Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simpler Times

Scratch the last post about EDD. I was all happy when I wrote that. Carefree. I can’t even look at it now.

The holdup to my unemployment turned out not to be about Congress or a glitch or anything other than a stupid, stupid law that doesn’t make sense. Did I mention how stupid it is? What I would like to say to the person(s) who wrote that law or even thought of it: it’s all on you, you asshole! (Thank you, Tabitha! That line just isn’t getting old.)

So what I discovered this weekend was my last unemployment check was held up due to a new claim recently filed on my behalf. As the EDD representative explained on the phone yesterday, “People usually appreciate it when EDD automatically files claims on their behalf.” I’m sure they do but I don’t think they’re in my situation, smartass. My benefits have been reduced from $450 a week (less any wages) to $61 a week. This is because a new claim has been filed for a very part-tome job.

I took this very part-time job while looking for more work. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to live on the money I made there without unemployment. It also made my unemployment last longer because the lump sum for each stage of unemployment remained the same, even though my unemployment checks were reduced according to my earnings.

When you fill out the unemployment claim form, you confirm that you are looking for work and accepting all work that comes your way. This pt job was in that category, and I’ve been doing it for a couple years. About six months ago, I was put on a W4.

I was on my third extension of unemployment and had a six-week fourth extension. But EDD abruptly ended that claim and started the new ridiculous one without warning. If I had known that was coming, at least I would have been able to plan for a couple ultra lean months. I can’t even accept the $61 a week because it would likely damage my standing with my most stable pt employer. The part that really doesn’t make sense to me is why should an employer be responsible for my benefits while they are still offering me the same part-time hours they always have?

As I was arguing with the EDD rep and his manager on the phone yesterday, I summed it up this way . . . so you’re telling me that because I accepted work as instructed, I totally screwed myself. I should have walked when they asked me to fill out the W4 and lied about it to protect my benefits. The answer was yes.

I’m tremendously lucky to have a partner who is fully employed and outrageously generous extended family. But these next two months will be dicey. We’re spread thin with needing to finish up certain parts of the remodeling. The kids who are growing like weeds will be going back to school (don’t even get me started on the feet that won’t be contained to any one shoe size for long). There are doctors' appointments that must happen.

My husband brought home Simpler Times Lager ($3.99 a six-pack) last night. If you knew him, you’d understand the gravity of the situation.

picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/houseofsims/2886932061/sizes/o/in/photostream/

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