of what was ethical corresponds with what's legal. How nice that is, and how I wish it happened more often! It seems so often it's legal for people to do something that's just not right.

    <abbr>Dot’s last blog post..OpenOffice Extensions</abbr>

  • Mike Feb 17, 2009

    Jean – You are welcome. I hadn't originally planned to do a sequel, but after the response to the first one it fit.

    Vered – Of course, now the little voice is saying "I wish I could, I wish I could." (Just kidding! 😉 )

    Michelle – I hate that so many are going through this mess and I worry just a little bit that the places where our investments are in are not as secure as we thought. I'll just be glad when all of this turns around — because it will!

    XUP – I look at it more as a social insurance where workers have to pay into it so that those who need it can tap into it. However, those who don't need it don't have the right to tap into it "just because they paid into it." My coworker friend, a staunch conservative would take advantage of the "liberal" social program, because "it's my right, because I paid for it." Wrong!

    Jannie – Thanks much!

  • rummuser Feb 18, 2009

    In January, I had agreed with your take on the subject and I am glad that you have now reinforced your thinking with the developments.

    <abbr>rummuser’s last blog post..Zardari’s Admission</abbr>

  • Cath Lawson Feb 18, 2009

    Hi Mike – I can see why it might be wrong for you to claim it. But am I guessing right that someone in exactly the same job as you, who hadn't bothered to contribute towards a pension plan would have been able to claim it?

    After my plumbing business went bust – I didn't claim unemployment, choosing to sell things I owned instead. But when I did get to the point where I was really struggling – I tried applying, thinking even a month or two would help. They wouldn't pay me a penny because I was a woman and I had two children at school.

    I found that quite shocking, as I had always worked. Plus I'd paid a huge amount of tax the previous year. That is pretty typical of the UK government though. Had I been an unmarried mother, living alone and never worked in my life, they would have been throwing money at me.

  • Mike Feb 18, 2009

    Cath – Someone else in a similar position would be able to claim it so long as other income did not exceed limits. Since I didn't really apply, I don't know what those limits are.

    I didn't actually contribute toward a pension plan. The company I worked for contributed all the pension funding to an independent retirement plan.

    The Arkansas unemployment form doesn't even look at marital status or whether you are living with anyone else. It does ask about dependent children. However, as I understand it, unemployment benefits are for employees, not for business owners whose business has gone bust. An independent contractor whose contract has finished would not be able to apply for unemployment.

  • teeni Feb 19, 2009

    Oh, this is better! I can comment now! 🙂 Of course, NOW I forgot what I wanted to say! LOL!

    <abbr>teeni’s last blog post..Catching Up</abbr>

  • rummuser Feb 20, 2009

    Teeni, you could have simply said tiddlypom!

    <abbr>rummuser’s last blog post..India’s neighbours – China</abbr>

  • Mike Feb 21, 2009

    teeni – Cool! Of course, I forgot what you were going to say, too.

    Maybe, Ramana had it right!

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