Five Reasons To Stay On Unemployment

There are several compelling reasons why anyone on unemployment, or considering it, should stay on unemployment.

  • Unemployment benefits have been extended to provide compensation for almost two years.
  • It is more than likely that the federal government, or states (borrowing money from the Feds) will continue to extend unemployment benefits, especially when the unemployment rate goes up, which it will.
  • A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation points out that if you accept a job for $30,000 a year, you will break even with what unemployment pays but without working 40 hours a week.
  • If you are having trouble making your house payment, you can go on unemployment and receive up to $4,000 a month in compensation from the government (unemployment plus a tax-free no-recourse $50,000 to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and insurance).
  • With the $4,000 a month scenario you would need to accept a job paying $65,000 a year to break even but without working 40 hours a week. You can also use the mortgage tax deduction (even though the government is paying your mortgage) which should wipe out any taxes you would pay on the unemployment insurance. Thus, $4,000 a month in your pocket…tax free.

The per capita median income for the United States is $39,138, which is only $9,000 over the break-even for being on unemployment. I think most people would agree with me that losing $9,000 is definitely worth not working a single hour all year, being able to spend all your time with your family, travel at will,  not paying for child-care while you work, or gas to drive to work, or dry-cleaning, or eating out while at work.

Therefore, considering the average per cap income for the U.S., it would seem logical that at least half of the population should find a way to go on unemployment as soon as possible and take a minimum of two years extended vacation.

My point with this post is to show that our government has created massive incentives for people to either go on unemployment, or if already there, to rabidly avoid going  back to work. Why would they? Why should they? It’s obvious that most Americans can make more money avoiding work. Is it moral or ethical? No. But it is logical. Ultimately, everyone looks out for themselves. Is trading two years of quality time with your family worth making barely more than what you could get on unemployment?

That is why, as reported in the WSJ, companies are having a tough time filling open positions. Many people who were laid off made decent wages, and as long as unemployment is paying the same or more than what they were making while working, there is no incentive for them to go back to work, and I can’t really blame them.

Our government is using our own money to buy votes. As long as there are more people collecting social security and medicare (baby boomers), Medicaid, government subsidized housing, food stamps,  (the “poor” and the fraudulent), collecting unemployment (10% of the population), underwater homeowners enjoying government money to keep their homes…as long as there are more of THEM than people that ARE WORKING and NOT taking any money from the government, then there are more people who will continue to support this kind of wealth distribution than there are people who are tired of paying for everybody else.

I blame our government, for providing an incredibly strong incentive to stay unemployed, rack up billions more in debt, and rob more from taxpayers who continue to show up every morning at 8am to earn the money the government needs to pay others off and encourage them to sleep in every morning and pursue quality personal time without a care in the world, or an hour on the clock.

Categories: Unemployment & Labor Law

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. I am about to lose my job, and am embarrassed to be on unemployment… I plan on taking whatever I can get to avoid it. My question to you is that as a final recourse if I should have to temporarily file for unemployment, how much will I receive. You posts leads me to believe it’s around 30,000 annually but I was under the impression it would be closer to 7,500?

    • It depends on how much you currently make and what state you are in. The best way to find out is to log into your state’s Department of Labor website or unemployment website and look up how your state calculates it. If I remember correctly, at least in California, it’s based on the highest paycheck within the past six months or something like that, but again, depends on where you are. The numbers I quote are the highest you can get in California.

      • i get 174 a month, but with the boost its 474, and prior to that it was 774. And my fiance is in the same boat so we were making 1500+ for the both of us while getting snap but we have a kid and our rwnt is 800.But still i worked at target parttime and she worked at perkins full time. Even then our best weekly check was 800-900 bucks. And now we stay home and love every second of it(getting used to it).It was rough waiting for the 300 a week but we saved. So ride the wave. Be LOGICAL and only worry about your family.But the most ironic thing is Trump is a politician of two years and did better than biden after 47 years multiple wars and he is the reason for war on drugs WITH HIS BILL.

  2. You mention a tax-free no-recourse of $50,000 to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. What are some of the eligibility requirements for that and is that applicable to anyone in the US (and not necessarily by state like unemployment compensation)? Where could I find more about that as I’m about to run out of unemployment and wont be able to pay my mortgage soon?

    • Scot,

      The information can be found on the HUD website by clicking here. These are the requirements:

      1. Be at least three months delinquent in their payments and have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of their mortgage payments and related housing expenses within two years;
      2. Have a mortgage property that is the principal residence of the borrower, and eligible borrowers may not own a second home;
      3. Demonstrate a good payment record prior to the event that produced the reduction of income.

      These are the benefits:

      1. Up to $50,000 to pay your mortgage and cover arrears
      2. Assistance for up to two years
      3. No interest for repayment
      4. Mortgage loan repayment forgiveness if you stay in the home for up to five years

  3. I totally agree. I was making 62k and have been offered jobs in the 30k range. After gas and taxes I would bring home less than I do on unemployment.

  4. If I were to lose my job, unemployment would be acceptable. But to keep my mind fresh, I would take just about any opportunity that came knocking. Though having minimal dept (mortgage and car payment), if it came down to it I would default on my car payment and let the decision to affect my credit score. Then try to work anywhere close to home even if I had to go back to washing cars, windows, mowing, or scrubbing floors, my pride of not relying on the government to help me along works for me, but not everyone shares my vision of working; just look at the picking type jobs where most Americans refuse to take labor jobs, yet those people working do not have to pay taxes. Though if I could keep up with them and pick my share of food, I would be subject to pay those taxes.


  1. Putting The Un In Unemployed « The Sanity Of A Mad Woman

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