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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:12 PM
The Controvert The Controvert is offline
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Can a lottery winner collect unemployment benefits?

Is there a wealth limit to be eligible for unemployment checks?

Suppose someone worked a regular job for 10 years, they win the big lottery jackpot just as they are laid off.

Must financial need be demonstrated, or can a rich person do a half-assed job of looking for work and still collect unemployment benefits?

What if instead of winning the lottery, they had saved up a bunch of money over the years. Sure, they don't need the benefits to get by, but people tend to want to collect their money if the rules allow it.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:19 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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It's unemployment insurance. I don't think there is ever a means test applied, just like there's no means test to see if you should collect when your car is totaled though I could be wrong in some cases.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:47 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Yes. Benefits for a single person with no dependents get reduced if your savings are more than £6000 and stop if they're more than £16000. I forget the precise term, but the DWP can also withhold benefits if you deliberately make yourself poor - so no gifting to relatives.

Of course, this won't apply if you're outside the U.K.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:52 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Yes. Benefits for a single person with no dependents get reduced if your savings are more than £6000 and stop if they're more than £16000. I forget the precise term, but the DWP can also withhold benefits if you deliberately make yourself poor - so no gifting to relatives.

Of course, this won't apply if you're outside the U.K.
Holy crap, that is pretty severe. Does the 6000 in savings take any debts, (ie.car mortgage) or retirement savings into account?
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:55 PM
Twoflower Twoflower is online now
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Doesn't voluntarily quitting your job make you ineligible?
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:16 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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The OP specified being laid off.

It's been awhile since I was on unemployment, but while I was I had to turn in weekly forms stating income for the previous week. So if I got a temp job for two days, that amount would be deducted from the benefit*. If the income matched or exceeded the weekly benefit, there was no benefit for that week. The unemployment case continued, though, unless I stated that I had obtained full time employment.

I'd guess that winning the lottery would wipe out one week's benefit for the week that the lump sum or yearly annuity came in.

*actually, I think I'd lose the benefit when I was PAID for the two days, not necessarily for the week I'd worked them.

Last edited by Yllaria; 12-14-2010 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:32 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Yllaria, you're talking at first about income not savings. I'm not positive how lottery winnings count in that respect, but you could take a lump sum nad have all that income in one week
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:18 PM
UDS UDS is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Yes. Benefits for a single person with no dependents get reduced if your savings are more than £6000 and stop if they're more than £16000. I forget the precise term, but the DWP can also withhold benefits if you deliberately make yourself poor - so no gifting to relatives.

Of course, this won't apply if you're outside the U.K.
According to the Wikipedia article on Jobseekerís Allowance, the income-based allowance (for which you qualify by being available for work, actively seeking work and having little or no income) is indeed abated if the claimant has savings in excess of £6,000, and is abated to nil if savings exceed £16,000.

However the contributions-based allwance, for which you qualify by being available for work, actively seeking work and having a sufficient record of national insurance contributions paid, is not abated in respect of savings or assets, only in respect of income. Internationally, itís usual for insurance-based social welfare systems not to be means-tested.

Has there been a recent change, so that the contributions-based allowance is now also means-tested by reference to savings? Iíd expect that to be hugely controversial.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:28 PM
jasg jasg is online now
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
It's unemployment insurance. I don't think there is ever a means test applied, just like there's no means test to see if you should collect when your car is totaled though I could be wrong in some cases.
This. (in the US)
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:15 AM
drachillix drachillix is online now
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
However the contributions-based allwance, for which you qualify by being available for work, actively seeking work and having a sufficient record of national insurance contributions paid, is not abated in respect of savings or assets, only in respect of income. Internationally, itís usual for insurance-based social welfare systems not to be means-tested.

Has there been a recent change, so that the contributions-based allowance is now also means-tested by reference to savings? Iíd expect that to be hugely controversial.
Well I woman I was dating has been having a horrible time of it being unemployed and about a year ago she inherited a piece of (unfortuneately undeveloped) property. For some reason the fact that she owns property that is not her primary residence she is ineligible. The simple fact that she has this asset has made her ineligible to a whole pile of aid programs she has applied for.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:39 AM
UDS UDS is offline
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Well, if the programmes provide means-tested payments, obviously the fact that she has acquired means is going to impact on her entitlement to benefits.

The point is that insurance-based programmes are normally an alternative to means-tested programmes. If you have paid the stipulated premiums/contributions, and the insured event occurs, then you are entitled to payment.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:58 AM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Well I woman I was dating has been having a horrible time of it being unemployed and about a year ago she inherited a piece of (unfortuneately undeveloped) property. For some reason the fact that she owns property that is not her primary residence she is ineligible. The simple fact that she has this asset has made her ineligible to a whole pile of aid programs she has applied for.
Well, in many jurisdictions it is possible to turn down an inheritance or a legacy - if you don't want it, then you don't have to take it. I can see that if the item concerned is an heirloom that has a tradition in the family and has maybe passed on from generation to generation, then it might be emotionally hard to turn it down. But if the inheritance has severe financial consequences (such as, in this case, losing welfare benefits one might dependent upon), then it's an option one should not rule out. Obviously you'd want to do the calculations really well to see if you're better off with or without the inheritance, but there are professionals, such as specialised lawyers, out there who will be happy to help with this.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:19 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I have never heard of money effecting unemployment. It definately effects things like food stamps and other aid programs.

Unemployment is based on your ability to work and actively seeking a job and taking any comparable job offered to you, that is comparable to your last job.

I checked the Illinois site and there are lots of "official" rules that make it difficult to collect. For instance day labor, "favours for friends and relatives" and volunteer work, even if unpaid must be reported. Does anyone do this? I doubt it, but it's supposed to be reported.

I know it's even possible to collect unemployment while on workmen's comp, though the latter will be reduced and you must be seeking some kind of work.

You can collect social security and be on unemployment, again you have to be actively seeking work. And again, the unemployment office can require proof of your job search.

Things that can effect unemployment include, a severance package, settlement of a lawsuit against that company, other benefits paid by that company, but remember these MAY effect it, that doesn't mean it will prevent you.

In some cases it won't prevent you at all, in some case it will and in some cases it will result in a reduced benefit. Unemployment offices base their decisions on how the money is structured. But you will notice that in those type of examples the money is coming from your former employer.

In the OP example the unemployment office will require you to report all INCOME earned or all work done even if unpaid (at least in Illinois you have to).

Is lottery money income? The federal government taxes lottery winnings as "other income" so I believe you'd have to report it and your weekly benefit would be adjusted.

The OP example doesn't make it clear if you collected the lottery before or after you applied for unemployment, it says "just as they were laying you off." which is ambiguous.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:36 AM
coremelt coremelt is online now
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Well if unemployment benefits are not means tested in the US (is that really true?), I'd guess that's a rare exception.

In Australia, NZ and UK they definitely are. If you have savings or assets you're expected to live off those before you get any unemployment benefits, however there's exceptions for owning the house you live in but that's about it.
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2010, 09:09 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Originally Posted by coremelt View Post
Well if unemployment benefits are not means tested in the US (is that really true?), I'd guess that's a rare exception.

In Australia, NZ and UK they definitely are. If you have savings or assets you're expected to live off those before you get any unemployment benefits, however there's exceptions for owning the house you live in but that's about it.
Yes, there are no means test, but I know in Aussie and NZ you guys have the dole, which you can fall back on.

We don't have such a thing in the USA. Well not really, it's pretty easy to get food stamps, but medicaid and cash benefits are very hard to come by unless you're permenently disabled or have children.

In the USA unemployment is funded through employers only, except in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Alaska where workers also contribute. I don't know how unemployment is funded in other countries.
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