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Will a Temporary Job Stop Me From Collecting Unemployment Extension When It's Over?

by Mary

Will a Temporary Job Stop Me From Collecting Unemployment Extension When It's Over?

Hi - I am writing you because I am concerned about my husband's unemployment. We live in Wisconsin and my husband has been laid off form the construction field for the past year and a half. He had an opportunity to take on a long term substitute(8 weeks) custodian position for a local school district. He took the position but unfortunately that position is coming to an end in a week. He just received a letter from unemployment to no longer weekly apply for unemployment because he was/is "fully employed" My question is when his position ends will he still be able to apply for unemployment?

Hi Mary,

Oh Mary .. I wish this wasn't at heart, an unemployment extension problem so I could keep my answer short and sweet .. something I'm trying to teach myself to do.

The answer to your question is Yes, or at least he should be able to reopen an existing claim for his current benefit year and start collecting.

But your question brings up the current problems I keep hearing about from the long-term unemployed taking temp jobs, which seem to be all that's available.

People are getting riled up and wondering why the hell they should even accept temp jobs.

I'll try again to explain what I think and why I'm no expert on the subject of unemployment extensions. Extensions are a numbers game or formula that relies on the adjusted unemployment rate to determine whether they have to be made available. At least, in the past.

Read this to find out how the current unemployment rate is important to federal extensions.

And then, use your imagination to understand that the unemployment rate is manipulated to appear lower than it really is.

Before the recession hit, extending unemployment benefits was a very rare happening. The EB's might have been "state extended benefits" for specific people in a hard hit industry .. that left a big hole in the state's labor market.

Then of course, there would be additional programs to retrain the worker for a different career who lost their job in the hard hit industry, while collecting additional extended benefits past the typical 26 week max.

Of course there was always the occasional natural disaster that invoked Federal emergency extensions.

But it is because the issue of whether a person deserved the benefits in the first place had already been resolved .. I, in my former job .. didn't even have to bother with appeals having to do with extension .. I simply had to note the appeal as a "claimant only" issue. In other words, there was nothing the original employer had to add regarding the reason for separation.

That's why I'm no expert.

Since that time, my efforts to keep up with the changes wrought, every time congress passed a new federal extension were futile .. because
they kept changing the conditions within the bills for a new extension.

Apparently, the last one must have passed with some language that allowed the states to review your most recently earned wages (which will almost always be outside the base period attached to the current benefit year) and this is what is forcing the claimant to a new lower weekly benefit amount because it was calculated on those temporary wages. You have to collect that, before you can be allowed to revert to any extension balance on the original claim .. as long as you're benefit year doesn't expire while waiting for congress to reauthorize another extension. Hundreds of thousands have lost benefits because of these delays.

It seems to me that all states are now examining wages from temporary jobs against the specific state monetary formulas for establishing a second benefit year (See table 3-4) This formula often is much lower than the monetary requirement for a new claim based on "long-term employment".

If your temp wages happen to meet those requirements, I think (I don't know for certain) states are recalculating your weekly benefit amount on those short term wages which would affect your WBA and possibly the duration.

In addition, it seems to be taking many states a long time to review a claim, before initiating payment of even the smaller benefit amount. Whether that is intentional or due to pure confusion about something new and different .. I don't know.

I'm just grateful I only thought about applying for a job at the unemployment dept when I first became unemployed:)

The whole jumbled mess though, I believe, also hinges on the separation from the temp job and because of the differences in unemployment laws regarding employer responses and when the law allows an employer to protest wages in a base period.

I believe, all this confusion and the variances in unemployment tax laws are causing a bunch of overpayment determination and suspension of benefits a long time down the road .. after people have collected a lot of benefits and due to allowing employers to respond when those temp wages actually become part of a legitimate base period.

I see many problems with the current state of extensions .. but the only solution I can see right now, is REAL job creation ..

And that there is none .. I directly blame on those elected to represent "the people", but I think they are all a bunch of cat scratched zombies infected by one special interest or another.

The problem is that one middle American isn't special enough to be of interest.

There you go Mary .. every time I'm asked about extensions .. even in a roundabout way .. I can only rant.

Nonetheless, you now know what I think you should look out for and consider so you can plan for a few .. maybe several weeks without any income waiting on the unemployment dept.


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