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slides: Reaction to Millionaires Receiving Unemployment Benefits

Sunday, May 25, 2014

 

Millionaires in Massachusetts are reaping the benefits on the unemployment system just like anyone else who is down on their luck and looking for work.

According to data gathered from the IRS website, 189 millionaires received unemployment benefits in the year 2011, the most recent year that the website reports. The 189 millionaires who were received unemployment benefits claimed $2.4 million.

“Unemployment benefits are colorblind to race, gender, and earnings because it is an assistance program for those who have lost their job,” said Ann Dufresne, the Communications Director for the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Unemployment assistance isn’t meant to replace salaries.”

See what experts had to say about millionaires receiving unemployment benefits below.

49,302 people who had made $100,000 or more in the same year accounted for $532.6 million in unemployment benefits, accounting for 15-percent of all unemployment cases, in the year 2011. Overall, 325,909 unemployment returns were filed in 2011 totaling almost $3 billion in unemployment benefits. 

 

Related Slideshow: Reaction to Millionaires Receiving Unemployment Benefits

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Massachusetts AFL-CIO

John Drinkwater, Chief of Staff

"For the system as a whole, it is better to have a universal program based on work, rather than needs-based, as it will be better funded and benefit workers at all levels of income. Additionally, with the cap on payments, millionaires would be receiving a very low percentage of replacement wage."

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Massachusetts Jobs with Justice

Russ Davis, Executive Director

“I think that anyone who works should be able to collect unemployment. A million dollars may be a lot of money but as long as they are paying into the unemployment system then I don’t see a problem.”

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Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

Ann Dufresne, Communications Director

"Unemployment insurance is not an entitlement program so earnings, race, gender etc are not factors for eligibility. Anyone who has lost their job through no fault of their own can apply for unemployment benefits."

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Massachusetts Republican Party

Bill McCarthy, State Committee - Worcester Representative

"The take that I have is that if a person is eligible than a person is eligible, regardless of how much they make. I think we need to look at this as an issue of whether unemployment is a system that serves the poor or an issue that serves the unemployed. I think that it is definitely something that warrants further attention.”

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Carpenter's Union Local 107

James Turner, Business Representative

“I think that if you are employed and if all of your filings are correct, then you should be entitled to unemployment. I don’t think that someone with $1 million needs unemployment, but I support their right to it.”

 
 

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