Why I’m not smart enough to get unemployment

I’ve never had to file for unemployment, but I figure I’ve paid into the system for 25 years (yes, I am getting old) and I’m entitled to the benefits like everyone else while I search for a job. I figured it would be a lot of paperwork because I’d be dealing with bureaucratic bullshit, but I’m a two-time college grad that has run a business before so I knew I could handle it. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that I’m probably not intelligent enough to qualify because I seem to be making dumb mistakes that are impeding my chances of ever getting a check.

Mistake #1: When asked the reason for my separation, I checked the box marked “discharged.” Since I was fired the week before, I thought that was the right choice. It’s not. The correct answer was “laid off.”  I now have a slew of paperwork to fill out due to this fatal error.

Mistake #2: I followed the detailed instructions in the manual I was sent to file online. So I did. Apparently, I can’t read. I checked a “no” box when the answer should have been “yes.” Guess what? More paperwork.

Apparently, it helps to read the questions thoroughly and if confused guess the answer that won’t trigger a letter.

Mistake #3: At the same time as the boo-boo above, I answered another question wrong. It asked me if I had worked in the week claimed. I answered “no” because I didn’t. When I was terminated, I was told THAT was my last day however my former employer had to legally pay me through the 15th. Stupid me to listen to a written statement over the phone instead of reading a separation agreement that I sent directly to my attorney to review. So, I got a letter in the mail telling me to call a number immediately to resolve the discrepancy.

Following directions, I called the number. Went through all the system prompts and it hung up on my twice. The third time the automated system was kind enough to tell me that it “had too many calls and would hang up on me” (at least it gave me fair warning. Then it told me to call back Wednesday-Friday when there’s less traffic. Okay, will do.

Finally, I got a form letter on Friday giving me a four-hour window that I have to be available for an interview. Since I can’t seem to read and check boxes like a crazy person, I’m more than happy to block off the time to speak to a live person and explain that I”m an idiot (I am slightly confused as well since I’m supposed to be spending all my time finding a job to qualify for unemployment in the first place).  But first, I must fill out the pile of paperwork sitting here on the desk, attempt to file correctly for the past week and pray that I’m smart enough to at least do that right.

About debcb

All Deb wanted to do was work, until she had Rosie. For the past decade, she's juggled a full-time career, high-profile volunteer work and mommyhood.


  1. Jennie - fibromom says:

    You would have to wonder if the system isn’t set up to keep people from actually filing for unemployment and getting much needed benefits. I am sure you are one of many that has a hard time with the process.
    Hope you get everything worked out soon.

  2. I followed you from your BlogKC post today…. been randomly wandering thru the blog – funny stuff. 🙂 I don’t recall what I did wrong 4 yrs ago when I filed (following similar – I’ve paid into this forever train of thought)…. but after they finally called me (you couldn’t get thru 4 yrs ago & it always hung up on you then too – KS seriously fix your system) I found out that my interpretation of the question was flawed & that it had to go in front of a judge to be handled… I just wanted to throw in the towel but am pretty sure that would have been viewed poorly.

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