For those that don’t know, I’ve been unemployed going on four weeks now. Like I tell everyone, the first week is pretty cool, but after that, being home gets boring, and unemployment turns into a personal and psychological whippin’.
I have been doing contract work for nearly two years now, so it’s the nature of my business to be laid off after a project is complete. There’s always the uncertainty of where future work will come from, but I’ve been fortunate to have reasonably steady work. I’m out of a job, but hey — the economy’s bad, life goes on, I’ll live to fight another day, blah blah blah. Besides, at least I’ll have some Unemployment Insurance Benefits to help tide me over in the meantime. Right?
I received a letter in the mail yesterday proclaiming I was ineligible for Unemployment Insurance, because my employer had indicated I quit my job rather than being laid-off. Functionally, this isn’t true, but there were some mix-ups between me, my recruiter, and corporate about my “availability status” for future employment. Unfortunately to this point, this mix-up hasn’t worked in my favor.
Nothing Comes Easy
I thought I was up a creek, but spoke with my recruiter today. She told me corporate wishes to drop their protest of my Unemployment Insurance claim. Great! So I followed up with my state’s Unemployment Department, and found that since an initial determination had already been made, I would have to formally file an appeal. Great (no exclamation point this time). My employer now agrees with me that I didn’t quit my job, but was laid-off; unfortunately I still have to file an appeal and hope all sides (state, corporate) continue to cooperate. Such is the roller coaster we call life. Lucky for us, we’ve been both fortunate & proactive about setting aside some money for times of unemployment. Thanks to a hefty emergency fund, we’ll be okay. I’m not gonna lie though, $400/week in unemployment would sure ease our burdens – it’s nothing to slouch at and fills a huge hole in our monthly budget. I’m glad it’s there, but I’ll be happy if I never have to use it again.. that is, if I’m approved to use it at all.
What’s Your Story?
In this economic environment, there have been numerous unemployment horror stories. What’s yours? Were you denied coverage, or just been out of work for a while? What helped you work through the transitional period?