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If you've read any of the advice on you will see it decidedly exists to help an unemployed person understand how unemployment insurance benefits and the appeal process works in reality as opposed to how an official state unemployment website explains the process of filing a claim. 

Back in 2006 when I was first laid off from my job as an unemployment hearing consultant/coordinator, some things occurred merely, because the unemployment claims management company I worked for, did a lot of stuff they called best practice.  These habits of course, often required a some indifference to follow any number of best practices, regardless of merits for a claim for benefits.

Although I felt bad as an employee I was able to set any guilt I felt aside until I got home each night.  

But as guilty as my job could make me feel, it was only when the best practices were used on my claim .. that I was finally prompted to stop dreaming of a time I would never have to work for someone as an employee again that I gave serious thought to actually trying a different approach to earning a living. 

It was one of those light bulb moments, but as you know .. light bulbs burn out sometimes. 

Suffice it to say my unemployed budget was a wattage concern. 

My name is Chris Hendricks.  I live humbly and unadorned on the Western Slope of Colorado.  

I'm oh-so average, ordinary and nondescript, except for one minor detail .. I'm a woman, not a man for the for the people as some have mistaken me to be .. before they heard my voice on the other end of a phone call.

In retrospect, now that eight years have passed and  I'm now fifty nine, have a website about what I wanted nothing to do with anymore in 2006, and still a ways off from living it up on my entitlement to SSI,   I think I made the right decision in 2009 to finally quit the same job, only as a temp employee and be done with unemployment benefits.

I stopped collecting benefits so, I would be free from disqualification while I attempted to make some money from Unemployment Tips  a website that was already full of free information and Q&A after Q&A where I gave advice as if I had benefits on the line.

The only problem I've had so far with earning a living from this website that get's tons of traffic .. is the majority of you are broke by the time you start asking questions about unemployment that matter.

Below is some historical data.  Precisely, it is the yearly unemployment benefit recipiency rates (percentage of the total unemployed who received unemployment benefits) from 2000 - 2013.  It looks troubling enough, that I didn't bother listing all the way back to 1976 when the federal government first starting collecting data for this particular unemployment statistic.

  • 2000 - 36 percent  of all unemployed people received unemployment benefits
  • 2001 - 43 ( recession year)
  • 2002 - 42 (recession year)
  • 2003 - 40 (recession year)
  • 2004 - 36 (recovery year)
  • 2005 - 34
  • 2006 - 35
  • 2007 - 36
  • 2008 - 37 ( recession began at end of the year)
  • 2009 - 40 ( great recession goes into full swing)
  • 2010 - 30 ( Recovery year? Really?)
  • 2011 - 26 (All better now?)
  • 2012 - 26 
  • 2013 - 25 percent of the total unemployed collect benefits.  This is substantially lower than the recipiency rate has ever been ..  since 1976. 

In fact, the last three years of 2011, 2012, 2013 are all unprecedented lows in the percentage of unemployed people receiving benefits since at least 1976.  

So what's wrong gone wrong with unemployment insurance, aside from the fact that during the worst economic debacle since the great depression there has been political slight of hand going on with well publicized benevolent sounding changes to modernize UI laws and less publicized substantive changes to laws to act as counter measures to decrease recipiency?

At will employees' apathy is at an all time high and there is a growing fear of doing anything that would rock the boat, which might help at an unemployment appeal hearing.

And that is an irony because employees feel frustratingly lucky to have any of the jobs that still reside in this country .. suitable work for them, or not.

As for me .. turns out was the best failure I've ever had the privilege to experience, because it is how I learned some skills I lacked to build a website/blog for any small business that may still be in my future.  

It also allowed me to salvage what I believed was endanger most as that employee -  My personal integrity.

I continue to work  part-time here today.  And although possibly a financial failure in someone's eyes other than my own, I know it's still providing supplemental income for my family as well as an incalculable return on an investment of the free time it took to answer questions when it was hard to find anyone to answer. 

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Questions Are a Good Thing

Questioning why is one of the seven steps to thinking like a lawyer and is an important step to not miss when deciding for yourself if you can win an unemployment hearing.

Yet, this is not the only place, or time one needs to use the "technique" of asking questions that begin with why. It's the whys in my life that have led me to making better choices for my own life which is right now, how.. whom I choose to work for.

I feel like I have survived all my years so far, with my eyes wide open to the good, the bad, and my least favorite .. ugly indifference.

I am thankful I never stopped asking why, because that is the question I believe gives me insight to see all three of those things within myself.

And in the end, the courage to change what I think needs to be changed .. about me.

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