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July 29, 2010


I'm sorry about your friend, Sebastian.

State employers pay for regular benefits, and the feds pay for extended benefits. So the feds want you to exhaust your state benefits before you can apply for extended benefits. Your friend is eligible for a transitional claim of regular benefits, so he is out of luck until the benefit year expires [a full year from the time of filing, rather than when the benefits end after 26 weeks], and can only hope extended benefits are still in play then.

If your friend is in Pennsylvania, he is SOL.

There are a lot of perverse incentives and rules in current unemployment law that keeps a lot of people from working short term gigs that could either translate into long-term gigs or at least lead to some networking, skill-maitenance and a few decent pay-days.

My biggest complaint is that if an individual goes into self-employment, which is usually defined as doing 1099-able work, they are now ineligible for further benefits. The other complaint is how the state calculate benefit levels (this screw-up benefits me, but it is still unjust)

I'm currently out of work, and I have seen several 2 to 4 week contract positions I've not submitted a proposal. I would be able to do the work easily enough, it would be a decent paycheck, it would save the state UI fund a few checks, but it would make me a self-employed independent contractor unless the other party was willing to make me a W-2-able temp. employee, and that is too much hassle for them. I can not afford the risk of losing benefits right now ( I have an 18 month old)

My other complaint is that since benefits are calculated using the best quarter, who make the same amount of money over a year can see unemployment benefits vary by 15% or more if one individual's last employer paid every two weeks which means there are quarters 7 paydays, or if they are paid on a regular monthly or bi-monthly schedule. My last employer paid me every other Thursday, so idiosyncracy in my favor, but this is still unjust.

This is why I stopped looking for part-time jobs: the rules regarding unemployment benefits to keep you afloat since the part-time jobs SIMPLY DO NOT PAY ALL THE BILLS are so convoluted that my benefits froze up each time I had a part-time job. I had a part-time job work me for 4 hours one work week, and because of it my entire benefits for TWO WEEKS got held up. I only now last week got my benefits unfrozen after my getting laid off from Census work.

Anyone who thinks we unemployed are just treating this like a paid vacation need to live on $250 a week - with constant threat of losing even THAT meager amount - and see how they like it.

Anyone who thinks we unemployed are just treating this like a paid vacation need to live on $250 a week - with constant threat of losing even THAT meager amount - and see how they like it.

Pretty much.

In particular, give it a go in Manhattan and let me know how that's workin out for ya!

Paul, my Census job ends in 4 to 6 weeks.

I can't wait to be unemployed, given the economy and the wonderful way our country works. It's going to be a cakewalk, without the cake, except for the symbolic cake a good bunch of the culture claims to let me (and them) eat.

The taxpayer side of me hopes I get run over by a bus, to save money. The Republican side of me hopes the accident is quickly fatal to avoid overcrowding at the emergency room and later government expense, not to mention the attendant perverse incentives of human spoilage, and moral refudiation.

My medical insurance provider is counting on the accident happening a day after I lose my medical insurance or the day before they aren't permitted to cancel my insurance, should I be able to keep it, whichever comes first.

Not that I blame them much, given that the way things are purposely designed, I'd take a job in their claims department at this point and rescind my neighbors' insurance right and left, just to survive.

That's called being blessed in the latter days of 21st century America. Not to mention the bonuses -- perhaps a toaster or a gift certificate.

The poor sod at the unemployment comp office, whose supervisor just leaned over and whispered "Deny all questionable claims for any reason or technicality, because the State Constitution requires a balanced budget, and the Tea Party is pressuring the Federal Government to stop wasting money (meaning: abolish the joint)", just developed a dour bean-counter's look on his/her face (on behalf of the taxpayer part of me) as I walked through the door.

Now, I have decent savings and I hope I find a job. But the savings are mostly of the retirement variety and, at my age (which is pretty impressive given my immaturity), drawing down retirement savings to any extent poses the spector of catastrophe later, when catastrophe and feebleness combine to equal death, which any actuary recently laid off from Philip Morris will tell you is cheaper for society.

I'd like to say we're all in this together, but the Zeitgeist of the country is telling us we're on our own.

Good luck to all of you.

Phyllis Schafly believes all of us are well on our way to being unmarried women.

Make that unmarried "black" women.

When Schafly and ilk clarify, you always know who's going to appear more clarly in the explanation.

I hope Kevbin Drum won't mind the extended quotre from his blog:

"This comes the same day as Delaware congressional candidate Michele Rollins (R) insisting that helping struggling families get by after a job loss encourages the unemployed to "do nothing for a very long time."

I'm probably missing some, but it seems like the "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus is getting to be pretty big. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) dismissed jobless aid as money that offers "a disincentive" to getting a job, a sentiment endorsed by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R).

Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) compared the unemployed to "hobos"; Nevada's Sharron Angle blasted the unemployed as "spoiled"; Wisconsin's Ron Johnson said those without jobs won't look until their benefits run out; Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett said the unemployed choose not to work because of the benefits; and Kentucky's Rand Paul thinks it's time to cut off aid, whether it's paid for or not, because, "In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We're up to two years now in America."

GOP media personality Ben Stein went so far as to characterize those out of work as having "poor work habits and poor personalities."

Well...I hope the Democrats uswe some of those quotes in campaign ads.

I hope the Democrats do that, too, Wonkie.

I fully expect that to be a losing message, however.

There's something sadistic going on, a joy in the face of suffering. A pulling off of wings. A bullying at the high school locker with a roughly three-to-one ratio of bastards vrs the meek just trying to get to the next class.

I expect it to end very badly.

Sebastian - IIRC, you live in Seattle. If your friend does also, I highly recommend he contact the Unemployment Law Project. It's a public interest law firm that will, for very little money, represent people who are appealing those kinds of decisions.

I ran into a situation last year when I quit a PT job because I had a job offer, or thought I did, for a FT job in my field. The job offer was rescinded, the State of Washington said I was therefore a "voluntary quit," and stopped my unemployment benefits. The good folks at the ULP got them re-started, with back benefits.

Here's a link:

I don't know if they can help your friend, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck to your friend, Sebastian, I hope things take a better turn for him.

I thought Seb was in Cali?

Could my vague almost recollection be wrong?


GOP media personality Ben Stein went so far as to characterize those out of work as having "poor work habits and poor personalities."

And they're lousy at job interviews.

I'm in California. But I've contacted the Washington group to see if they know of a similar California group.

Thanks for the lead, CaseyL. I hope it pans out.

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