Author Topic: Unemployment advice  (Read 5550 times)

Ryan

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Unemployment advice
« on: April 25, 2013, 07:10:32 PM »
So...I'm in the telecom industry and we are very slow lately.  In the past 8 weeks I've had about 4 weeks off, unpaid.  I haven't collected any unemployment, all of my coworkers are and think I'm crazy.  The questioning is making me think maybe I should, so I'm here to ask your opinions.  It's hard for me to take money I don't really "need", but on the other hand it hurts moving backwards too. 

Make about 45k
Married, she makes 12k
45k liquid (house eventually), 13k retirement
No debt
Expenses ~$1500/month
Age 21 and 19

Thank you, and please face punch me if I'm falling for peer pressure. 

matchewed

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 07:17:11 PM »
Your call on your values. I know I mention values frequently but this is one of those situations. You've got 30 months of expenses saved up (not including her income). Some people would say you're passing up a free lunch here if you refuse. If you accepted others would say you're taking money when you don't need it and would be a drain on an already overloaded system at best or performing a legal form of fraud at best.

Nobody here can make that sort of decision for you. But if I was in your shoes I wouldn't take it. I've got this self-sufficiency streak in me.

Joel

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 07:27:21 PM »
Are you looking for a new job?

If so, unemployment makes sense.

I worked a seasonal wildland firefighter job for 4 years. It was built into our wages that you would collect unemployment during the winter. Most of the seasonal employees sat on their ass, drank beer, and blew money during the off season. I spent the offseason concentrating on improving my situation (college education - bachelor's & master's degrees) and now I am in a position where I have a full-time job that there is a 99% chance I will stay employed.

I took unemployment because it was figured into the salary. Don't sit on your ass being worthless while you are on unemployment. If you are legitimately looking for work, improving your resume, attending trainings, classes, seminars, etc. then morally you have to feel that you are using unemployment for what it was created. It's there for when you get laid off. It's a short-term help solution, don't try to stay on it forever, and put yourself in a better situation in the future!

dragoncar

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 08:06:19 PM »
Not sure what the issue is here, but maybe some background will help.

Typically your employer pays into the state unemployment insurance fund.  If they didn't have to do this, presumably your salary would be higher.  I think that's what Joel means when he says the benefit is "figured into the salary."

Moreover, typically (don't know your specific state), the amount the employer pays is directly related to the benefits paid to their former employees.

So in a pretty roundabout way, the benefit mostly comes from your employer.  You are not taking general taxpayer money (the long term extensions may be different), you are taking money from the very company that made you unemployed.  The system is set up this way to discourage this exact kind of behavior.

So if it were me, I would not have moral qualms.

On the other hand, it may sour your relationship with your employer.  They will know you are taking the benefit.  They are probably not supposed to hold this against you, but thats pretty hard to prove unless they are really obvious in their retribution. 

Ryan

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 05:29:07 AM »
I'm in Michigan and I know they pay into the insurance.  I was confused on how it all worked and if I collected, where it came from.  I don't think it would cause any problems with my employer (even my boss has told me to take it).  I think I heard it was paid whether I take it or not.

The company seems to be going pretty downhill, this is the worst I've seen it in 4 yrs.  My plan now is to ride until the end, at which point maybe I would feel more comfortable taking the unemployment until I can find a new job.

Freda

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 07:50:49 AM »
Dragoncar's assessment is consistent with my understanding but in regards to your last reply, that sounds like a good plan.  Hang onto it for when you need it. Benefits can and do get used up.

Dynasty

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 02:59:40 PM »
I'd at least open a claim for unemployment. You don't have to actually claim it yet. But having it open, allows the benefits to kick in pretty quick once you need them. If you need them.

I understand why you would want to save the benefits for later, but I'd also be mitigating that with at least a little bit of positive income every month. You don't have to make a claim every week.

Might be a good idea just to have enough coming in to not have to touch savings, thus preserving most of your benefit for later if things get really bad.

Telecom is pretty up and down. Some companies ran better than others. (I'm assuming you are working for a telecom consulting firm). Might want to start putting feelers out there for new employment.

 

« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 03:07:38 PM by Dynasty »

Joel

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 04:33:24 PM »
I'd at least open a claim for unemployment. You don't have to actually claim it yet. But having it open, allows the benefits to kick in pretty quick once you need them. If you need them.

I understand why you would want to save the benefits for later, but I'd also be mitigating that with at least a little bit of positive income every month. You don't have to make a claim every week.

Might be a good idea just to have enough coming in to not have to touch savings, thus preserving most of your benefit for later if things get really bad.

Telecom is pretty up and down. Some companies ran better than others. (I'm assuming you are working for a telecom consulting firm). Might want to start putting feelers out there for new employment.

This is very true. Unemployment has a one-week waiting period, and it takes time to get the ball rolling.

Dynasty

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Re: Unemployment advice
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2013, 12:07:11 PM »
Another thing that occurred to me.

Your UI benefits are based on your earnings. Say 8 months from now, you decide you really need unemployment. But the preceding eight months you've only worked on average 7.5 hours a week.

Your benefits are going to be greatly reduced!

Need to get the claim opened now and lock in a higher rate.