My Telephone Hearing lasted 17 minutes.
That’s 17 minutes of hands shaking, heart in my throat, shallow breathing, and raw nerves. It was the longest 17-minute phone call of my life. And…I don’t think it’s over just yet.
I got an email last night that seems to be saying in convoluted legalese that I owe money for the week my severance check arrived, however…I went through this before. Same severance check. Same week. Identical letters. The only exceptions are that THIS letter was sent out last night, and the other was sent back in March. And…I already PAID back that week. The State received this payment already, we just didn’t have a Phone Hearing about it when these events occurred last year.
It’s like smacking your head against a wall, with similar unsatisfying results. I’m supposed to get a letter in the mail this week. Once that occurs, I’ll probably have to make an appeal. It’s not a terrible dollar amount, but when you’ve already paid this bill once…well one would HOPE that right hand talks to left hand once in a while. I only received ONE severance payment. Why am I being penalized for this twice? For the EXACT same week?
The moral of this story? If you ever find yourself in the position of having to collect unemployment, save EVERYTHING. Save your last pay stubs. Save EVERY letter and email from unemployment. Write everything on a calendar. SAVE this calendar. Keep detailed records. It’s been a YEAR since I lost my previous job, a job I’d been at for 15 years. I was released on good terms. I have NEVER had to collect unemployment in my entire life before this time. I never tried to reapply for unemployment. I’m working at a new job. But NONE of this matters. I’m still battling bureaucracy ONE year later!
As a side note: If you’re ever asked to be part of a conference call Telephone Hearing, you’re still asked to raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth, just like anything else court related. This request seemed slightly bizarre as there was no one at home to witness this. For a split second, I thought about not raising my hand. How would anyone know? I’m in my living room. Wearing a Weeping Angel t-shirt. Who’s going to see? But then I thought about one of my former managers. She used to say, “You should smile when you answer the telephone, because even though the customer can’t see the smile, they can hear it.” So yes, I DID raise my right hand…just in case you can hear it. (Also, because I’m a bit rule-obsessed. If someone in authority asks me to raise my hand, I raise my hand.)