Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Have you ever been on unemployment? Believe me, it's government take over. Of your life! Our heads are spinning.

It all started when Don found out more about the mentally challenged individual he was set to work with. Turns out, the man displays behaviors that are too much like Daniel's. Don worried that he wouldn't be able to handle a steady diet of that at home and at work, so he turned down the employment. It didn't pay benefits, and the pay was far less than what he previously had. All those factors contributed to his decision, as well as concern for the client having to adjust to another caregiver, should Don not be able to handle the situation.

In the meantime, we received correspondence from employment, including a vaguely written pamphlet that introduces you to the system. It HINTS at scary things, like what actions might result in your benefits being taken away, or stopped. Turns out, you can't turn down employment, unless it is for "just cause" and follows Ohio law. However, the "law" is never explained, other than suggesting that you can turn down employment if you are not qualified for it, or it infringes on your morals.

So of course, upon reading this, we felt like hyperventilating. I called to ask some clarification questions about several vague areas in the pamphlet. For example, you have to apply for at least two jobs per week in your area, or you will have to give up your benefits. I was told Don should be careful what he applies for, because if he turns work down, he could lose his benefits. Agencies can contact them with lists of people who turn down work. So I asked what would happen if there weren't two suitable jobs posted in his area in a given week, and he ends up with only one contact for that week. "Then his benefits would be stopped. He has to have at least two contacts a week", responded the attendant.

I indicated that we had an ADHD son and my husband didn't want a job that would include work with someone who displayed the same behaviors. I asked her what we should do if that comes up, given that you don't know who you will work with until after you are offered the job. She indicated that you are sent paperwork to fill out about why you turned down employment, and they process it and decide if your reason has merit, and follows Ohio law.

So, you can't apply for low-paying jobs, or jobs without benefits, if you aren't prepared to take them. But, if you don't find at least two jobs posted for a given week, you are forced to apply for low-paying jobs, in hopes you won't be offered them. Yikes! Is your head spinning like mine? Or, can you get around that scenario by applying for a job you aren't qualified for, just so you can meet your two-contact commitment, and so you'll have a legitimate reason to turn work down (not qualified). The whole thing makes us feel like criminals, even though we fully intend on following it to the letter, whatever the consequences. Just calling to ask questions makes us fear they are going to trace our phone call and accuse us of cheating. I know many people do, so they have to be careful, but as Don said today, "I'd rather work an eighty-hour week then deal with these people and their system!"

Another question I had this week was about Don's surgery. He was supposed to be back to normal within a few days, but that didn't end up being the case. So we figured he just shouldn't apply for this week, since he wasn't "able to work" for a few days. They asked when the surgery was, and I told them last Friday. And then the attendant said, "Then he wasn't able to work last week either!" I said he certainly would have postponed the surgery if he had obtained work. But she retorted that they could have called him for a job that week, and he wouldn't have been available that day. So now we have to call back and tell them to take back last week's benefits, because of the surgery on Friday. We didn't even know they sent people out on jobs!

So now we are hyperventilating over the fact that if we don't apply for benefits for last week or this week (due to surgery), and then they receive word from the disabled client-care agency that Don turned down work, they are going to think we told a lie about the surgery, just so we wouldn't have to give our reason for turning down employment this week. Can you see what a mess government involvement is? I now completely sympathize with the banks who received a bailout. I'm sure they're pulling their hair out and drowning in regret.

Don kept trying to call all day to tell them they needed to stop action on last week's benefits, because he had surgery on Friday. He kept getting the "high call volume - call back later" recording, and then at 4 o'clock, he got the "we're closed" recording.

Interesting, God, what you have us going through. Feeling how oppressive government is makes me fear all the more for our country. Our president is governing "to the left of Sweden and France". Not a good scenario.


Liz said...

I'm praying that the perfect opportunity will open up for your husband.

Evenspor said...

My father-in-law recently filed for unemployment. He's been working as an independant consultant for the last year or two, but he can no longer find anyone who wants to pay for his services. They told him he doesn't qualify for unemployment because he is self-employed. Even though he is not making any money.

So I know what you mean about it being a frustrating system.