Sunday, August 2, 2009

Heartless in the Heartland

Last week I continued my quest for discovering why my unemployment suddenly stopped. Once again I attempted to go to the local State office for assistance, to be told for the SIXTH time in two months that they were 'too busy to help me'. Since they only seem capable of directing people to use their computers or to read some of their outdated 'job hunting' books, I really don't know why they have jobs at all.

Although the State website says to go to them for help, clearly that's a dream. I should file a complaint---but with whom? Everything is on websites, no one answers e-mails or returns phone calls. So after countless phone calls, e-mails and web browsing I finally have a response!!! I received a 'do not reply' e-mail, this is the response:
A determination letter was mailed out to you on 07/24/09. The letter will state why you were denied your benefits and will have information for you to appeal on the back if you feel that you were wrongly denied.

I am not kidding. After ten days of trying, this is what I get. So, the letter finally arrived on 7/29---did it really take five days to get here? I think they printed the letter and then waited three days to mail it. Because it is 'time-sensitive'. They have denied my benefits and I have until Monday, August 3rd to appeal. If I lost my appeal, I must repay whatever they have given me.

Why were my benefits denied? According to the letter I received benefits because of a 'data entry error'. So I waited three weeks to be approved, no one caught a 'data entry error'?
Since I am actually trying to find a job I wasn't able to immediately put together an appeal. I plan to mail it the last day, "Monday, August 3rd". I want to take some time to research my case. Of course the letter also tells me to go to my local unemployment office for assistance in filing me appeal. Since they have never assisted me in anything yet, I can't see why I should waste my time. In fact, I don't trust any 'assistance' they might give me.

Meanwhile, I have no income. I can't find a job. The next day, in the mail I receive a letter 'demanding' that I repay the money the State gave me in error. Really.
In tiny print on the bottom it says that although I have the right to appeal, I should begin repayment now in case I lose my appeal.

Now, if I don't have a job--what am I supposed to use to repay the money? The whole point of Unemployment INSURANCE is to give you money out of the fund that YOU/I pay into when you have no other income. So how would I be able to pay them?
It makes me want to bang my head against a wall. It makes my blood pressure explode. Clearly, the system sucks.

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