It’s been almost 3 months to the day that I left my job in the city. I’ve spent most of that time fighting with the New York State Department of Labor.
Filing for unemployment is one of the biggest hassles on earth. Oh not the actual question/answer filing part, it’s the aftermath that kills you. After I filed for unemployment I was sitting pretty, waiting for the first day that I could call and claim my benefits. During that waiting period I received a call from Albany asking me to clarify my address because they’d had mail returned to them. They called to tell me this on October 23rd. October 23rd. So for 20 minutes on my wedding day I sat on hold, waiting to correct my address so I could get my freaking unemployment, only to be cut off. Juuuuust great. I still called to claim my benefits (from my honeymoon in Key West no less) and figured I could sort everything out when I got home.
Back in my new apartment I had 3 letters from NY State. 2 questionnaires that needed to be returned w/in 7 days (despite the fact that one of the questionnaires actually said it needed to be returned w/in 21 days). The return date? October 23–the day Albany called to tell me they didn’t even have a correct address for me. And the third letter? Oh, that was the letter denying my benefits. The determination: that I left my job “without good cause” even though I was now living over 100 miles from my previous place of employment.
So I spent a few weeks cussing out all things government related and sent in my request for a hearing. So while I waited to hear about my hearing I kept calling each week to claim my benefits. And then the letter came. The letter that said that the Commissioner of Labor had withdrawn the determination in my case pending further fact finding and that should the contested determinations be reissued, a new hearing would be scheduled.
A new hearing? I didn’t have an old hearing. So what the hell? Do I have benefits? Do I have a hearing? What the hell?
And then I was faced with the obnoxious task of calling the Dept. of Labor. After typing in my social and my PIN, I spend minutes going round and round pressing 1 for English and 9 for the menu and 4 to ask a question and 3 to ask a question. As I sit and listen and wait to press whatever number for whatever option I want I hear them say things like “if you have forgotten your PIN, please press 3” and I wonder how in the hell those people managed to even get to that option. And it doesn’t matter what the wait time is when you call. Please hold, your wait time is approximately 20 minutes? Great, you’ll sit for 20. Please hold, your wait time is 5 minutes or less? GREAT, you’ll still sit for 20.
So this morning, after going round and round and calling 3 different numbers this morning. And I heard that the letter I had received wasn’t even on file. And I heard that my claim AND hearing request were denied. And then I heard that they can’t actually deny a hearing, simply delay it. So I should be hearing about my hearing (and I apologize for the awkward phrasing there) in 4-5 weeks. And in 4-5 weeks I could very well be employed.
But let me just say this. There is no way that I’m missing out on the thousands of dollars I should have been getting from NY state. Because seriously NY state? You need to get your shit together.