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The U.S. government paid almost $80 million in unemployment benefits during the worst of the economic downturn to households that made more than $1 million, including a record $29.9 million in 2010, tax records show.

Almost 3,200 households -- about 20 percent of them from New York -- that reported adjusted gross income of more than $1 million received jobless-insurance payments averaging $12,600 in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, according to IRS data compiled by Bloomberg. Those payments outpaced the total incomes for about 25 million U.S. households.

The $80 million represents less than 0.01 percent of this year's $845 billion projected deficit. Yet the unemployment aid to millionaire households underscores the lack of means-testing in some federal aid programs as the Labor Department reports new jobless figures today. The aid also is a reminder of the difficulty of reining in spending.

"So many people are taking advantage of government support that they probably feel like, why shouldn't they take advantage of it, too?" said George Walper Jr., president of the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based market-research and consulting firm that tracks the number of households worth more than $1 million.

Lawmakers have repeatedly tried to end or limit benefits to high-income households. A January report by the Congressional Research Service found at least five such efforts.

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The more well off generally pay more tax so they are as entitled to the benefits as anyone else to be honest.

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As long as there wasn't a question of fraud, I don't understand why someone should have to pay into the system and then not be able to use it when they need it. Just because you might have wealth in particular area (land, stocks, etc) doesn't mean you have immediate income that could pay for your day to day expenses.

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I think unemployment benefits should be paid to those who need help, not to the rich.

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I think unemployment benefits should be paid to those who need help, not to the rich.

Unemployment is called "Unemployment Insurance", not "Free Money". You pay this insurance premium monthly regardless of whether you 'need' it.

If you are unemployed, you get money for 6 months or until you find a new job.

Or should we restrict all insurance payouts to wealthy individuals? "You can easily buy a new house, why do you need flood insurance?"

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I think unemployment benefits should be paid to those who need help, not to the rich.

Not being an American, we don't pay for this insurance, but presumably you are saying the rich don't need to pay this insurance, because they wont need to claim on it?

Likely you are going to find the "rich" are paying in 99% of what is paid out to the unemployed anyway, so if they stop, your benefit will only be 1% of what it is today.

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They paid into it like everyone else. They are fully qualified to get it if they meet the criteria. Nothing to see here, folks. :p

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As long as there wasn't a question of fraud, I don't understand why someone should have to pay into the system and then not be able to use it when they need it. Just because you might have wealth in particular area (land, stocks, etc) doesn't mean you have immediate income that could pay for your day to day expenses.

The voice of reason.

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You can tell who the rich Neowin members are ... :shifty:

I think unemployment benefits should be paid to those who need help, not to the rich.

If the wealthy who work can't collect any benefits, then neither should they have to pay in to the system.

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It's not a question of whether or not they deserve to be paid back from the system they've paid into (obviously they do). It's a question of whether or not some of these people needed to. They'd be no better than those who they criticize for leeching off the system. It's one thing to be poor as dirt and live off of unemployment and still be poor as dirt. It's another thing to be rich and treat unemployment benefits as free money or a paid vacation.

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Seriously? You want these people to pay into the system but they can't use those benefits when they are legally able to do so?

I have more problems with people that have never paid a cent into the system leaching off the system their whole life than a rich person that's put in millions of dollars into the system who use those benefits as they were intended to be used.

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The more well off generally pay more tax so they are as entitled to the benefits as anyone else to be honest.

i am with you on this

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If the wealthy who work can't collect any benefits, then neither should they have to pay in to the system.

If they are that rich I don't see where they need to.

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In the US employer payroll taxes paid to the states and federal government cover unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program. Employees do not pay into the program. If you have been working and have lost your job you may be eligible to receive benefits.

source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_benefits#United_States

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I think unemployment benefits should be paid to those who need help, not to the rich.

Why? They still have debts. They are just much higher.

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Unemployment is called "Unemployment Insurance", not "Free Money". You pay this insurance premium monthly regardless of whether you 'need' it.

If you are unemployed, you get money for 6 months or until you find a new job.

Or should we restrict all insurance payouts to wealthy individuals? "You can easily buy a new house, why do you need flood insurance?"

true. My dad paid over $400,000 into social security as well. he gets a measly sum each month and will NEVER see near that amount

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