According to U.S. Internal Revenue Service data, 2,840 households reporting at least $1 million in income on their tax returns [in 2008] also collected a total of $18.6 million in jobless aid. They included 806 taxpayers with incomes over $2 million and 17 with incomes in excess of $10 million. In all, multimillionaires reported receiving $5.2 million in jobless benefits.
It's worth noting that a total of 9.5 million people received jobless benefits in 2008, so we're talking about a teeny tiny percentage of freeloaders. It's also possible that the person in the household receiving benefits is not the same person who has the big bucks.
For example, a chief executive's spouse may lose a teaching job. "The teacher may not need the money, but collecting the benefits is different from a laid-off CEO collecting," he said. Still, [Roberton Williams, a senior fellow and expert on tax policy at the Urban Institute], said the numbers remind him of stories he heard earlier in his career about movie actors who collected unemployment benefits between pictures. "These were people comparable to your millionaires who clearly didn't need the money but collected it nonetheless," he said.