It's been a few very frustrating weeks. Not because of the job situation, although that's been frustrating, but it's the other part of not having a job. Unemployment.
For 5 weeks I have been patiently (see, it can be done!) waiting for my first unemployment check to arrive. I received a notice showing that I can only make XX amount every week not to affect my unemployment and I have been abiding by those rules with my part-time job. So this past Monday I called to find out why I haven't received a check yet.
Turns out there's a "problem" with my claim and only my claim representative - who up until I heard those words I didn't even know I had - can tell me WHAT the problem is and HOW to fix it. No one else is allowed to touch my case.
So now I have my claim rep's name and number, so I call and leave a message. Then another one. Then another one. Two days go by and nothing. Not a peep. So I call a friend who advises me to call my State Representative. So I do. They are looking into it. I'm keeping a log of every call I've made to my rep. I call and leave a message for my rep's boss to let them know my situation. 5 days later and still nothing.
I should hear back from my State Rep's office on Monday, but I'm down to my last few dollars. Rent hasn't been paid for Dec. and "the landlord" is being really nice about it, but it's dragging him down too. We're trying hard not to panic, but what do you do?
The system was put in place for people like me who are hit during a hard time. I don't abuse the system and I wouldn't use it if I didn't need it, but I actually do need it. I'm following all the rules about looking for a job, interviewing, claiming my weekly income from the part-time gig, so why is it so hard for someone like me to get a break from the State?
I know they're overburdened right now and every morning I read the paper and it's just getting worse. I'm sure my story isn't unique. But how hard is it for my claims rep to call me and fix this one problem so I can get a check and pay my rent? And if (and maybe when) I get that first check, it still won't be enough. I will have to postpone my other bills to pay my rent so that I have a roof over my head.
You can see how daunting it can be. I'm trying to keep my head up, but it's hard in a time like this. I just hope that something changes soon.