Taking one online class and one face to face class once a week, while collecting benefits.

by Jane Doe
(Miami, Florida)

I have been laid off since last July. I have an Associate's Degree in Nursing and the market in South Florida is tough for nurses with no experience. The best way for me to even get my foot in the door is for a hospital, office, etc, to give me a chance, but that does not seem to be happening, or get my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, lots of hospital are requiring this nowdays. I have been following the rules and I am looking for work as instructed with no result of a job. Since I have three classes left pre-requisites to even enter the BSN, I decided last semester; Fall, to take one class ONLINE; which I paid on my own. This in no way affected my A&A (I honestly do not recall whether I checked this or not). I have never applied for Financial Aid before, but since I am not working I decided in November to apply to see I get anything for this semester; Spring, because I would not be able to afford it myself, and not only did I get a Pell Grant for this semester, but they also paid for last semester and issued me a refund for the class I paid.

Following your instructions to become informed and not do anything that will jeopardise my UE Benefits (which they will run out in 3 weeks, hopefully I will get an extension), I went to the US Dept. of Labor (since I could not find the information in the Florida website, and it states that I will not be denied benefits provided that school attendance will not interfere with my availability to accept suitable work. I am taking one class on campus that is ONCE a week at 7:05 pm, and one ONLINE class.
My questions is should I call to let them know? Or since my benefits will be running out in three weeks and if I apply for an extension or they send me a form to fill do I let them know then? Is this going to be an issue when I do my income tax return?
I am still looking for work as instructed, not only as a nurse but in the field I used to do before; which is also medical related, and still not getting job offers, but finding work is priority, the face to face class I am taking can be rescheduled to another
day and time as the professor works full time for this community college and he will have not problem in making accomodations for me if the need arises. Do remember that nurses work 3xs a week, 12 hours shifts.
Any reply to this query will be appreciated by anyone in the know.
Thank you.



Answer

Hi Jane ..

It sounds as if your main concern is continuing eligibility when/if you're allowed to collect Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Florida (Not certain the St. of Florida might not have to update the info).

But, you're right, about the DOLETA chartbook.

Although it indicates quitting a job to attend school is disqualifying, as it is in most states, unless there is an exception for state approved training, being disqualified or ineligible while attending school in Florida is contingent upon school having to interfere with your ability to accept suitable work.

And that you're school schedule is adjustable, you can answer honestly any questions posed if your eligibility is actually audited and investigated by the DEO.

Would you be willing to quit school if it were the only option for accepting a suitable offer of employment?

That can be a tough question for people who have laid out money of their own to go to school .. or, even to lose grant money.

Although I don't intend to instruct, I know I can be a bit preachy, but it's only because when I go to official state websites I see the report fraud buttons and there is references everywhere like neon signs. Of course, my usual fallback excuse for seeing danger is I'm compensating.

I raised two boys, now men and they are over hearing me preach and tell me not to worry:)

I noticed on the bottom of the right hand column of nearly every page on the Florida Reemployment website .. the offer to email a question and this promise:

All e-mail inquiries will be responded to by an agent within 3 business days, either by e-mail or telephone, based on your choice.

I"d wish you luck getting through collecting unemployment, but I think you'll be fine Jane.

It's just that I also see the irony in this question about UI benefits .. The benefits itself can sometimes kills the initiative of those with less fortitude and tolerance for the red tape that can be involved in just trying to become employable.

It drives me nuts!!

Chris

Chris

Comments for Taking one online class and one face to face class once a week, while collecting benefits.

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Jan 29, 2013
Reply
by: Jane

Thank you Chris. Absolutely, if I was offered a job today, telling me that I will have to work on that day and time of that class, I will try my absolute best to re-schedule (and I know I will be successful at it), or altogether drop it. I also know that the other class that is online does not affect it in any way as it goes at my pace any day and any time of the week.
I am mostly concerned of not causing any red flags and so I am not sure if I should let them know. Though the site states one can ask any question, I know that once you do so,it is no longer anonymous and I am scared to put a red flag or one of those shooting charts that says "pick on me".
I did not quit to go to school. I actually held a full time job while going to school part time. Something that can easily be proven by providing my paystubs and my transcripts. And my previous employer has been awared of me going to school. They did not fight my claim for unemployement. I left in good terms, I was professional and furthermore I understood the reason of the lay off...though I heard they have been hiring other people for my job.
I am concerned that I only got six months of benefits... is this standard for the first time and then gets extended? Who makes this decision? I have been working since 16 years old and I am now 49 and this is the first time collecting. I mean I know people are without jobs for more than a year and still collect (I so hope that is not me).

Jan 29, 2013
Just stay on your toes.
by: Chris - Unemployment-tips

Hi Jane,

26 weeks of benefits during any given benefit year has been standard for years, Generally, the maximum length anyone was entitled to collect throughout the established benefit year was more than enough to find another job. Although during the recession some states altered their laws to shorten the duration .. some to twenty weeks. (not CA though). If you have any problems with the determ. because you told the interviewer you were looking for part-time work, let me know! (It's was the only thing that worried me).

State and federal extension benefits aren't my specialty because they never lasted across multiple states or had multiple tiers when I worked. And of course employers are seldom involved in the cause for denials of these conditional eligibility issue with the exception of suitable work.

But I do know whether a state offers them or not is determined by a different kind of formula that involves adjusted unemployment rates.

Not sure about now, but California used to have a page on their website that explained they would file for extended benefits automatically. I'd double check me if I were you .. as I noticed while scouring some other state website the other day .. Florida I think .. that it said extensions weren't possible .. and it's been about a month since EUC's were reauthorized so why wouldn't they update their website with a sense of urgency?

Seems to me, it's the formula for extensions that any reauthorization has had to override.

I know you'll do what you have to to get back to work, but it seems my whole goal in life anymore is sort of screaming from a rooftop that unemployment agencies and employer have other agendas that can end up as a steaming pile of crap .. right in your path and efforts to get your next job .. or career.

The local news reported last night, fifty percent of college grads are considered to be under-employed.

Good for them, because they are no longer the discouraged unemployed everyone just glossed over and forgot about. Many were allowed to collect benefits, but found disfavor and were redetermined to be disqualified for not being able and available .. or able to prove it or, that they looked for a job .. why the job they accepted was unsuitable work once they got there..

The problem it seems, for the under-employed, is expected to get worse before it gets better. Why? Because they still aren't going after the degrees employers need/want today if you're interested in being hired.

I guess the days of choosing wisely what to learn in college to be successful in life, is over .. until someone completes the newscast and tell us what kind of degrees employers are in fact, looking for.

Sorry for the minor rant .. unlike you .. I'm not all that understanding, but I want to be.

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