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Frightened

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Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:05 am

I'm 30, I've worked for the past 12 years, give or take a few months of unemployment here or there in spite of mental illness and chronic joint pain from osteoarthritis. My employers have always accommodated my mental health issues, but with the economy going south, they've no longer been able to do so.

I lost my job of eight months suddenly last august, the low paying job I took with hesitation, that I got offered by a temp agency before they even told me they were a temp agency. My previous job was lost suddenly the august before. I called this agency daily for about 3 months before I gave up on them. They refused to send me to a call center job because I don't own makeup (it makes me break out).

Instead of my first chunk of unemployment lasting 6 months, it only lasted 4. Instead of 3 months, each of the extensions I've gotten have only lasted 2. I'm on my last normal extension, I don't know if they'll give me any more. I'm pretty frightened.

I live off of 500 dollars or so a month, with 90 dollars in food stamps (which they only gave me because I called and complained when I only got 30). I pay most of my money in bills and live on a diet of no more than 400 calories a day.

After each job loss, my mental health took a major hit. This second time I spent the first two months being out of work extremely motivated, trying to find something. As I did this, my mental health continued to deteriorate, even with regular visits to the low cost mental health care place that I go, isn't enough. I struggle to stay on my meds, struggle to get out of bed, I've just lost all hope and all will to live.

I spoke to my treating doctor about my situation and it was suggested that I apply for Social Security Disability, my therapist, and the people that I work with at the local worforce job center also thought given my health that it was a good idea (rather than take another job that probably won't last by some fly by night temp agency). When I was working I was right on the threshold of what is considered "substantial gainful activity", sadly disability will pay me more than I made monthly over the last 7 years.

I applied. They sent me to their doctors. They did xrays on my joints and a mental health screening. The results were that I can't work standing jobs (xrays) and their mental health doctor told me that my conditions were debilitating. I got a denial letter in the mail. It seems they completely ignored the mental health side of things, including the opinions of their own physicians.

I sought the best disability lawyer in town who is handling the appeal process. Did footwork getting papers for my treating physician to fill out. She had apparently never gotten any paperwork to fill out from the SSA. That's moving right along but the whole system takes forever. It's really not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

I'm estranged from my family. My step father knows I'm trying to get SSDI, my mother doesn't, she is less than understanding of the severity of my condition. It's so bad I can't bring myself to even call and talk to my step father in fear of my mother answering the phone and screaming at me about how I'm worthless and lazy and a failure.


To make matters worse, a debt collector found my contact information on Careerbuilder in November and started hounding me on my cellphone. Three times I informed them they were calling my cellphone, that any debt they were trying to contact me about, if it was mine, was over eight years old and beyond the federal sol and they have no legal recourse, that I was disabled and out of work, to stop calling and leave me alone. They hounded me to get me to give them my mailing address (I told them I live in my car). I added their number to my phone book and set the calls to go directly to voice mail. They are always calling me from new numbers, I've got something like 15 different numbers under their phonebook contact.

Now these collectors, especially the ones who buy old, beyond SoL debts, prey on those who are uninformed using bullying and hounding tactics, they try to sucker people into restarting the SoL. They'll try to collect debts (that they bought for pennies on the dollar) from the family of deceased, disabled, elderly, they don't care. Eventually, people often cave, which is why they reported 450m in revenue last year and their stock sells for about 100/share on nasdaq. While I am mentally ill I'm not stupid, in fact part of how I cope with my illness, especially when I'm worried about things, is to become informed about things and seek solutions to them.

I share this with you all because I'm sure others have been dealing with this crap and it might help you feel better or inspire you to do the same. In March I decided I'd had enough being bullied and I turned around (with the help of a NACA lawyer working pro-bono) and punched the bully in the face with a lawsuit to the tune of 135k for over 90 willful violations of the TCPA my cellphone recorded in its call log. When this comes to fruition, I'll have enough to survive even if I have to sit and wait two years for disability like so many people have to.


In the mean time, here I am, with nothing but a possibility of things getting better through whose speed of progress is really out of my control. With the end of my extensions and unsure if I'll get the next extension or not, questioning what I should do.

Will I be homeless? I'm hoping my boyfriend's uncle, for whom he lives with, will let me stay there until the processes go through if I wind up in that situation, but I don't know that he will. Will I wind up dead in a ditch with a disability approval arriving too little too late or will one of my two miracles come through before time runs out?

I don't know what to do anymore and I'm just scared.

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by Springflowers on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:35 am

I am sorry you are suffering so.

I got hounded by creditors too, don't talk to them. Go "se habla ingles?"When they call. They are scum. One thing going on is they will hound, sue people to death who are extremely poor. We live in a police state where they do not care, these people work against their own interests to go after people who are basically destitute. If that tells you how sick the system is, nothing else will.

I hope you can keep a roof over your head, and you can move in with the boyfriend and uncle, would your boyfriend help you? I understand the being told you are a failure stuff, story of my life, why my own body broke down.

You could get on lists for disabled housing, depends on boyfriends income and where you see that relationship going.

Also contact a SOCIAL WORKER NOW and ask about EMERGENCY RENT, if you are DISABLED, often welfare will cover your rent for times like this. You will need a doctor to sign off, on you being disabled for the sake of welfare.


Springflowers
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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:21 pm

My lawyer tried to serve this collector and they apparently don't have an agent when they're supposed to have one by law. Having to have them served through the state attorney general, which slows down the process. Fantastic. Time is of the essence and this.

Housing here is a two plus year waiting list and they seem to only serve people with children.

The idea of a social worker is kind of scary. What role in my life would this person play, what do they do? Do you choose them or are they assigned? What if you get one that doesn't understand?

As for my boyfriend and his uncle, my boyfriend lives off of 700/mo, rents a single room, and really has no say in the matter of if I could stay or not. It's entirely his uncle, who is a nice person occasionally but has a definite moody streak. He's actually just gotten his layoff date, the company he's worked at for the last 20+ years is shutting down and moving. Having to support me would probably cause a massive burden.


Last edited by WilliamsonAngel on Fri May 04, 2012 7:19 am; edited 1 time in total

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by anz on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:36 pm

I am also so sorry that you are having to go through this. I have learned through all that has happened with the economy and the job market that employers will most definitely cut their losses, even if it means putting someone in the middle of treatment for cancer on the streets. I understand that businesses have to survive, but I've found that the people that need public assistance the most are the least likely to get it. What I have found out that helps the most is contacting my state rep. He has helped me more than anything or anyone else. When I needed things expedited beyond what the state could do, he made sure it got done sooner than later. After my first phone call to my state rep, I received a phone call back in less than ten minutes, and a problem I had been dealing with for over two months got resolved in 1/2 hr. His staff has been excellent in helping me, and they know that the people who need assistance the most get harassed and denied all the time. Try your rep. You may get farther than you think.

anz
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Re: Frightened

Post by Guest on Tue May 01, 2012 10:01 am

Go to your US Senators or Congressman's website. They ALL have case workers who will work with you on Social Security issues. You will have to sign a release of information form and they will assist you.

Guest
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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Fri May 04, 2012 7:18 am

I looked into representatives. Constituent services from the US Senators and Congress handle things that are federal.

I contacted a state government based representative, they're going to look into things with unemployment and see if they can't get the unemployment to stop shorting me weeks. I have doubts that they'll be able to do anything.

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Fri May 04, 2012 7:02 pm

My unemployment runs out on the 26th.

The rep's office called me and told me texas does not have access to the federal emergency extension.

The lady I spoke to mentioned my feelings of being punished for my failed work attempt. They will see if there is anything they can do to get me the shorted funds or roll back on a previous claim.

I was advised to see if I can get housing assistance.

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by anz on Fri May 04, 2012 9:00 pm

I'm glad you looked into your public officials whether state or federal. They often get a bad reputation, but I have found that they are the fastest avenue of getting things resolved. Their job is to represent their district, and most of the time, I find that their staff does their best to do this. It's not a perfect system, but it's nice to feel someone is working on your behalf when your resources are limited. I know it's exhausting to have to continually contact people for help. It sounds like you are doing a good job taking it day by day. Continue on this path. You will do things you never thought you could do and have a strength you never knew existed.

anz
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Re: Frightened

Post by Guest on Sat May 05, 2012 12:26 am

If you are in Texas, TWC is one of the best. They indeed handle EUC so if you are eligible they will be sure you are provided this compensation.

I lived in Texas.

Guest
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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Sat May 05, 2012 5:22 am

@Bad Boy: I have mixed feelings about TWC. The side of TWC that works with people in the actual workforce centers you can visit are amazing. I went and talked to them about disability and things like the ticket to work. The side of TWC that handles the payment requests and called in customer service, not so much. I think they're being a bit craptastic, frankly.

I recall reading about EUC when I got my unemployment. I'm not at all surprised if the woman the rep spoke to at TWC was uninformed. Perhaps the message the TWC was trying to tell the rep was that I didn't pay enough into it to get it. (I worked for 8 months out of a year, ignoring the five years I paid into the system before my first four month unemployment spurt.)

@Anz: I was apprehensive about contacting these folks. I chose to use the e-mail form instead of speaking to make first contact. They were nicer than I thought they would be.

I'm rapidly running out of fight, though.


One of my doctors suggested I look into doing a very part time gig of helping elderly folks get to their doctors appointments/do their grocery shopping/etc.

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by anz on Mon May 07, 2012 12:18 pm

I would look into doing the gig with helping the elderly with transportation assuming they pay anything after the cost of gas is subtracted. It will force you to get up and out of bed and interact with some other folks. I know as simple as this sounds, it's one of the hardest things to do when you're depressed and unmotivated. I do find that the elderly have a lot to offer us young people. They have been through very hard times, and they usually have a lot of sound advice. You may be surprised the support you find in the elderly when you think you're actually supporting them.

anz
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Re: Frightened

Post by ibotter on Wed May 09, 2012 6:37 pm

I would like to commend the members who have been giving advice. I wish I had been able to access a PC during the years my daughter and I were homeless to receive the support that all of us who are frightened require. And it was by SSDI that we were finally saved. I am still frightened, though, still suffer from nightmares every night and have to knock myself on the head to keep from being bitter after everything we who might as well had been lepers went through. All I can say is to keep posting and try to keep your strength up and keep going and praying every day. Funny how a natural disaster brings help from everywhere but not an economic one and that is what has been going on for sure.

ibotter
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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Mon May 28, 2012 5:05 am

Today I made my last request for unemployment.

They've shorted me about two and a half months of pay. I don't know what to do about it and I don't know if they'll roll back to my previous claim as I worked for 5 years prior, was out of work for 4 months, then worked for 8 months.

According to the Texas Workforce website, Texas' unemployment rate makes them no longer eligible for the Tier IV EUI extension as of March 2012. As of April 2012, Texas is no longer eligible for the Tier III EUI extension which will expire in December. I wouldn't be surprised if their lower rate is because they're not paying people what they're due and kicking them off the safety net early to appear to have a lower rate.

I'm out of hope and officially out of time.

Disability doctor appointment is in a few days. Within 10 days after that the decision will be made. They already have a written report from my psychiatrist, a written report saying my condition was debilitating from their psychologist from the first time, now they're getting an opinion from a third doctor.

My anxiety is so bad that I'm chewing on my the back of my hands and knuckles until the skin is blistered and raw.

Debt collector is settling out of court for a smaller amount which will support me for a year, it should be pretty immediate, but I don't know if they'll be fast enough to bridge the gap between unemployment stopping and homelessness.

I just don't know what to do anymore.

WilliamsonAngel
Member

Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by Guest on Mon May 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Why aren't they paying Tier 3? This is the schedule of the phase out:

-- Tier 1: Starting in September, Tier 1 is reduced from a maximum of 20 weeks to 14, but remains available in all states regardless of their unemployment rate.

-- Tier 2: Remains at 14 weeks, but starting in June is available only in states with an unemployment rate of at least 6 percent. Today it is available in all states.

-- Tier 3: Starting in September, Tier 3 is reduced to nine from 13 weeks and the trigger rate rises to 7 percent from 6 percent.

-- Tier 4: The trigger rate rises to 9 percent from 8.5 percent in June. In September, the duration of benefits rises to 10 weeks from six today. (Some people will actually qualify for up to 16 weeks under Tier 4, which is explained in this article. Please read!)

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/22/BUNC1NALD5.DTL#ixzz1nDtkV2qO

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Re: Frightened

Post by Guest on Mon May 28, 2012 4:47 pm

Here is further reference to support what DIRI has provided, from the TWC site...

- http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/bnfts/uiadditionalweeks.pdf

Texas has ended their EB program and EUC tier 4, not EUC T1 - T3. At this point, EUC tiers 1 - 3 are available until the end of this year.

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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Tue May 29, 2012 2:02 am

So I have three unemployment claims.

I have the one from this job which lasted 13 weeks. They lasted from August till November.

Then I have one listed under 'temporary unemployment benefits' that is the three extensions. I assume this is the EUC.

I also have one that's "closed" that was from my previous job. I think I got screwed because the new job's company exploded after 8 months. This claim still has 760 dollars on it. I may call and pound my chest and see if I can't see if they won't reopen it since it's not my fault my place of employment pretty much went under after 8 months, and it's rather unfair that they gave me the shaft on my allowances. This one is a place where I earned less money but had twice the money allocated for the first (non-extension) segment of unemployment.

Disability doctors appointment tomorrow. Pray for me.

WilliamsonAngel
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Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

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Re: Frightened

Post by Guest on Tue May 29, 2012 7:43 am

Good luck with your disability doctor appointment.

As far as your unemployment benefits, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (EUC08) is NOT temporary unemployment. You should check further into this. Also, even if your former company went bankrupt and closed, you would not be penalized if they failed to pay their taxes to the state.

You really need to call the TWC. If your doctor says that you are disabled today, you are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits, even if it takes 6 months to a year to see any SSDI.

Guest
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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Tue May 29, 2012 9:07 pm

The doctor doesn't make the decision. She just files her report with the SSA who reviews it later on. She didn't have the stuff my doctor faxed to my lawyer in her little collection of records. That's concerning, I'm going to call my lawyer tomorrow and see what they have to say about it.

She couldn't validate my parking. Thankfully my awesome credit union had a branch nextdoor who was happy to do so for me.

WilliamsonAngel
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Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

http://www.zandrae.com

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Re: Frightened

Post by ibotter on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:26 pm

I am glad to hear you have a lawyer since everyone I know who has received SSDI except myself needed one. It did not take them long to decide in my case, either, if that helps to make you feel any better, so you should know something relatively soon. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

[quote]I get weary and sick of trying, I'm tired of living and scared of dying, but Old Man River he just keeps rolling along...

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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:36 am

Even before I got my first rejection letter I was looking into things like a lawyer. The amount they can take from you for services is 25% or 6k, whichever is less. This means, you don't have to compromise with who you choose based on how much money you need to get upfront (I don't care about the money upfront but am fully willing and prepared to repay unemployment if they request I do). I didn't just get a lawyer. I got the best lawyer in town who specializes in these things. I'm not talking about the person on TV, I did some major footwork.

Basically, my mental malfunction is such that I couldn't handle a majority of this disability stuff alone. I also got a consumer protection lawyer for the case against the debt collector (I should get money from the collector by the end of this month if not sooner. I've already arranged with most of my bills to defer me for the month in case I can't slap unemployment enough to give me money from my old claim, I'm not well enough to fight with them right now).

WilliamsonAngel
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Posts : 73
Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

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Re: Frightened

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:21 am

"Temporary Unemployment" as listed in TWC's website is the EUC extensions.

They told me in order to get the last little bit of money from them I had to do more work searches. So I did them and sent in my request and was notified that my claim is "on hold" and I have to call a number to talk to someone about it.

Looking at my original claim. They only credited me from Jan-Mar at my job, using Apr-Jun of the previous year. So I've got 4 and 1/2 months I'm not getting credit for at all.

Meanwhile I'm having a major case of decompensation.

WilliamsonAngel
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Join date : 2011-08-17
Age : 34
Location : Austin, TX

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