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Tuesday to do list, and a gripe

October 4th, 2016 at 06:19 am

I'm off to pick up a check from the art gallery, drop off some stuff at the dump, stop at BJs because they incorrectly charged me for something and then to the bank.

This afternoon I need to focus on drumming up some freelance work. I may also take pix of some returned art items from the one gallery to pitch to one of the others galleries.

The CT Dept of Labor CT is horribly understaffed and under-resourced.

The week before last, I tried to file my weekly claim as usual, online. I answered the 7 or 8 questions but when i hit the Submit button, it froze up and remained depressed. On the 4th try, it "appeared" to go through, and that was that.

Except it wasn't. I only discovered late last week that I wasn't paid for that week and thus the system prevented me from filing last week.

I tried calling DOL yesterday, but the recorded message said that due to an unusually high call volume, they couldn't take my call, wouldn't let me wait on hold and actually disconnected the call.

I called again this morning at 7:30 a.m., as soon as they opened, and the calls did not even go through. I would dial the number and then, nothing happened. After about 10 minutes of trying, the call connected, but I heard a recorded message entirely in Spanish. I tried calling back several times and got the Spanish message, until finally I got the English version, went thru the whole automated system again and the system gives you the option of getting a callback in an hour to an hour and a half, so that's what i did.

When i got the automatic callback, I still had to wait on hold until an operator came on. Geez. I recognize that as an unemployed individual, I am the low man on the totem poll and I guess I'm not entitled to any better service, but c'mon.

11 Responses to “Tuesday to do list, and a gripe”

  1. Bluebird Says:

    Hi PS, have you given any thought to listing your mom's art on Etsy? I purchase things there because I prefer handmade items for something I need or like if I can find it. I'm sure you're familiar with the site, you can list your mom's name with each item, so if someone is searching for her art, the items will come up.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, thanks, Bluebird, Etsy was the first place I thought of, but if you read the terms and conditions, only the creator of the art can sell it there.

  3. Carol Says:

    Clearly CT. needs to employ more people to help out! (I hate that you and other people are getting a run around!)

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I was in TX and had been let go from the oil and gas company, I remember similar frustrations with the unemployment office. Hope it all got resolved.

  5. Dido Says:

    Good luck with the DOL hassles. I dread something like that happening. In PA, we do get an email confirming that we have filed for the period.

    Can you do freelance work and still collect in CT? PA is very strict--any freelance (1099-MISC) income and you are considered self-employed and ineligible to collect, and if you do collect and then they discover it was freelance, they come after you to repay. Which to my mind is a perverse incentive: they should be rewarding rather than punishing personal industry.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    You can work part time or on a freelance basis while collecting unemployment but you have to report how much time and how much you earned, and that amount is deducted from that week's unemployment check. But it's definitely in your best interests to work if you can find it since it just prolongs the amount of time your unemployment benefits last. You start off with a certain maximum amount of money you can receive, and whether you receive it in 6 mths with no freelance work or whether you receive it spread over 9 months, for example, due to having reported some freelance work, is up to you. But working here or there will not change the total amount of unemployment benefits you can receive; it may only change how quickly you receive it.

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    You can also call in to the automated system anytime you want to see what your remaining "balance" of unemployment compensation is.

  8. Dido Says:

    Here in PA most of this is the same, EXCEPT that any work has to be W-2. If you do any 1099-MISC freelance work, your benefits are suspended and they come after you for any UE payments you received since you started freelancing. Definitely a perverse incentive! Do you also have to report in your work search efforts? Here in PA, we have to apply for two jobs a week and do one other work search activity. If they audit you and you can't produce evidence they can verify, they also go after you to repay UE benefits received.

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    We don't have to regularly report in our job search efforts (they did require that, years ago) but of course you're supposed to be doing it and i believe on occasion they will ask you to submit details on your job search activities, similar to what you described above.

  10. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    How is the job hunt going? Do you really want to go back? Do you have to?

  11. PatientSaver Says:

    Job hunt = very quiet.

    Thanks for asking, LAL.

    Do I really want to go back? No, not at all.

    Do I have to? I think so. I did look again at my Social Security benefits under the assumption that for the next 3 yrs i would earn just $15,000 of reportable income. The bare minimum, in other words, at some kind of low-paying job. Under that worst case scenario, and assuming, again worst case, I began collecting SS at age 62, it indicated I would get $1511 a month in benefits. (But I don't plan on beginning SS at age 62.)

    I do think i need to continue working a bit longer, if only becus having to pay escalating health care costs via ACA would be pretty costly. I would still have to pay that way from age 60 to 65, but shaving off the additional 3 years would no doubt be helpful to my balance sheet. And I would like to work p/t somewhere at age 60 and hopefully for a few years, so by that point, my p/t work could be fully dedicated to paying for my healthcare.

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