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Michigan's State Government at its finest


21 replies to this topic

#1
Iceheart

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Would you like to hear how claiming unemployment benefits in Michigan is going for me? Read on...

 

I filed on March 23, and was immediately approved. But because I was claiming beginning the 24th - a Tuesday - and since the Unemployment system counts a week as from Sunday to Sunday, I had to answer that I quit a job that week. Which threw my case to pending, no payment.

 

I also had to deal with ability assessments, since I had quit for medical reasons. Now, how easy do you think it is to see your doctor about a non-Covid case in the worst days of a pandemic and get them to sign all the forms the government is demanding? I had to turn backflips to get two video appointments, one in April, one in May, and I can prove that none of the paperwork they demanded from my doctor - who was already KINDA BUSY and didn't need this **** either - never actually got processed and attached to my claim. P.S. part of that medical assessment was for mental health, and my depression scores are so bad my doctor is convinced, no matter how many times I tell her I'm not suicidal, that I am definitely suicidal. She desperately wants me to find a therapist and go on more and stronger meds, but I can't without money, so now all this bureaucracy is actually negatively impacting my health, making me go against doctor's orders, and if you believe my doctor has created a life-threatening situation (just to clarify, I'M NOT SUICIDAL, but the disconnect of my doctor being crazy worried for me and the government not caring about my well-being in the least has been something).

 

So, I went through multiple denials and multiple disputes until I finally got a phone hearing with a judge on 6/11. I learned something rather disturbing from the judge. I quit for medical reasons and am seeking disability, which is a process that takes months if not years. Now, despite a couple of periods of unemployment that were not at all my fault, I've been a very steady, reliable, productive employee since I started my career. You'd think that Unemployment Insurance is something that you earned to act as a lifeline between sources of income. Oh no, it's definitely a lifeline between jobs. If you can't work full time anymore, you don't qualify for unemployment.

 

Thankfully, I had a great judge who ruled in my favor, on the grounds that if I had a full-time job that fully accommodated my disability like the one that let me go in 2019, I could definitely work full-time, which is true (I miss that job more than anything. And not being able to move on from it in a year and a half now has NOT been easy). Thankfully not just because that means I should, eventually, get the money that's owed to me, but also because if your disability was not directly caused by your job, you'll find yourself in a position where you can't work and there's zero financial assistance available though the state. Could you imagine if I lived completely alone, like most people my age and in my situation? Hey, you know, if I were married and my husband was still working we could probably get by, but I don't have a husband, and I've lost the ability to work full time without very special circumstances involved, so how am I supposed to feed and house myself? The only people eligible for any kind of assistance in my state are mothers of children under 18, and people with disabilities over the age of 65. I'm just expected to die already.

 

Anyway, I've been approved to receive my unemployment benefits since 6/17, but still haven't seen them a whole month later, because now they want me to verify my identity. I got a letter in the mail about this last week, and went to the UI website to submit my documents. I was sent the letter, but no one activated the online form on my portal, and since I had a tight deadline I followed the "return via mail" instructions. This was a week ago, and I mailed my form promptly and at the branch of the post office that hosts the agency's PO box. They still haven't processed it.

 

So, I go to submit again, since they finally activated the online form on my portal, but since I was required to send the letter they sent me back with the appropriate information to submit by mail, when I got to the part where they asked for the verification number at the top of the letter they sent me, I didn't have that information because I mailed it back to them already. Which means that I have been approved for benefits since 6/17, but I won't have them paid until sometime in August at the earliest, since qualification is every two weeks, and they hadn't gotten to my case yet this round.

 

Yes, I will have gone 4 full months without any source of income by the time I finally see my first unemployment payment, if I ever see a payment, which at this time I still doubt.

 

And yes, I have been spending the morning screaming and crying about this, and being told that I'm being immature about this and making the dog bark and need to stop. And I still can't afford the treatment and medication that would make all of this less traumatic.

 

Now you may be wondering why, in all of this, I've talked to a doctor and a judge, but never a UI agent. That's because I have absolutely zero access to any of them. Calls and online chats get dropped, emails are ignored, and while the Secretary of State has reopened for appointments, UI has not. I have zero help or recourse. I just have to keep waiting.

 

So, that's the kind of fun me and half of the people who applied for unemployment at the beginning of the pandemic have been having these past four months. It's a great thing knowing through personal experience that the government I elected and pay for their services with my mandatory tax dollars literally does not care about me and will not help me if I need it.



#2
Brando

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Im sorry to hear about this. I lost a job a few years ago due to medical issues, but I was lucky enough to be fired. There was a dispute about whether or not I was fired with cause, but the company never responded for the request for information so their appeal was denied and I got my full unemployment. But I also had to be available for work every week in order to qualify, and you had to make at least two contacts each week. Which is super hard when youre off work for medical reasons, but I kept applying for jobs I knew I wouldnt get, but I was technically qualified for, until I finally found something good.

I really hope things getter better soon. Unemployment is stressful even when things are going well.

#3
Iceheart

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Thanks. Yeah, that's one small blessing about dealing with all of this in a pandemic, no one expects anyone to be looking for anything, so they've taken the job report part right off the claim form.

 

It's so humane of them, isn't it, to have no safety net for people who become seriously ill that actually gives them a chance to fully recover?



#4
Brando

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The sick should go ahead and die and decrease the surplus population. At least those without money.



#5
Zathras

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Where I live, if you quit your job, you can't claim unemployment.   You have to be fired, furloughed, or laid off. Gotta love right to work states.



#6
Iceheart

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I'm a special case, because I quit due to medical reasons. Michigan is a Right to Work state, too.



#7
Zathras

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Former world capital of auto manufacturing is right to work? Now that, I didn't know.  

 

Sorry to hear about the medical reason.  Hope things get better for you.



#8
Cerina

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Good grief. I mean, I knew all of this already, but Jesus Christ seeing it all in one place is something else. 

Have you tried contacting any representatives or anything about it? My sister's husband got mad about her unemployment not going through (and they DO NOT need it AT ALL, he was just sick of the bureaucracy of it all), so he contacted like...ever elected official they have, and she had a check the next week. 



#9
Iceheart

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Good grief. I mean, I knew all of this already, but Jesus Christ seeing it all in one place is something else. 

Have you tried contacting any representatives or anything about it? My sister's husband got mad about her unemployment not going through (and they DO NOT need it AT ALL, he was just sick of the bureaucracy of it all), so he contacted like...ever elected official they have, and she had a check the next week. 

 

Yeah, and you know what happened before all this, too. I think it's safe to say I've had an extended run of bad luck.

 

All but one, including the governor, and I just get form letters back. I also wrote to the local news's "problem solvers" team, nada.

 

They did just announce on the news last night that the state hired on Deloitte to help with the backlog. Uh, cool. You couldn't have done that in early April? But hopefully that means my payment gets authorized soon. I've now submitted the requested documents three ways.

 

Former world capital of auto manufacturing is right to work? Now that, I didn't know.  

 

Sorry to hear about the medical reason.  Hope things get better for you.

As of 2012, thanks Rick Snyder. He's also the guy responsible for the Flint Water Crisis, and the guy who could have made UI reforms after the 2008 recession but just didn't, and that's why we're here today. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's the guy who throttled cash assistance programs, either.

 

And, thanks.



#10
Brando

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If possible, go to your state reps office. They might brush you off, but I've found that's more likely to get you help.

 

Source: government bureaucrat


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#11
Iceheart

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He was the last one. I emailed this morning. We'll see what happens, I guess.



#12
Brando

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In Ohio, theyre the most likely to get you help. Although I got help from my US rep when I needed it.

#13
Iceheart

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I emailed my US rep about a month ago, and got a letter back saying "state's problem, not mine." Not like my US rep has ever done anything useful.



#14
Cerina

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I know my state rep personally. I kinda wish I had a reason to contact him for something. So far, knowing him hasn't given me anything akin to bragging rights or special favors. Such a waste. 



#15
Brando

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Yeah, unemployment is state, which is why I said to go to the State Rep.

Although our US rep is a big Democrat (Joyce Beatty) so she was more helpful. I was trying to get Medicaid after I got fired and was down to one pill for meds that I have to take daily that cost hundreds of dollars without insurance. I got a personal phone call from someone in the Medicaid office and had coverage the same day.

#16
Cerina

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Hey do you want us to start writing more emails and letters on your behalf? I literally don't have much else to do right now. I'm almost done planning out all of our stuff for next school year. 



#17
Iceheart

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Yeah, unemployment is state, which is why I said to go to the State Rep.

Although our US rep is a big Democrat (Joyce Beatty) so she was more helpful. I was trying to get Medicaid after I got fired and was down to one pill for meds that I have to take daily that cost hundreds of dollars without insurance. I got a personal phone call from someone in the Medicaid office and had coverage the same day.

Yeahhhhh, I live in the same voting district as Betsy DeVos. Not only is my US rep a hardcore Republican, he's a huge prick to boot. I've never had to contact my state rep before, but he's a hardcore Republican, too, so I doubt he'll be at all helpful.



#18
Iceheart

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Hey do you want us to start writing more emails and letters on your behalf? I literally don't have much else to do right now. I'm almost done planning out all of our stuff for next school year. 

 

I don't know if it would do much at this point. I'm almost at the end of this (I hope). And the Republicans you'd write to don't give a rat's ass about the poor, so...

 

I do appreciate the offer. I may take you up on it if I don't have my money the next time I claim if they still won't pay out.
 



#19
Ms. Spam

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The stress levels people feel at this time just from trying to get unemployment is terrible. A lot of parents at my school are on the verge of being homeless. The state passed a freeze on evictions but that lifts on September 1 and if you don't have the money to pay back rent I am pretty sure they're going to boot a lot of my parents and their kids out of their homes. My Dad actually helped in GA with unemployment computers because they were still running on old programs in COBOL and that's what is causing the lag and issues in that state. So he helped upgrade and get them to faster running computer systems to get benefits through faster. 

 

I am so sorry you are going through this. All I can offer is a giant hug. I wish I could be more helpful.



#20
Iceheart

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Jesus. That's my one bright light in all of this, I live communally with my family, we're not in any danger of losing the house or running out of food any time soon. ****. The reason I'm the sole homeowner is because we just narrowly missed losing the house back in 2015 when my parents declared bankruptcy. I didn't have a period for six months, it was so stressful. Having to deal with that AND parent children AND in the middle of a pandemic. ****.



#21
Iceheart

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Just as I suspected, Rick Snyder is indeed the cause of all my woes here: https://www.bridgemi...ng-all-too-well

#22
Iceheart

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Just certified again. Nothing. This means I'll get the money I'm owed in the middle of August at the earliest.

 

Been talking with one of my state rep's staffers. He hasn't seemed to make any progress.

 

I had him look into other state programs that might be able to help me. He offered me food stamps. I'm ineligible because I live with too many people who aren't my dependents. I asked him how I'm supposed to pay my mortgage with no income and no unemployment (as food stamps don't cover that), he had no response. I asked if there was some kind of gap assistance between when unemployment runs out (if I ever get it in the first place) and the potentially YEARS before I could win my disability case, seeing as how no employer is going to want to hire someone who requires serious accommodation when they have 200 other applicants who are able-bodied and are equally as qualified for the position, again, no answer.

 

So, yeah, that's how it's going.





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