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Collecting Unemployment After ‘Temporary’ Job

Santa Claus
feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you were hired temporarily for the holiday season, can you collect unemployment when the season ends?

A PayScale.com survey found that while pasting a smile on your face may be hard work, the pay for being a Santa Claus who sports his own beard is quite good: it can reach $100 an hour. That will pay for a lot of ear plugs. At least temporarily.

If you work a temporary job over the holiday season, including gift wrapper, elf, tax preparer, or any other seasonal job, when the season ends can you collect unemployment? Federal law gives each state the option to decide whether to grant seasonal workers eligibility for unemployment, and more and more states are saying no.

Fifteen states restrict the payment of unemployment to workers who earned wages in seasonal jobs, according to CNN Money.

Your qualification also may depend on the length of the time you worked: a month-long Santa gig might not qualify you for unemployment, but a seasonal construction job that ends only in the bitterest months of winter might.

For questions about your personal qualification, log onto your state’s unemployment site to find out requirements and, in the meantime, Ho Ho hoard the salary you make now to carry you through.