Unemployment benefits stopped in NY state
(New York, New York)
I have been collecting unemployment benefits since 11/08.
A few weeks ago, I worked freelance for 6 hours, which I reported to NYS unemployment when i filed fro my weekly benefits. A week or so late I received a form to fill out to verify, the 6 hours of work, the name of the employer, and why have I stopped working there. I made a mistake on one a question about having a business, or any activity that
might bring in income. By mistake I checked YES, where it should have been NO. A few weeks late I received a questioner asking me to list information about this business, and I had to get it back to them in promptly
in 7 days. After calling and speaking to a
NYS unemployment service rep, and telling them I made a mistake, I was told it was no big deal and all I need to do was mail back the questioner, and include a letter and any documentation telling them that a mistake was made. I was informed it would take 3-5 days to clear it up and for my payments to be released again. I mailed the info priority/registered receipt and it was received and signed for by NYS unemployment on time. My problem is now they never released my payments and went ahead and made a determination based on my original mistake that I told them I am involved in a business or activity that generates income, and that I never bothered to send them the questioner, even though I have a receipt for the US postal service that it was in their possession. When I called a service rep again, and explained my problem, I was given a few ridiculous excuses. One was that it takes them up to a week to read any incoming mail. So they went ahead and made a determination
about my case without reviewing any of the evidence I sent them.
Now they are telling me my only option is to file for a hearing which can take up to six weeks just to get a date for it. I have been trying to speak to someone or get a phone number to try and remedy this. But I keep hitting
a wall. I can't understand how I have to go to a hearing before and administrative judge to clear up a clerical mistake that I made. And this will take months!
My gut to this situation is its misconduct by whoever is handling my case. Can you suggest any other options?
I was thinking of filing a complaint with Legal Services Division of the Office of the State Comptroller.
You go ahead and file your complaint, but you get that appeal in first .. with all the documentation you have including the receipt.
I always recommend faxing when they provide that option because you can get a successful transmittal and retain the documents for your own records .. and if you have your own fax .. it's cheaper too.
I don't usually recommend extremely detailed appeal letters, but I'm breaking with my usual advice to just outline points.
Tell it like it is and include the fact that due to the New York Department of Labor you are suffering great financial hardship. It might prompt them to schedule the hearing faster. And there is always the chance that your appeal will prompt them to swiftly issue a redetermination when they see the error. They do have that ability.
You might also consider the
USDOL to see if they are in compliance. They probably are.
Sorry, I can't be of more help Frank, but your story demonstrates the possible consequences of checking just one check box by mistake.