The ethics/morality of taking unemployment when you have savings.

Because of a power struggle between the CEO and the President of the company, I find myself involuntarily out of a job for the first time since, well, ever*.

I have substantial savings and investments - enough to last me for over a decade of unemployment, more if we stretch it out and I find a job below my current pay scale. However, I am eligible for unemployment, which I am thinking about applying for… but the question remains:

If one has enough savings to make it through a short period of unemployment, is it ethical/moral to apply for unemployment benefits?

I’m pretty sure what I think, but I thought the question interesting enough for a thread on the SDMB and am interested in your opinions.

*Kind of. I resigned, the Pres asked me back, we negotiated a package, the CEO wasn’t happy about seeing me back in the office (he apparently promised my position to one of his cousins), so sayonara JT.

It’s a personal decision whether you wish to pursue those benefits, but I don’t think there’s anything unethical or immoral about receiving benefits that you are legally entitled to.

Unemployment benefits aren’t “to keep people with nothing else from starving”, it’s for people recently unemployed. The ones for people who’ve already spent every penny, sold the house and moved to a friend’s sofa have different names.

In many countries, unemployment benefits don’t include “just” the payment (which after all is a return of money you paid into the program) but also other programs. While that course on accounting software I got as part of mine isn’t something I ever expect to use for my job duties, it taught me a lot about how to select an accountant if I ever need one (the specific code under which I’m self-employed doesn’t require one), you never know what can be useful.

If you are entitled in your state, take it.

The quit, hired back, fired sequence does throw a slight question but since the final step was “fired”, should be okay.

I know someone who asked to be fired (his company was going thru a reduction so someone would be let go) because he was planning to leave the work force anyway. That allowed him to draw unemployement. I thought that a little shady but at the same time, the big picture was that “someone” was going to be out of work and drawing it, better him than someone who wanted to work.

If you’re in a car accident and have enough money to cover the cost of repairs/injuries is it ethical to take money from the insurance company for that accident?

You are certainly not forced to take those benefits, however, legally you are entitled to them. There is nothing unethical or immoral about taking them.

I’ve received a notification from the TX Workforce Commission stating that I have been laid off and am legally eligible for benefits (apparently, the maximum of $415/week), so this question has been answered by the proper authorities…

Also, the company “signed off” on this assessment, so I should receive no flack there.

I manage unemployment claims at my company (well, someone who works for me does). If you’re entitled to benefits, you’re entitled to them without regard to your savings or financial state. I’d never appeal a claim from someone who legitimately qualified for benefits regardless of if I thought they “needed” it.

(Most of the ones we appeal are for employees who voluntarily quit or are fired for cause, and should not be eligible in our interpretation of the law).

Exactly this. It’s (I believe) a form of insurance. And change my vote - I voted wrong and hit the wrong button. I didn’t mean no, I meant yes.

Your company pays unemployment insurance to the state and fed to cover this very thing, so hell yeah, they laid you off they will be paying for it. Their experience rate changes year to year to help cover costs. No ethical or moral problem there.

Think about it this way:

It is neither unethical nor immoral to take money from your employer for doing work for them, even if you already have enough money saved up to live without that salary. Indeed, that’s what a job is.

So consider your unemployment payments to be money given to you for work done in your new job. Your new job’s requirements? Finding an actual job.
If you do your job, then you’re getting paid for work done, and there’s nothing unethical or immoral about that.

I hit "no in error. Please subtract one no and add one yes. I read it as “Is it unethical…”


Unemployment benefits aren’t charity and they aren’t welfare. They’re insurance which you (and your employer) paid for. If you qualify for the benefit you paid for, there’s nothing wrong with taking it. You pay for car insurance (assuming you have a car.) If some jackass sideswipes your ride, would you have a moral quandary about filing a claim, even if paying for it yourself would not be burdensome? Of course not, because you are paying the insurance people for coverage in the event that you need it.

There’s also nothing wrong with not taking it, if that’s what you want to do, but IMHO it would be a waste of your money to do so.

If we (The People) wanted to make unemployment benefits means-tested, we could do so. The fact that we haven’t means that you’re fully entitled to them.

I see where the OP is coming from. I also wish him good luck in finding a new job.

Why not do this: once you’re fully employed in a new job and settled, give 50% of what you were given per month to your favorite charity.

In lieu of a favorite charity, you really cannot go wrong with writing a check out to your local food bank. Not religious, not partisan – just providing food to people in need.

Yeah, same here. Stoopit reading for comprehension…

If you have plenty of money, and especially if you don’t intend to work again, maybe there’s an issue of morality. But if the regulations say you’re entitled to the benefit I don’t see anything unethical about it.

It would crazy to spend down your savings and then take unemployment. Don’t worry about ethics. Worry about not doing crazy things!

Unemployment may not meet all of your expenses. Wouldn’t it be smarter to use your savings to pick up any slack the unemployment payments don’t cover rather than burn through your savings and then try to make things work on a meager income stream?

It’s not unethical at all. And I’m sorry you lost your job. :frowning: But, declining to file a claim doesn’t mean they pay out more to other people… that’s not how insurance works. Take the money, you’re entitled to it whether you need it or not. If you feel that taking it would make you feel uh, dirty or something, you don’t have to keep it. Donate it to a charity that gives you the warm fuzzies–or give it to me! :slight_smile:

Given the position it sounds like you had with the company, you’ll find another job fairly quickly. I think you’ve earned a vacation, though.

There are several of us who need remedial reading classes apparently.

I like the idea of donating the money to a food bank; I’ll even add you can spread the donation out to maximize the tax benefits. As soon as you get a job, set up an autopay of $50 a month to the local food bank.

You don’t have to put an end-date on the autopay.

:smack: Another wrong-voter here.

If you’re entitled to unemployment, take it.