General Question

Haleth's avatar

Should I keep this check?

Asked by Haleth (19513points) April 19th, 2010

During December 2009, I filed for unemployment. There was a big delay processing my claim, and I finally got a piece of mail from the D.C. unemployment office yesterday. I thought it would be some generic piece of mail saying they closed my case or something, but it was a check for $600 for the period ending December 15th.

I found a job in late January and stopped filing weekly claims. Legally, am I entitled to keep this check? Morally, should I keep it? I really needed the money then, but now… it’s just icing on the cake. I know there are people who could really use that $600. The D.C. government isn’t that efficient- would giving the money to charity be better? What would you do?

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10 Answers

MissAusten's avatar

It probably wouldn’t be the most admirable thing to do, but I’d cash it. I’d look at it like an overdue paycheck. They aren’t paying you for time you had a job, but for time when you qualified for the unemployment money. It’s late, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have had it. I mean, if your last employer didn’t mail your final paycheck for several months, when you finally got it, would you give it away?

So now that I’ve been honest, I will say that donating the money to charity would be an amazing thing to do. :)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Keep the check. The money is paid into the system by your former employer. Use it to build up a nest egg in the event you’re laid off again in the future.

netgrrl's avatar

If you were unemployed in the time frame covered by the check, you have a right to keep it.

If you didn’t need it now, you could always cash it & donate to a homeless shelter. They are scrambling for donations in today’s economy. One of our local shelters actually had to close bc donations have dropped so much.

Buttonstc's avatar

If you would have had to get a loan to financially survive during the period in which you were unemployed, this long overdue check would enable the repayment of that, right?

Definitely don’t send it back as govt. will just figure out a new way to waste it.

Definitely cash it and then decide what to do with it. Legally, you’re in the clear. They were the ones dragging their feet.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I think you better keep that money. Many people have already done the same thing and won’t feel any worse since it’s still legal. If it’s still legal(do whatever you could to make it still legal. in legal way) you can keep gaining your advantage from this since it’s legally still your right. Please don’t think that they’ll allocate that money for unemployment purpose to charity purpose. It has been decided that each organization get its own part of fund. So there is already money for charity and there is already money for the unemployment. Please keep your money,you’ll eventually need it one day.

Haleth's avatar

@Buttonstc “Definitely don’t send it back as govt. will just figure out a new way to waste it.”

That’s what I’m thinking- D.C. government has a reputation for being corrupt and wasteful with taxpayer money. The latest story is that one of our council members created charities and then put friends in charge of it so that he could earmark the money for them.

Trillian's avatar

You are entitled to compensation for that time period. The fact that it has come and gone is immaterial, and your $600.00 contribution to the betterment of your neighbor, while admirable, would be futile. Keep it and decide what kind of icing you like best. Bon appetit!

lilikoi's avatar

Your choice of perspective boggles my mind.

I don’t see why you wouldn’t keep it. And, I can’t believe you aren’t pissed that it took them so long to send it in the first place.

Invest the $600, and try to recoup the loss you absorbed from their bureaucratic delay in getting it to you. Come this time next year, you’ll be sending the money back to The Man anyway for taxes.

Jeruba's avatar

I was in a similar situation: I received one check . Seeing that the check said it was void after a year, I held it for a couple of months in case they demanded it back (which had happened to some of my former colleagues). I went through three interviews, and ultimately they denied my claim because I said I was not looking for full-time work. So I asked outright if I had to return the check or if it was ok to cash it, and the official person said to go ahead and cash it. So I did.

What the government would or would not do with the money has no logical connection to the question at all. The question is simply whether it is rightfully yours to keep it or it isn’t. It looks like it is.

JeffVader's avatar

Hell, you pay your taxes, therefore you’re just getting back some of the money you’ve paid in over time…... keep it!

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