Are you getting the best deal on unemployment?

    Ianthe Jeanne Duga, writing in the WSJ (Apr 20, 2009), says benefits can vary even within a state. She cited some people in Maine laid off from two plants—one group got 26 weeks, the other got two years, health care subsidies, and free college, and other perks.

    Apparently there is something called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) offering better benefits to those who lose their jobs due to imports.

    This program has even been beefed up under the stimulus.

    Only 50,000 people get TAA—and more qualify.

    This is just part of the unfair patchwork of benefits.

    There is also a separate program for railway workers.

    Even plain vanilla unemployment, though, has been sweetened with another $25 in the check and a tax credit of 65% of health costs.

    But again, those TAA people got 80% for health and will get as much as 2.5 years of bennies. TAA people over 50 can even get $12K in “lost wages” if they do get a job.

    Many companies have withdrawn their TAA apps to see if this gets even richer.

    And the Dept of Labor is already crushed with applications. Companies have to meet some criteria on how many people are affected and hos this was caused by imports.

    Might be worth asking about—but if your company has qualified you probably would have been told.

    Still—you can ask anybody anything.

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