2,362 Millionaires Received $20 Million in Unemployment Benefits in 2009

2,362 Millionaires Received $20 Million in Unemployment Benefits in 2009


According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), 2,362 Millionaires Collected $20 million in unemployment benefits in 2009.  The details were reported in the CRS analysis Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by Higher-Income Unemployed Workers (“Millionaires”).

The report, written by CRS Labor Policy analyst Donald Hirasuna, says the millionaires were able to collect in part because of a sustained level of high unemployment from 2007 to 2010 and several extensions of unemployment benefits by Congress.  Most of those extensions ended in for most unemployed Americans from January through April of this year.

The average is $8,806 in unemployment benefits per millionaire according to a story on the CRS report in CNS News.

Congressional Research Service reported that millionaires received $20.8 million in federal unemployment during 2009 which was an increase from $18.6 million in 2008.  The report references a 1964 law that states that individuals must receive unemployment regardless of household income.

Several bills in Congress would put in end or highly tax millionaires who receive unemployment benefits.   They include S. 310 by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), S. 1930 by Sen. Dean Keller (R-NV), and S. 1944 by Bob Casey (D-PA).

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USAToday.com and ABC News.  You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter @Crewof42.




  1. When did they start limiting unemployment benefits to under a certain incomes? We pay into unemployment. Why shouldn't we be able to collect on it when we're laid off? If they want to take the benefits away to certain income brackets, then they should also not have to pay into it! Geez! Unemployment is NOT welfare!