Tuesday, August 29, 2017

After the Firing: The Unemployment Shag

After I was fired on June 30, I licked my wounds for a few days.  Then I went to State Retirement System.  I had been eligible for full retirement for a couple of years, but I had no desire to retire.  I had a marvelous meeting with the MOSERS retirement counselor which went for a couple of hours.  She was marvelous  She told me that I then needed to go to the state health insurance people (MCHCP).  I went there, and again had a marvelous counselor who walked me through the options.

They told me that I then needed to go to the State Unemployment Office.  I went there.  I presented myself to the person at the reception desk.  I was curtly informed that one cannot meet with a person.  He gave me a brochure and told me I had to file my unemployment claim online.  There is no way to sit down with a human being and figure out how to work one’s way through the system.

I went home and logged onto the online Unemployment system.  It is a user–vicious system.  I have everything short of a PhD.  But I couldn’t get past the fifth screen.  No matter what I entered, it gave me error messages.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t enter the correct data to get past those error messages.  Fortunately, my sister was here, and she didn’t feel the stress I felt.  She was able to help me navigate the Unemployment enrollment.

But what would you do if you didn’t have access to a computer?  Or if you didn’t have a calm sister to help you navigate that system?

What would you do if you had to find your way to someplace like our public library but didn’t know how to navigate that system?

What if you had to rely on public transportation and couldn’t get to the public library when it is open?

I have become convinced that the Unemployment System is designed to keep people from getting their Unemployment benefits.

And, by the way, if you manage to sign up for Unemployment, you must sign in again every week to prove you have been searching for a job.  So you have to get yourself to a computer every week, navigate the user–vicious system, and make your claim.  Good luck with that, if you don’t have computer skills and reliable transportation.

I haven’t been able to do it.  Once I started working part –time, the system has rejected my claims. 

If I can’t navigate this system, how in the world will others do it???



#povertyblog

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