Do the Unemployed Get Paid for National Holidays?
If you are working, a paid holiday is like a bonus for your work. But if you are unemployed, should taxpayers be subsidizing extended benefits which include national holidays? If you think they should, what is a holiday if you are already not working?
I’m not trying to be funny or pose a riddle. I am seriously curious whether unemployment benefits should pay for national holidays.
Next Monday is Memorial Day. Should unemployment benefits be paid for a 5-day or 4-day week?
I called a few states to see whether they consider holidays worthy of payment. New York will be paying their unemployed on Memorial Day. According to Department of Labor customer service reps, the same is true in California, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas.
Some of you may say, “Who cares? If someone is entitled to a total number of payments, they will simply get them later.” That would be true assuming holidays qualify for payment. If we establish a system which prohibits payment for holidays, those days can be deducted from the overall payments over the term.
Moreover, claim payments are based on number of weeks. Therefore, if you receive payment for a 4-day week (with a holiday) it would still count as a week on unemployment benefits. Given that there is a current limit with the federal extension, the deductions for holidays could not be recouped.
I have tremendous sympathy for anyone who needs unemployment benefits. But I also wonder whether my tax dollars need to pay people to have a holiday.