Sunday, August 14, 2011

a Suggestion for all working age Floridians

Where's the Soup Kitchen?
I know most of you are loath to take me seriously, but this time I suggest you do. Take 750.00 and put it in a savings account. No matter what happens, do not touch the money. Maintain a working laptop computer even if it is an old one. Buy one land line phone and have it ready. Go through all the social media web sites and don't just set your home page to private, but you might want to delete them all together, particularly if you like to play games at home or post pictures. Do not go near a web site that has alcohol, drugs, health information or children's pictures on it.

Here is why.

In June, Governor Scott in a plan to make Florida more corporation friendly, signed a law restructuring Unemployment Benefits and lowing the cost of unemployment compensation for businesses (the big ones anyway). The money to make up the difference between the cost of the program and income from businesses has got to come from somewhere and since it is funded solely via money from corporations, it has to come from denying claims. Less money means there have to be fewer claims.

Attorney Rita Pitassi of Boca Raton has seen her caseload quadruple (4 x's, 400% increase) in the last few months because people whose claims shouldn't be denied are being denied. The appeal process is "cumbersome and intimidating".  Now you know the real reason those employment figures look like there are jobs being filled when all you see around you are layoffs. People are simply being kicked off the unemployment roles, they are not getting jobs.

The first thing you need to know is that an employer has one full year from your date of termination to contest your claim or in other words, to build a case against you once you are terminated. The new law allows the employer to use evidence of activities that occur off the job. Hence, you had better delete those Facebook Pages really fast. If you play games, they can claim you were addicted to games and wasted time on the job even if you never played on the job. Hey, most of these games are available on your phone and if not, others are. Embarrassing pictures from that party with beer mug in your hand? Now you have a Drinking Problem. Make sure your friends aren't tagging you in  pictures when they post them. Then again, with face recognition software, the point is probably moot. They can find you anywhere on the web. You can bet your sweet little internet page they will be using professionals to investigate you. So, you might want to get off the internet social sites completely. You also want to be very careful of pictures taken at events on cell phone cameras and up loaded because of that pesky face recognition software. Remember, the original purpose of computers was to process huge amounts of information really, really fast. They do it really, really well.

Now $500.00 of that $750.00 is for a lawyer. When your claim is denied, you will need a lawyer to fight it and that is the minimum fee. There will be no free legal help because that budget has been slashed to nothing and you can't do it yourself. The people who will be hearing your claim will be keeping their jobs only by denying your claim. The state can then demand all the money you have received from unemployment compensation back and after a year, that will be a minimum of $12,000.00.

The Laptop is to file in the form in the first place and every 2 weeks there after and to apply for jobs. You are not going to be able to maintain that expensive Uverse or Cable after your job is gone and DSL is expensive. The way the state web site continues to crash, dial up will not be an option for filing your biweekly claim, Why should they upgrade the site when the system needs you to fail to save money??? You are not going to be able to fill out pages of job search information on your fancy cell phone without a single error which will cause your claim to be denied. Yes friends, all it takes is one little error or typo on your online form and your benefits instantly disappear, now. You need a highspeed connection and the library limits your time on the computer. If the state site crashes in the middle of your submission, you will not have time to start over and have to get in the back of the line. Huge numbers of people submit their applications on the same day. Imagine that line! You are going to need spending money, for some coffee at least, to buy internet time at a local hotspot and you are going to need a WiFi enabled laptop. You also need something to keep detailed records of every job application and what happened with that application as every week 500 people are randomly selected for an "eligibility review" that can go back to the first day you were approved for benefits. Initially you have to undergo a skills assessment, on line, which can take an hour to fill out depending on your typing speed and computer savy. Hint: whatever you do don't say you will consider part time employment even if your kids are starving. That will get your benefits terminated instantly and you may discover you get a bill in the mail for the benefits you have already used for food. Questions on the review according to Sunday's Money Section of the Sun Sentinel include:
What is the lowest wage you are willing to accept?
How many miles one way are you willing to commute?
They are trick questions because you might be willing to work for minimum wage down the street but be willing to travel 30 miles one way for a really good job. Remember gas prices....
No, I do not know the right answer to these questions.

Now for the purpose of the additional $250.00. You are going to need that for your transport and drug test to get on welfare right after the state denies your claim. There is no system in place to return the money to you and even if it is instantly credited to your debit card when you pass, the question is going to be: how long will it take to get results and the card? Remember, you are applying. You don't have a card yet. I know how fast the test can be done, but how fast will it be done, the results submitted to the state and the state acknowledging them and then returning the money to you after they send you your little debit card, probably by snail mail. Considering their jobs depend on not paying benefits, my guess would be: really, really slowly.

You have created a new world with the last election of the Tea Party. You had better get ready to live in it because things will never be the way they were ever again. You are now guilty until you can prove you are innocent and they have the money, the people and the technology on their side.

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