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Old 03-27-2013, 11:56 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,852 times
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Here are the quick facts.

Laid off March 30th 2011, collected MA unemployment for 26 weeks (roughly $550) a week, moved to NJ during that time and got a part time job in NYC in Q2 2012 (offset unemployment by $150ish a week), applied for extended benefits 11/2/12, MA said that I needed to apply for NY unemployment in order to exhaust any claim I have for part time work, got denied interstate MA NY base period and interstate MA NY alternative base period, MA approved me to federal extended....so that is how it was left at the end of December and I was certifying online to get federal extended, which was about $450 a week.

Well...I needed to call the unemployment # because I missed a week certifying my MA benefits online (like an idiot) and the woman certified me but I never saw the money in my account. Certified the next week and got the, "if you dont see the money someone will contact you". I then got a message from the NY unemployment office to call back.

Long story short I called them and told them I had been certifying through MA for extended benefits. The woman told me even though my other claims didn't go through, my stand alone NY claim went through and I needed to certify 14 weeks that I had been certifying in MA for extended benefits (40 weeks total I have been on unemployment).

Again confused, I said that I have the paper work that said I was denied because in Q2 2012 I made $8000 that MA didn't include in my original unemployment and combining that with my part time work $2100, it makes me ineligible for NY unemployment (I think because it was over $10,000, either way I was denied). The person on the phone goes, "yea, but since we couldn't come up with a rate using the interstate calculation we just used your part time amount, $2,100" and said that I got something in the mail 2 days after my two other denials giving me a breakdown of my benefit amount...in all seriousness I never got that mailing.

...guess what? She told me the NY benefit amount is $114!!!! $2100 in Q2 and $2900 in Q3, meaning that I now owe MA the difference between $114 and $450 for 14 weeks! MA hasn't contacted me yet, but I can expect it pretty soon. I still haven't certified for those 14 in NY either.

Soo yea, not sure what to do, not sure what to argue or if I can even argue anything. The worste part is if I made $8000 instead of $10,000 in Q2 2012 I would have been approved for MA NY Interstate alternative rate at about $440. Basically because I made $2000 more than I should have in Q2 2012, I not only owe $5000, I lose the difference between the benefits for the time I am unemployed. Crazy right?

Is this how it works? They can just throw out wages? The only thing I can think of is to go back and see if my hours are right and I actually made $2100 in Q2 2012. If it is wrong and my total wages for my alternative base period isn't greater than 1.5 times my highest quarter wages ($2900) I would have been denied from the start. Although, even if I did mess up my time card I am not sure how I can go back to my employer and say that I actually worked less than I did...."oh yea, Joe, I actually made $700 less than I wrote down so I am going to need to write you a check and can you retroactively adjust my earnings so I can get new tax forms?"...yea, that sounds realistic...

Any thoughts? Advice? Anything I can do?

One quick side note and no advice needed, but how in the he** am I going to do my taxes? I mean I owe taxes on unemployment I wasn't supposed to receive and now have to pay back.

Last edited by danny12345; 03-28-2013 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,014 posts, read 48,950,871 times
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Yes, this is how it works.

Working part-time immediately after the establishment of a claim causes all sorts of issues with EUC. Interstate claims are worse, because errors are usually NOT uncovered until long after they occur, thus causing you to lose EUC on your first claim and be thrown into no-fault overpayment status. Exactly what happened to you. We have many reports similar to yours on this forum.

First, for anyone reading this, as long as EUC is in place, it is never wise to work until you've exhausted state benefits and begun EUC on a high-paying claim. The states must test for new claim eligibility before moving claimant to EUC. If you have no new claim eligibility and begin EUC, and then later qualify for a new state claim, that earlier EUC remains to be collected for as long as legislation is in place - plus, if that new state claim provides a benefit of $100 or 25% lower than your current benefit - you can, under HR4213, defer payment on that new claim until EUC on the first claim is exhausted.

Because OP now is now deemed to have NY claim eligibility immediately upon exhaustion of the MA state benefits, OP has lost eligibility for EUC from the MA claim, cannot invoke HR4213, and is now in no-fault overpayment status on the EUC he has received thus far. Per the USDOL:
Quote:
Claimants are only allowed to “go back” to prior state to collect EUC if they had already established an EUC claim in that state prior to qualifying for regular benefits in another state.

Because this claimant immediately qualified for the claim in NJ after (exhausting his/her regular claim in VA), s/he was not an exhaustee for EUC purposes and therefore VA could not establish (by law) an EUC claim and was required by to refer the claimant to NJ (as that was the state in which the claimant had regular eligibility).

Because they could not establish the EUC claim, the claimant therefore did not have any right to go back to VA after his/her NJ claim expired as the VA claim would no longer be the most recent applicable benefit year for the purposes of establishing an EUC claim.


//www.city-data.com/forum/unemp...l#post27695300
Multi-state claims involving EUC are usually never happily resolved. We did have a report involving PA and NY, I believe, a while back. Because claimant was not eligible for a new claim in NY until long after he had begun PA EUC, he was able to retain his rights to PA EUC and did not encounter your overpayment problems. However, he was unusual.

There isn't anything you can do about this, since NY says you now have two quarters qualifying you for a NY claim immediately upon exhaustion of the MA benefits - albeit this qualification was not determined until later - unless you are able to successfully dispute the income reported. As I said, this happens a lot. We have had many reports here on complications/overpayments involving EUC and multi-state claims.

If MA comes after you for the money, request a no-fault overpayment waiver - pleading hardship. Since this is MA, hopefully their liberal leanings will get you off the hook for those overpayments, at least.

For now, on your taxes, report the disputed monies as income. The IRS already has a 1099, so if you don't report the income, you will most likely be held to account. If the day comes that you repay these benefits, file an amended return for that year attaching documentation on the repayment. You may never have to repay it.

Sorry the news isn't better. Yours is not an unusual story these days.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:22 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,852 times
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Yea, that's what I figured. Thank you so much for your time, your detailed explanation was perfect.

Couple of things, I didnt explain the series of events well enough in my first post - after my MA claim expired they told me that I had to apply to NY because of my part time wages. I got denied, MA said you have to wait until they deny you alternative base period, got denied for alternative base period, called MA to let them know, once MA confirmed this they started giving me EUC. Then I got accepted to "stand alone NY" once they took out the $8000.

It seems like MA was satisfied with the NY denial because they started me on EUC. How can NY deny me for normal base period, alternative base period and then accept me once they delete out earnings in a quarter they are using to determine my alternative base period amount?.

Also, I talked to HR today and they said that I can go back and change my hours if they were incorrect because I am an hourly worker, however, they wont draw up new tax papers for me as I was paid in 2012. Once they are approved by my manager they will offset mt payments going forward. Does that help my case at all? Even if it all works out, do alternative base periods change? For example, I don't satisfy the alternative base period once my wages in Q2 2012 are below $1450, would they just re submit an alternative base period for Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 or does the first denial last a year?

One other thing, is there anyway to dispute the $8000 they are not counting in Q2 2012 as wages? Part of it was hourly wages, part of if was severance and part of it was earned time off I never used during the year. I think if I can reduce those they will include them in my alternative base period.

I noticed on my benefit determination that the $8000 isn't categorized as my old employer, it is called "Department of Employment &" unlike my first MA application and part time job where they have my employers name. Could this be causing an issue?

Thank you again for the advice and putting time into your answer, it is greatly appreciated.

...again crazy how I am trying to reduce my previous wages to get more unemployment.

Last edited by danny12345; 03-28-2013 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,014 posts, read 48,950,871 times
Reputation: 17488
Quote:
Originally Posted by danny12345 View Post
Couple of things, I didnt explain the series of events well enough in my first post - after my MA claim expired they told me that I had to apply to NY because of my part time wages. I got denied, MA said you have to wait until they deny you alternative base period, got denied for alternative base period, called MA to let them know, once MA confirmed this they started giving me EUC. Then I got accepted to "stand alone NY" once they took out the $8000.

It seems like MA was satisfied with the NY denial because they started me on EUC. How can NY deny me for normal base period, alternative base period and then accept me once they delete out earnings in a quarter they are using to determine my alternative base period amount?.
The states have the prerogative to pick and choose earnings. Since you qualifed on NY earnings only, that is what NY used.

When you reopened the claim in December, NY meanwhile (between November & December) had looked at your situation again, threw out the MA earnings, and qualified you on the NY earnings, only. Had this not been discovered in December, it would have been discovered in January when MA is required to do another evaluation for new claim eligibility. (States are supposed to be examining EUC recipients quarterly - Jan, Apr, July, Oct - for new claim eligibility.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by danny12345 View Post
Also, I talked to HR today and they said that I can go back and change my hours if they were incorrect because I am an hourly worker, however, they wont draw up new tax papers for me as I was paid in 2012. Once they are approved by my manager they will offset mt payments going forward. Does that help my case at all?
Possibly. The states, on request, will review wages used to establish a claim. You would need to go back to NY with evidence that your earnings for the quarters in question no longer qualify you for a NY claim effective November 2. If that happens, then you are entitled to MA EUC until January, which is when MA should have done another evaluation for EUC eligibility at which point MA would probably again ask you to apply for a claim in NY. However, at that point, since you legitimately began EUC on the MA claim in November, if you are eligible for a NY claim in January, you can retain your rights to EUC from MA, invoke HR4213 on the new claim deferral, and continue to receive EUC from the higher paying claim until exhausted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by danny12345 View Post
Even if it all works out, do alternative base periods change? For example, I don't satisfy the alternative base period once my wages in Q2 2012 are below $1450, would they just re submit an alternative base period for Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 or does the first denial last a year?
No, the first denial doesn't last a year. Yes, NY would review your earnings again in January based on earnings for Q3 and Q4. As I said, above, at least then you could retain your MA EUC and would not be in overpayment because you can invoke HR4213 to remain on MA EUC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danny12345 View Post
One other thing, is there anyway to dispute the $8000 they are not counting in Q2 2012 as wages? Part of it was hourly wages, part of if was severance and part of it was earned time off I never used during the year. I think if I can reduce those they will include them in my alternative base period.

I noticed on my benefit determination that the $8000 isn't categorized as my old employer, it is called "Department of Employment &" unlike my first MA application and part time job where they have my employers name. Could this be causing an issue?
If you are referring to State of NY, this is because that $8k was earned in MA.

Severance may be the only category wherein you might plead to have the Q2 earnings reduced or averaged among quarters. Some states do not regard severance as wages and some states will disregard or average severance among the quarters if receipt of such results in an unbalanced quarter - which is what you have now in Q2.

Seems to me your first option should be to try to get this new claim established in January, instead of November.

If that doesn't work, then ask NY to rebalance Q2 among the quarters, which would give a higher paying second claim and EUC eligibility - since you've lost the EUC on the $440/wk MA claim.

Good luck.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 03-28-2013 at 08:41 PM..
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:33 AM
 
8,700 posts, read 10,865,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
First, for anyone reading this, as long as EUC is in place, it is never wise to work until you've exhausted state benefits and begun EUC on a high-paying claim.
Well, it would be wise if you wanted to be employed and a productive member of society. If you want to live off of UI, then, no it is not wise to work.

I have much sympathy for those who cannot find work, but very little who choose not to work "until you've exhaused" your benefits.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,014 posts, read 48,950,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Well, it would be wise if you wanted to be employed and a productive member of society. If you want to live off of UI, then, no it is not wise to work.

I have much sympathy for those who cannot find work, but very little who choose not to work "until you've exhaused" your benefits.
Right . That view is naive and uninformed. I don't write the federal regulations administering EUC. Talk to Congress if you feel people should be rewarded - instead of punished - for working - which is exactly what happened to OP

As it stands now, OP's reward for immediately working part-time and earning $5,000 was:
  1. Permanent loss of 28 weeks' EUC (28x$440) - $12,320 lost
  2. Debt to MA DOL for overpayment of EUC - $5,000 owed
  3. New reduced weekly benefit of $114 v. $440 - $326 less weekly
Yes, indeed - every good deed deserves a punishment certainly applies here. You need to explain how the above perverse consequences of working are a good thing.

UE benefits were established to help people find good-paying, permanent, full-time work. Most people try to find work as soon as they can because they feel guilty taking money for nothing, feel more productive working, and UE benefits normally do not provide their previous standard of living.

However, under current legislation, if they don't strategically manage how these benefits are paid, they are punished for working - in this case, severely.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 03-29-2013 at 12:37 PM.. Reason: Correction to #1 - MA currently paying only Tiers 1 and 2 (28 wks)
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
However, under current legislation, if they don't strategically manage how these benefits are paid, they are punished for working - in this case, severely.
The definition of "punished" does not mean not getting the same amount of federal assistance as someone else. If it did, I've been punished since birth.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,014 posts, read 48,950,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
The definition of "punished" does not mean not getting the same amount of federal assistance as someone else. If it did, I've been punished since birth.
You have my sympathy.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:21 PM
 
14,508 posts, read 24,996,413 times
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I second what Ariadne22 has said here. No matter what most people seem to think about how the unemployment system works, it just doesn't work that way. It's complex, and is just fraught with risk, and I honestly believe that doing the right thing from a societal perspective, usually ends up being the wrong thing for the individual claimant.

So rather than passing moral judgments, I just go with the theory that unemployment benefits are there, it's a system can be manipulated, and every claimant needs to learn the real rules so that they do not end up on the short end of the stick two times: once when they lost their job, and again when they messed up their UI claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
Right . That view is naive and uninformed. I don't write the federal regulations administering EUC. Talk to Congress if you feel people should be rewarded - instead of punished - for working - which is exactly what happened to OP

As it stands now, OP's reward for immediately working part-time and earning $5,000 was:
  1. Permanent loss of 28 weeks' EUC (28x$440) - $12,320 lost
  2. Debt to MA DOL for overpayment of EUC - $5,000 owed
  3. New reduced weekly benefit of $114 v. $440 - $326 less weekly
Yes, indeed - every good deed deserves a punishment certainly applies here. You need to explain how the above perverse consequences of working are a good thing.

UE benefits were established to help people find good-paying, permanent, full-time work. Most people try to find work as soon as they can because they feel guilty taking money for nothing, feel more productive working, and UE benefits normally do not provide their previous standard of living.

However, under current legislation, if they don't strategically manage how these benefits are paid, they are punished for working - in this case, severely.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:07 AM
 
8,700 posts, read 10,865,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chyvan View Post
So rather than passing moral judgments, I just go with the theory that unemployment benefits are there, it's a system can be manipulated, and every claimant needs to learn the real rules so that they do not end up on the short end of the stick two times: once when they lost their job, and again when they messed up their UI claim.
Your entitled attitude is very clear.
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