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Old 10-03-2012, 02:40 AM
 
113 posts, read 191,607 times
Reputation: 69

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Hopefully I can get a little piece of mind. I've been a lurker here for a while now and thought maybe I could find an answer to a situation by finally joining and posting. Sorry this is going to be a little long.

I never wanted to be on unemployment. After 8 months it became a primary option for financial help while still looking for full time permanent work. My situation is unique. My boss died. My boss was my mother. I was her IHSS provider in California for 9 months while she fought bravely against cancer. It was gut wrenching. From the moment of diagnosis I left my regular job to take care of mom 24/7. Getting paid through the ihss program was like riding a roller coaster which took months with all the paperwork, meeting with an available social worker, going through medical need evaluation, and then scheduling orientations to sign additional papers, give finger prints and watch a video about fraud within the system. You get no pay while your paperwork is being processed. You are at the mercy of your county to provide you with orientation at their convenience. However, once all is cleared and orientation is complete you receive retro pay dating back to the first day you were hired or in our case the date my mother filed to be on the program with a designated worker already chosen.

How I survived financially I really can't explain. It all was a time of pure hell watching my mother die in front of my eye's while every thing around us seemed to crumble. I think I slept about an hour an evening while looming over her. I had no gas money. I borrowed against money that seemed to never come in to get mom back and forth to the dr's and the cancer center. I went into debt unable to pay my own bills. I ached for her and how degrading it must have been for her to have her adult child have to clean her and change her. There was just enough food really for one so I lied and said I'd eaten so she could be nourished with what we had. I was facing funeral and burial expenses. I begged for them to hurry their processing up. Unfortunately the rest of my intermediate family is dead so there was no one we could truly feel comfortable with in asking for help. We held on to one another in complete shock as to what was happening. I met some of the most coldest individuals associated with social services I remain stunned.

Believe it or not my first paycheck came in Sept. it was for April thru Aug of 2011. Almost half a year with no income of my own forced to live off my mothers small income it was awful. Although a welcome to finally be able to pay my own way and catch up on some bills the damage all that created was so numbing I now look back at last year and wonder if it all really happened because it's just too much. I said nothing and just focused on my mother. From Sept to Dec I was paid on time bi monthly. Mom passed in Dec. I can't believe she's gone and what we had to go through in that final chapter of her life.

I'll spare the details of how I've made it this far without being homeless but let's just say you take whatever job is offered to pay the monthly bills. You sell things you never wanted to sell and you budget and pray to a God that you remain infuriated with for allowing things to go just a bit too far. You remain focused and in spite of all the tragedy happening you just breath. I've never had a time to just grieve as I quickly shifted from burying my mother to worrying about taking care of my basic needs so I won't end up on the streets. I knew in advance this would be the next journey I'd have to face. It's like being in a vortex. It's an awful life but I'm gonna make it.

I didn't think it would be this hard to get a full time permanent job but boy was I wrong. The old job was filled. Everything is temporary with little pay. I'm not picky. I'll walk your dog a few times a week if it ends up paying a bill or giving me a little food. I'll answer phones all day and let people cuss me out. I'll dig a ditch or clean a dish. The hardest is the cost to go to interviews where you are in competition with at least 100 others. It's a gamble of losing additional saved money if you don't get the one job being offered. It's very hard to find self worth and confidence when you have everything falling a part around you and you've lost it all. Faking it is very challenging but I do it. The reality is I am quickly needing money to continue on. Flash fwd to me applying for unemployment in Aug of 2012.

As I said I never wanted to be on unemployment. In this case what also concerned me was the fact I was the adult child of my boss. I had been told the IHSS program does not provide UI for certain relative care providers, ( parents, spouses, and minor children ) I assumed although I'm not a minor there would be some clause that included the adult child care provider as well. One day after crying about how hard this all was someone pointed out I may very much qualify for Unemployment after all. Truth is I had paid all my taxes every month which some relative care providers don't and I'd also elected to pay sdi as well. I definitely met the required amounts of wages needed to file as well. After doing some research I found additionally that California Unemployment Code 631 made it clear after the age of 18 the adult child working for a parent was not excluded from UI so I thought since I've hit a wall financially and can't find work I'll apply and not be to hopeful that I'll get it because of some state glitch in regard to the job.

I applied on line. I made it very clear what my job was, what my relationship was with my boss, and of course the reason for losing my job. If there was to be a glitch for being related I wanted it done and over with quickly. I'd accept it. I expected a denial. Next I filled out my base period for each month of wages. Although I didn't get an actual check for the months of April - August I decided to do the math myself based on hourly wage. After adding it all up and allocating each months amounts properly my totals did equal my over all income for the year on my w2. The table of benefits showed that based on my highest earning period I'd be getting 128 a week. Something was better than nothing was my theory and at that point I still was not sure I'd get it. I expected a lot of delays and then a rejection to be real honest. My brief encounter with the county Public Authority for the program was not a pleasant one. She was not my boss but rather hired by the county to administer orientation and be the employer of record for bargaining. The financial horror she caused by all her delays in processing our paperwork still haunts me. I never want to look at this woman again.

So maybe within a week here come all the letters. First the letter showing I'd filed. Who my employer was etc.. the next day came the award of benefits. I was shocked. Based on the way the accounting had been done the retroactive one time pay was designated in it's entirety for the month it was paid rather than break it down for each month it represented thus making my highest earning period significantly higher. The totals were accurate. I did get that amount in a check for wages in Sept. They'd seen my original application breaking each month down so surely they could see the variation. I did some research and asked a few would that be correct? Is retroactive pay considered income in the month in which it's paid or does it need to be disbursed for the months it represents and they said the edd is correct in what they are doing. That one lump sum payment is considered wages for the month it was paid so lucky me if I do get approved for unemployment I will get a much higher weekly benefit. Well, 72 dollars more but to me thats a blessing. Still had huge doubts.

So next up I assumed that evil public authority would stomp all over this filing even though the county does not deal with UI with IHSS the state does but still I assumed I'd get denied for some reason. I anticipated a telephone interview. There was no request for one. Maybe 5 days later I got another letter telling me to look for my edd debit card. The next day the card arrived. I activated it and the first payment was already in there. It's now been three weeks and all payments are coming in with no problems but I'm not sure if I should feel relieved. I'm amazed at the higher amount I'm getting for the way in which they allocated the retro pay but I'll feel destroyed if suddenly they say it was an error. I'm a little afraid to use all this money. You have to understand and I know for some it will sound crazy but for almost a year prior I lived in hell where anything and everything that could happen in a most horrifying way would happen.

So after my drawn out story ( sorry ) here are my questions...

Did EDD properly allocate my wages in regard to the retro pay? Is that larger payment considered income in the month it was received rather than breaking it down for each month it represented? There is no question they got all the amounts off payroll and it's allocated exactly how I was paid that month.

Since I filed breaking down the larger amount to each month I would hope this show's no fault of my own if they've made an error in my benefit amount by claiming the one larger paycheck as income for just the one month.

I'd really like some peace of mind over this. I'd love to feel comfortable using the entire amount but I'm afraid I'll have to give some of it back or worse be accused of pulling fraud and have it all taken. I'd be stunned because I was so honest about every thing when I filed.

Hopefully, someone can give me that peace of mind.

Last edited by cosmic_me; 10-03-2012 at 03:50 AM..
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:22 AM
 
104 posts, read 88,820 times
Reputation: 64
Default You thread

I was going to reply to your article....but it's soooooo long....I now have to take a nap first.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:14 AM
 
113 posts, read 191,607 times
Reputation: 69
I'm sorry. It is way too long. Hopefully someone won't be too annoyed and will be able to answer my questions.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:29 AM
 
104 posts, read 88,820 times
Reputation: 64
Default Life history....

We are here to help....we're not here for your life history.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:51 AM
 
113 posts, read 191,607 times
Reputation: 69
Then please help and answer the question if you can. Is the retroactive pay considered income in the month in which the check was written? Thats how payroll presented it and reported it so that's how EDD reported it. Should EDD have figured out what amounts were earned in each month the way I filed it when applying for unemployment? or should they have left it as it was reported from payroll?

Last edited by cosmic_me; 10-03-2012 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:34 AM
 
4,087 posts, read 4,628,971 times
Reputation: 835
The retro pay shouldn't be an issue. While I don't know the exact wording of CA's laws and regs, AZ's are very clear that for purposes of establishing the wages in the base period, that it's the date the wages were paid, not as earned. To back that up, I received a 1 year bonus that all got dumped into one quarter, and allowed me to receive a higher benefit as well because of the spike.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:56 AM
 
113 posts, read 191,607 times
Reputation: 69
Thank you Chyvan. I feel so stupid for posting that huge first post and thought no one would respond. Your info is very helpful. The CA handbook doesn't address the situation but it appears payroll designated it as income in the month it was paid.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,253 posts, read 18,780,488 times
Reputation: 6803
I've only skimmed your post. It appears you received a lump sum payment which has increased your benefit.

The only issue which might arise here is an unbalanced quarter which might disqualify you from receiving federal extensions (EUC) if total base wages used for this claim do not equal 1.5x the highest quarter or 40x your weekly benefit - after you've exhausted the CA state benefits, of course.

For now, you are fine with the higher state benefit.

If you can post the
  1. quarters/earnings used for this claim,
  2. total monetary award,
  3. weekly benefit,
we can tell you if this claim will qualify for federal extensions - should the legislation be extended into 2013. This information will appear in your monetary determination letter.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:13 PM
 
113 posts, read 191,607 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
I've only skimmed your post. It appears you received a lump sum payment which has increased your benefit.

The only issue which might arise here is an unbalanced quarter which might disqualify you from receiving federal extensions (EUC) if total base wages used for this claim do not equal 1.5x the highest quarter or 40x your weekly benefit - after you've exhausted the CA state benefits, of course.

For now, you are fine with the higher state benefit.

If you can post the
  1. quarters/earnings used for this claim,
  2. total monetary award,
  3. weekly benefit,
we can tell you if this claim will qualify for federal extensions - should the legislation be extended into 2013. This information will appear in your monetary determination letter.
How about I give you the numbers this way...

Base Wage does not equal 1.5x the highest quarter. Base is a little over 800 more than 1.5x the highest quarter. base is a little over 500 when I multiply 40x weekly benefit.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,253 posts, read 18,780,488 times
Reputation: 6803
Well, then, your claim meets both tests and should be eligible for EUC if Congress extends the legislation. (40x, 1.5x are the minimum standards - if base wages equal or exceed that standard in either category, you qualify)
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