Like my post title says. I got fired at the beginning of the pandemic like millions of other Americans. It took months for my unemployment claim to process during which time I used all the credit on my credit card, got all my food from food banks, and was generally just very worried about what was happening in the world.
My claim did eventually process though, and I was retroactively paid put for all the months it took to process. I collected unemployment for over year. I did not work during that time. In the late spring of this year I recieved a notice that my claim was void and that I owed unemployment $36k.
I spoke with someone at unemployment who said it was weird, but she was basically the equivalent of a customer service rep, not an actual case worker. Her and her boss just told me to file a protest. I filed protests and continued to claim, hoping it would sort itself out and I would be able to collect for the weeks i was claiming, but I didn’t hear anything from anyone.
Over the summer I couldn’t wait anymore, I had maxxed out my credit card once more and Food Banks were less common in my area because the initial unity of getting through the pandemic together had passed. So I got a job and stopped claiming, but the weeks I claimed for, that didn’t get paid out, added up to close to $4k.
I also recieved my first collection letter for the $36k over the summer at which point I took action once more. I was able to get ahold of another customer service rep and they told me my case said that it was in “adjudication” and I just had to wait.
At this point we have to take a detour in the story so that I can explain how another government agency was fucking with me during this same time period, don’t worry its connected. The IRS decided I didn’t pay for college in 2016 (I did) so they kept my 2019 tax refund to cover what I owed them – a tax credit they’d issued me for 2016. I submitted the proper paperwork to correct this issue in September of 2020. It took over half a year to process due to IRS being understaffed. I was awarded in the case and recieved a notice I would recieve what they owed me. I also got a few thousand back in my 2020 tax refund. But I never saw any of the money. My guess is the IRS/Dept of Treasury is obligated to pay my “debt” to the unemployment agency because now I only owe the $30k. BUT NEITHER AGENCY NOTIFIED ME THAT THIS HAPPENED. So I’m left assuming that’s where the 6 or so thousand dollars went but I HAVE NO IDEA, and I was not able to get into contact with anyone at the IRS to find out.
Now my unemployment claim is in deliquincy. I have no idea what to do. I can’t get a hold of anyone at the unemployment agency with any actual decision making power over my case.
In summary, unemployment has taken roughly $6k of my tax refunds from the IRS and owes me roughly another $4k in unpaid unemployment claimed weeks. I don’t know what to do or where to go from here.
Tl;Dr: a state agency and a federal agency are consipiring together to financially cripple me, one of millions of Americans who lost their job because of the pandemic. Shame on me for getting fired?? 🤷
You may find these links helpful:
– [Leaving a Job](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/leaving_job) (resigning, quitting, fired, laid off, etc.)
– [Job Loss Megathread: unemployment resources, state-specific information, and help](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/fkyu8h/job_loss_megathread_unemployment_resources/)
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What is the actual reason that they’re saying that you were ineligible though? I feel like that’s an important part of the story……
It has been quite a while since September 2020, but there’s a slim possibility the IRS is just still really behind. I filled an amended tax return in June 2020 and didn’t get paid until May 2021.
Whatever you do, I would just start using cash and not your bank account.
What’s you credit score and credit card balances?
Call your credit card company and use the word ‘hardship’. I doubt they will extend you more credit but they should forgive the interest. You can ask them to post date the interest forgiveness to when everything began but not sure if they will.
No one is conspiring against you but getting ahold of customer service reps is difficult.
I dealt with unemployment for a period of time during the pandemic the only difference between your story and mine is I was laid off due to the business I worked at permanently closing. Each state has different rules around unemployment but where I’m from you cannot get unemployment if you were fired. You can get it if you were laid off however. Due to the confusion in unemployment and the volume of people applying some people were able to get benefits from other claims like PEUC when they shouldn’t have been aloud to because they were fired. These people have to pay back these debts even though the state aloud them the unemployment. In any other normal scenario with unemployment you wouldn’t have been aloud those benefits because you were fired but because there were so many people applying it was impossible to monitor every submission coming through.
Go to r/unemployment and filter by your state to see if there’s anything you can do but you may be SOL.
TLDR: If you’re fired you may not qualify for unemployment benefits but due to the volume of claims people were able to slip through the cracks.
Some people do get singled out at the unemployment office. Last time I was on unemployment, they made me physically check in every week, with a list of jobs I’d applied to, contacts, cover letters. And this was during the housing market crash. I knew dozens of folks on unemployment at the time, no one else was being squeezed like me. Why exactly I was singled out, no clue.
I’m so sorry. I wonder, are there lawyers that can handle this?
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