I was checking out my Reader today, reading a new PF blog I added yesterday (Well-Heeled, with a Mission) when I came across this post: Musings on unemployment insurance/benefits. This is what it boiled down to: another PF blogger wrote a post about declining to claim unemployment because she was well-off enough to not need it at the time. While this is fine (it’s her prerogative, after all), her tone in writing the post indicated that she felt “above” claiming unemployment. Commenters noted her “elitist” attitude. I see where she’s coming from though… I initially didn’t want to claim because I thought other people needed it more than I did and I didn’t think I deserved it, but I changed my mind.
Here’s the comment I left on Well-Heeled:
I just read Dog’s post, and I can see both sides of the coin. I, too, recently lost my job (thankfully, I was re-hired about 6 weeks later) and had to decide whether or not I was going to file for unemployment.
I had some money stashed away in a savings account, hoping to use it for a new car, a wedding, or a down payment (at that point, I was just stashing away money for a major purchase), so I wasn’t immediately in need of cash, but I knew how tough the job market was for marketing people, as I had just graduated from college in May. I wasn’t going to take any chances and not be able to pay rent or student loan bills.
At first I felt bad, like I was trying to get my hands on money that other people needed more, but I realized that I worked so that I *could* collect if I lost my job.
And I’ll tell you what: I’m glad I filed when I did (2 days after losing my job) because I didn’t get any money for 6 weeks. Money was starting to get really tight, and now I can breathe a little easier, knowing I had that buffer.
That was really the rundown of my experience making the decision to claim. I finally got my money yesterday, thank God. I was starting to worry! I get my first paycheck tomorrow, too, to I’m back on the road to financial stability.