The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

It takes a computer genius to figure out unemployment benefits, or an idiot...

Do you remember all the stories of people who make a career out of collecting unemployment benefits? There is absolute essential truth to that concept but it is not what you think.

I qualify for a whopping $350 a month in unemployment benefits. At this time I have collected ZERO ($0). I have spent an inordinate amount of time online and on the phone. Phone time consists of listening to a busy signal to the main exchange and then getting disconnected. Sometimes I make it past the main exchange and then get the inside busy signal and then I get disconnected.

Things started off promising. The State of Oregon had a kind of clunkly webpage without a lot of graphics and a bare bones type reporting system. After filling out the online question boxes I was able to log in and get started. 

I even got a call from a nice lady who said she was an abjudicator and was handling my case. She was very helpful. But things soon started going wrong.

I was supposed to go to a WorkSource Oregon location and prove my identity. However, I found where I could do it online and I attempted that. I chose the online method, as it said in the instructions that, I needed to make an appointment with WorkSource Oregon and I was supposed to use a toll free number. The number didn't work. The other magic number, (877) 345-3484 might as well be disconnected as it is always busy.

My mistake was silly and simple. I had to go in to my local WorkSource Oregon and speak to a live person. I assumed that if the phones were busy there would be a five hour line at the live location. 

I knew I had to get this all done before March first because the State was switching to a new system called FrancesOnline March 1, 2024. This new system would be better and the phone numbers would all be fixed.

March first I was locked out. I could no longer report my job searches, my password and identity got me into a dead end loop and I did not get my letter to prove I was real. (Note: All I had to do was go to the Worksource Oregon physical location) 

Since the phones do not work I had to send in messages. The message system is pretty ineffective. You ask a question and are given an id number. This number has to be in the subject line of all messages. You cannot establish an email chain. You are not given a contact number for any one person. But, the messages are all signed by the same first name.

My adjudicator lady can view my file I am not sure she cannot act on anything. My message lady can view my file but she can't talk to me. I had to wait for letters through the US Postal Service to verify my identity so I could log in.

Finally, last week I was able to sign in. I was able to report last week's job search, but not the previous two weeks. I thought one out of three was ok. It was promptly declined.

So I called my abjudicator. She was very helpful but she said I had to get myself into the WorkSource Oregon physical location and register. So I did.

It wasn't bad. There was no line. I used their computer to step up another profile that is supposedly linked to the other profile. Then I had an interview with a nice guy who is giving me help with my resume and options for retraining. 

I may be able to get a certificate in Sports turf management from one of the OSU's (Ohio State has a better program for sports but Oregon State may be better for me due to the agriculture side of things). I probably should get a Welding Certificate, or HVAC, or Accounting. I can't make decisions. 

Today I spent hours trying to get everything from two days ago to work. Layers upon layers. After spending hours trying to get things moving and another hour redialing the helpline I called my nice lady again. 

She called me back after lunch and explained everything to me. I was not wrong, only mildly confused. I had filled out the proper questions and it would just take a few days to update. Plus, I was a week ahead on my reporting so all is well.

It is amazing when you can talk to a live person...

Have a nice day!

1 comment:

  1. Every system (and government agency) should have a 'friendly lady.' We could write a bot for that.


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