Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Michigan Unemployment - An Unorganized Nightmare

Whew - As I write this I am exhausted. Exhausted from phone calls; I leave messages that are never returned, I wait on hold for up to 15 minutes only to be hung up on by the overloaded automated system, I race my speed dial against busy signals.

You see, I am registered for classes at the local college. Its probably my only chance of getting a decent job in this town. Yet the system seems to be working against me. If I don't get an appointment with Michigan Works to get a training waiver, as I understand it, I could lose my benefits. I got this information from forums, blogs and news articles as the Unemployment agency doesn't state anything about the procedures or consequences anywhere. It only states that I must get the waiver.

When I first filed for unemployment I was registered for classes. They Unemployment system told me I needed documentation from the school stating I could drop my classes to accept work. I promptly obtained that and took it to the unemployment office....waited 40 minutes to be told I have to go to a Michigan Works office. I waited in line there to get a piece of paper telling me to get my proof of registration and class schedule then call the number provided to obtain an appointment.

After leaving messages for a week without one return phone call, I finally hit every extension available to get a hold of a human being. I cant get an appointment until two weeks after my classes start. "How will this effect my benefits?" I ask. They don't know, call the unemployment agency. After trying to get through for an hour I give up. I will be up early in the morning to drive to the office.

I have little hope that they will be able to help me. I've been to the office. I've heard how they respond to people. Sometimes there are no answers, sometimes I am given numbers to call...always leading to a dead end.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger birdie said...

bravo for writing this. maybe others will do a Google search from the end of the rope they're on, and be encouraged as I am, that we're all in this together. as much as it may all suck. hang in there!

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

I am The assistant editor with I really liked your site and I am interested in building a relationship with your site. We want to spread public awareness. I hope you can help me out. Your site is a very useful resource.

Please email me back with your URl in subject line to take a step ahead and to avoid spam.

Thank you,

At 12:06 PM, Blogger said...

thank you for bringing this problem to light. i have encountered the same unanswered messages and nobody knowing the answer to your question. i have recently been informed that after a few short months of unemployment, the state of michigan has decided that i am ineligible and have to pay every penny back. Were talking thousands of dollars here. i did not misrepresent any information, and i did not take the unemployment to be a loan, but assistance. I paid my rent with it. i will most likely go to jail (even with selling all my posessions and possibly even my virtue i will not have enough to pay the thousands of dollars i supposedly owe. Where do you find thousands of dollars when you Have No Job!) I guess the kind of "assistance" you receive from this state is not worth the ridiculous amount of time you have to use to fight for it, and will inevitably come back to bite you. Anyone else wish that they lived in Florida right now?

At 8:30 AM, Blogger i-leaf-evan said...

I have a similar situation. I'm curious as to how your situation turned out. I've been on the waiting list for No Worker Left Behind since Feb 2009. MW doesn't return calls or emails. They finally wrote back just to say that I'm still on the list.

I've just paid off a defaulted student loan that's been haunting me. Now I can go to school the "regular" way via financial aid. I have a few months of unemployment left and am trying to get a waiver. Any advice you can give would be appreciated!

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Larry said...

Hi I just finished my first semester of school. I was lucky i guess. I called UIA and told them I would be attending school for the summer semster. The lady on the other end of phone told me I would need a letter that my class was ajustable from my instructor. I received this letter then went to the Michigan Works in southgate and set up a appointment for a school waiver which was the next week. That day they gave me a list of information I would need to complete my waiver. The information included school schedule, proof of registration, and if the job was the michigan job list for high demand. you have to go to a website and print this info off. Also you have to give them a course description. Once all the paper work was in order I submitted on the day of my appointment for my waiver. Michigan works faxed the paper work to the UIA and I was approved in less then 2weeks.

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At 12:26 AM, Blogger whitneyautumna said...

Just reading this post made me think about the experience I had trying to get into the "No Worker Left Behind" program in 2009. I was on unemployment and I know I need to go to college to better my education for my resume to actually get a job around here, and so I tried, very hard but I ended up giving up. I went to the first group meeting for "No Worker Left Behind", I was then given a packet of information and was given a business card to contact someone to take the next step in the process, I also had to fill out some information right then and there so they would know I went to the first meeting already.

I called the number on the business card, very excited at this point because I wanted to go to school for an Accounting degree and its in high demand for my area in Michigan which is great. Someone answered the phone stating they were the assistant to the name on the business card and I explained how I went to the first meeting and was now looking to start the process and sit one-on-one with someone to get the paper work going. The assistant told me I had to go to ANOTHER meeting, so I believed him and I went, however it was the EXACT same meeting I went to the first time. While there I explained to the instructor what happened and he gave me his business card and advised that I call but also stated that "No Worker Left Behind" was changing and that I probably wouldn't get into the program because he believed the program was coming to an end. Which killed all my hope, seeing as how he was the ONLY person I could talk to since the other numbers I had just kept demanding I go to a meeting.

In the end I gave up and luckily found a temp job but that ended and I'm back on unemployment. I want to go to school but honestly, I don't know if I'll even try since I had such a bad experience and so have a lot of other people.

Why can't they just have us prove we're taking classes via a letter from the school and then sign a waiver and be done with it? If we're going to school we're obviously trying to better our selves. I thought they wanted to better Michigan and the job environment, how is withholding schooling from the unemployed helping anything when the jobs now-a-days (that aren't temporary) required some form of schooling? Half the time jobs are demanding an associates degree in ANYTHING. The companies don't even care what your degree is in or if it has relevance to the job your applying for, they just demand that you have an associates degree in something other wise they will not even consider you for the position. What has this world come to?

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