For anyone out there who has ever had to deal with the unfortunate situation of filing for unemployment– I have a new-found respect… and empathy… for you.
Let’s see. I started the process on Feb. 1, 2012, and just yesterday received my California Employment Development Department (EDD) debit card– with only 1 of 5 payments posted that I was counting on to help with bills, etc.
This hasn’t been without a fight, though. Approximately 3 weeks ago, I decided that it was probably time for me to find out where I was in the EDD process, seeing as several of the people who were laid off when I was had already begun receiving payments.
Has anyone ever tried to get through to the EDD?? You must call an automated line, and listen through about 8 layers of menu options before you can FINALLY “hit 4 to speak to an operator.” Ohhh… but it doesn’t stop there. That’s when– after you’ve already devoted the last 15 mins of your life to this call– you’re told that “due to high call volume, no one can assist you at this time. GOODBYE.” That’s it. Click. Better luck next time.
Thanks to the wonders of the inter-web, I came across this helpful article that basically said the only way to get through to a live human being is by calling the Vietnamese line.
So, after listening to a foreign language of menu options which sounded like strange grunting sounds to me, and following the advice of those wise ones before me– I was finally able to get through. Only to be told that EDD had never received back all my papers (which I KNOW I sent back, the day I got them!).
Anyways, the nice lady said she’d send me more forms to fill out. A week later, I got those, filled them out, photocopied them and mailed them back together. Another week and a half later, I got a notice that “my first payment had been posted.” Huh? Don’t you mean FIVE payments??
Soooo… I went at the Vietnamese method again to figure out what was up– only to be told that my second form hadn’t been received back.
Me: Um, well, those two forms were IN THE SAME ENVELOPE. So if you’ve processed the first, shouldn’t the second be there, too?
EDD Lady: Uh. Really?
Me: I was instructed to send the two together so you’d get them at the same time.
EDD Lady: I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened. I can send you a new form if you’d like?
Well, since their track record clearly isn’t shaping up to be the best for processing my paper forms, I kindly asked if there were any other way to handle this. The lady said we could do it online… FAIL, that system was down. Then she said we could try the tele-cert method, and she hung on the line with me while I called from my cell phone.
About 15 minutes later, I was given a confirmation number that I had completed the necessary information. That was on Friday, and the lady said I’d have deposit within 48 hours, but there’s still no sign of the money.
Granted, I am very thankful that this safety net is technically there to help me in this time– but at what cost? I think I may go insane soon! Were I not married with someone to support me, I would have missed my rent, car payment, phone and doctors’ bills… it’s a scary thought.
I sure hope that this program sees some changes soon– not only for me, but for those in less-desirable situations that may not grant them the slight flexibility I have.
Good luck out there!