Friday, March 6, 2009

OMG Unemployment..Don’t Do What I Did!

Last week was a pretty tough week for me. It’s probably the reason that I didn’t post anything until Sunday. But amongst all the normal trials and tribulations I made a huge mistake that could have caused me to lose 13 weeks of unemployment insurance payments.

Before I get to that, I do have to say something regarding the comment by anonymous to my posting on Sunday. You know I have it set up so that I have to approve comments before they get posted, so I did decide to post your comment. I figure it’s always good to have another side to the story. However, one thing, I am probably who I am and learned so much from the days when I managed telemarketing. If I could go back to that job, I would do it in a flash. It was my favorite job of all time. My favorite, mainly because the people who worked in the department were so darned positive and upbeat and indestructible. Telemarketers, collectors and sales people in general have a really hard job. This is a job where you get rejected on a hourly, daily, minute by minute basis. So, if you don’t have a way to keeping up your confidence or being positive, you will not succeed. I remember walking through the department. There were about 140 telemarketers on the floor in an open environment, with an aisle down the middle where the teamleaders sat. I was rushing through, as usual worrying about something to do with budget or management; frown on my face. One of my top sellers stopped me right there and said “how do you expect us to keep going to the “yes”, if you are walking through with a frown on your face?” I told her she was absolutely right and from then on not only was I completely conscious of the attitude I was projecting, but I started to really enjoy myself. These are the people who taught me that every time you get a no, you are one no closer to a yes! This really really applies to our job search. When you get rejected, it’s one rejection closer to landing a job. It’s all probabilities. So anonymous, I thank you for your comment and I can appreciate your perspective on Tory’s speech, but please be sensitive to other fields of work. And, Sales guys, telemarketers and collectors (by the way I hear they’re calling you guys debt mitigation specialists now a days..yeesh) I’ve got your back!

Now back to unemployment insurance. By the way, this only pertains to NY. I’m sorry, but that’s where I live, so I’m not sure if the same pertains to other states. Anyway, the week before last I got word that our unemployment had been extended another 13 weeks. Woo Hoo! Kudos to NY DOL, they sent me a letter telling me this and they actually called me and left a message with that information on my machine. So I go ahead and log on, (by the way, my benefits had run out after 46 weeks in January) and hit complete the claim for the week. It appears everything is going smoothly. I print the confirmation page and go about my business. Now I’m checking my bank account on Thursday, no payment. So I check it again on Friday, still no payment. Then I look on the confirmation notice. Under the Claim Complete there is a second bullet, “Important Information”. What it said was “Your benefit year has ended. Please contact the Telephone claims Center at 1-888-209-8124 to verify your continuing eligibility for extended benefits”. Now I read this as darn I wasn’t eligible. (Amazing what a negative defeated attitude will do for you huh?) Thanks to one of my good friends sending me the notice and pushing me, I called them. They told me it was a GLITCH! I fell through the cracks for crying out loud! I really felt it important to impart this story to all of you, just in case some of you are falling through that same crack. Sorry it’s not more entertaining today, but I felt this was too darn important. Now if you want to just shake your head and say “what was she thinking?”, I‘ll take that risk, happily. I’ve pasted in the notice from NYDOL below. Hey we’re supposed to get a raise. I haven’t seen it yet but maybe it’s coming soon. And, maybe I’ll just pick up the phone and check on it next week. Let me know if any of you have seen the raise or if you know anything about it. Here’s the memo:

Filing for Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Allowed Until December 31st; $25 Added to Weekly UI Benefits
New York City, NY (February 27, 2009) - State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith, together with Congressman Charles Rangel, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, today announced that more than one million unemployed New Yorkers statewide will benefit from the provisions for unemployment insurance compensation that are included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). In New York City alone, nearly 400,000 unemployed individuals will benefit from them. The economic impact of the ARRA’s unemployment insurance provisions is estimated to total more than $2.1 billion statewide. The impact in New York City alone is estimated to total $934 million.
Speaking at the Upper Manhattan Workforce 1 Career Center in Harlem, Commissioner Smith outlined how the ARRA unemployment insurance provisions will benefit New Yorkers, by:
• Allowing new claims for extended unemployment benefits to be made through December 31, 2009, with benefits payable through May 31, 2010. (Previously, the deadline for applying for extended benefits was March 31, 2009, and no payments could be made beyond August 2009.) It is estimated that this extension will impact 352,000 people statewide, including 158,000 in New York City. New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits and 33 weeks of extended benefits.
• Increasing weekly unemployment insurance benefits by $25 through December 31, 2009. The increase applies to individuals who are collecting both regular and extended unemployment insurance benefits. Approximately 900,000 people statewide and 331,000 people in New York City are expected to receive the increase to their regular benefit payments; and approximately 500,000 people statewide and 225,000 in New York City are expected to receive the increase to their extended benefit payments. The additional payments will be made retroactive to the week ending March 1, 2009.
• Suspending the federal income tax on the first $2,400 of unemployment insurance benefits per recipient. This provision is expected to result in an estimated federal tax savings of $215 per beneficiary in 2009.
• Providing $412 million to New York State to replenish the UI Trust Fund, and $29.5 million in administrative funds to help improve claims processing, add staff to field calls and resolve claims, and improve the Shared Work program.
“The federal stimulus bill will provide critical assistance to unemployed New Yorkers at a time when they need it most,” said Commissioner Smith. “To everyone who is struggling to find re-employment at this difficult time, the message is ‘help is on the way.’ Our leaders in Washington have responded to the needs of working families to help them get through this unprecedented economic crisis.”
“I urge all New Yorkers who are out of work through no fault of their own to make sure they file for unemployment compensation,” Commissioner Smith continued. “I also urge them to visit their local One-Stop Career Center to register for re-employment assistance. The federal stimulus bill also includes funds for worker training, which will become available to states very soon. It is important for workers to remain in contact with their local One-Stop so that they may take advantage of appropriate training opportunities that become available.”
“This is not just about giving hope and a helping hand to those who have been knocked down by this economic crisis, but also laying the groundwork for future success,” said Congressman Rangel. “By extending benefits, increasing access to healthcare and providing funding for job training and preparation programs, we are providing residents with the kind of support and resources they need to not just find temporary work but a job that will last.”
Individuals are encouraged to check the Department of Labor’s web site at for current information regarding unemployment insurance, including extended benefits, eligibility rules and instructions on how to apply.

Here's a link from the NY Times that a friend sent me: Enjoy!

Keep the faith guys. We will go back to work. Of that I have no doubt. In the mean time, summer is coming.

1 comment:

  1. Here is the info I pulled off of the NYS DOL web site regarding our "raise" (yay!):

    Additional $25 weekly payment to unemployment recipients
    Federal legislation has been passed allowing an additional $25 weekly payment to unemployment recipients. These payments are expected to begin in late March 2009, retroactive to week ending March 1, 2009. No additional action will be necessary on your part in order to receive these payments. The last week for which additional payments can be made is the week ending July 4, 2010. Check our website weekly for updates.