Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location



Rewards for Good Sweepstakes
Win an ARRP Real Pad Tablet - Tribute to an Ancestor Contest

Contests and

Rewards for Good Sweepstakes

Learn about Rewards for Good and you could win $25,000! See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


What an Outrage

Millionaires Get Unemployment, Too

Jobless workers who had seven-figure incomes collect state benefits

Pig mask millionaire on unemployment

Should jobless workers who had seven-figure incomes collect state benefits — Getty Images

People with million-dollar incomes pay into unemployment insurance like everyone else. But surely they never collect, right? It turns out they sometimes do.

A Congressional Research Service study has found that nearly 2,400 tax filers reporting annual income of $1 million or more tapped the government for nearly $21 million in unemployment benefits in 2009.

That had many lawmakers raising questions and proposing legislation that would restrict or tax unemployment benefits of jobless workers with high incomes. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has introduced a law to prohibit federally funded unemployment benefits to anyone who had at least $1 million in income in the year before filing a claim. The Ending Unemployment Payments to Jobless Millionaires Act has wide support in the Senate and has been referred to the Senate's Finance Committee. As of now, no income limits exist on the jobless insurance.

The $1 million-plus earners who received unemployment in 2009 accounted for just 0.02 percent of the roughly 11.3 million tax filers who declared unemployment benefits as income that year.

By far, the bulk of 2009's $83.5 billion in unemployment benefits went to households with income of less than $100,000, and the average weekly check was worth about $300. 

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.