Applying for Unemployment

Okay I have been applying for unemployment benefits for months now - I was working 3 jobs - laid off from 2 - hours in the last one left is down to single digits a week (this employer is notorious for not laying people off - just reducing their hours until it costs more in gas to drive to work than you earn). So finally out of the blue I get my eppi card in the mail - then I check to see the balance - it is only like 20 dollars!! So they are not looking at all 3 job situations like they are supposed to. Now if you know the stuff I have gone through - endless phone calls - going in machine phone tag - trying to get a real person - being sent from office to office to person to person - and no one seeming to understand how to figure this all out. Supposedly they are supposed to look at the base period and all this stuff - so no way did this happen. So I have to decide where to turn now - fight this again - or give up - cause it is costing me more in gas and time to pursue it at this point. I was told the minimum is 50 a week - so how did they come up with 20? Just to get rid of me - after I have paid into the system for almost 40 years? I am going to try to read all the online material and watch the online tutorial again - which takes a long time to upload and listen to. See if I can figure out how to tell them where they went wrong. This is why I think the unemployment rate is actually much higher than reports say - I know too many people going through these battles - who give up the fight - which I am sure they state wants us to do.:mad:

You don’t say what state you are in, but all states have some similarity in their rules that are mandated by the Feds. I am familiar with California, but haven’t worked directly in UI for a long time time. I don’t know the most current details and in another state YMWV.

A claim is based on earnings in a base period which is usually the first four of the last six quarters. The total earnings for the base period year determine how many weeks you are eligible for and your highest quarter determines the weekly benefit amount. A primary claim is never good for more than 26 out of 52 weeks. There are extensions that can run that out to more than a year, but there are some arcane rules about qualifying for those that I am not familiar with. When you exhaust a primary claim or an extension they have to pay you the remainder amount before they can file the next round.

When you filed your claim you should have received a notice that showed the employers you worked for and the amount that they reported that they paid you. Be sure all of your employers and earnings are on there. Sometimes employers are sleazy and sometimes records get in the wrong place due to a mis-entered Social Security Number.

In my state none of the offices that actually process claims are accessible to the public, but you can go to a public Job Service Office and use the direct phones. If you have a tale of woe, the Job Service folks can give good advice about how to get through on the phones and under some circumstances can get you to a specialist on an internal line, but you will have to be your own advocate. Be patient and do not lose your cool. We have been trying to handle a couple of million calls a day on a telephone system that was designed for a few tens of thousand calls a day. The staff are working 10 and 12 hour days six days a week, including most holidays. (They did get Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years off, so now they are really behind!) Staff are also really fried because they have been working killer schedules in sweat shop conditions for more than a year. Most of them don’t complain because they have jobs and deal with dozens of people a day who don’t. They do know your frustration. Also, most of them are good humans who would much rather pay you then argue, but they have some very complicated rules they have to follow. If you get a denial notice, appeal it. That will require a senior interviewer to review the claim, and if they don’t reverse it, the Administrative Law Judges overturn department decisions and rulings all the time

Do take the time to read and understand the information on the web site. It will help you make your case quickly so the interviewer can hopefully make a decision in your favor and get on to the next call.

Good luck!!

Success - have you tried going to the unemployment office in person?. We’re in the same state, I’m assuming that you, too, have physical offices in your area. Most of what I actually got done I got done by going to the office in person. You have to go early, you want to be there as early as possible.

Yes, it’s a PITA. I remember one January morning that the line snaked around the building and I waited and hour and half outside in single digit weather just to get inside the building - so dress for the weather. But sometimes that’s what you gotta do. If you can’t get it done on line (and I couldn’t, because I had work in both Illinois and Indiana) go in person.

Oh, and MemoryDump Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are all doing FIVE quarters now, not four. Maybe other states are, too.

Anyhow - yes, you have to double check earnings. I don’t see where having multiple jobs would be a problem, as at some points I had two at once, but the on-line system doesn’t handle it very well. Yet another reason to go in person to the office.

I know I am nit picking and you probably do not want to hear it but, your emplyeers paid into the system. I know this is the case in Calif and believe it is common in other states.

Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania levy UI taxes on employees as well as employers, other states employees do not pay, only the employers

But do verify that this is an option in your state. One of my recently laid-off coworkers here in Nevada was renting here while his wife lived in California. Workweek in NV, weekend in CA, and laid off on a Friday, so he went back to CA. He returned to file for unemployment the following week (over the mountain, in a snowstorm) only to discover that our offices only accept applications online or over the telephone. :smack:

Well, as of last year they still were accepting applications in person - Success and I are in the same state, as I mentioned.

Just meant maybe a little extra caution for people potentially having trouble in other states.

My sister is having to file her unemployment in Indiana, despite living in Ohio. Following what she has to go through, as well as a man I am in a class with doing the same, I have to say that Indiana’s system really sucks in comparison to Ohio’s. I had this same opinion expressed to me by a worker for the Ohio DJFS on the phone a couple of weeks ago. So you and Success have my sympathies.