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View Full Version : The Stupidity of the Unemployment Office



mommadeb
March 29th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Ok, I'm on a rant today and rightly so. I'm on unemployment and have been for a year now. Well, I decided that I would start winter semester this January at the University of Iceland and take some distance learning classes to earn a degree. I took a light load since I had not taken college classes for quite a few years. It's a two year program. It costs 60,000 Isk/year (for the sake of argument that equals about $600/year). So anyway, I'm halfway through my semester and this past Wednesday, I get a letter from the unemployment office stating that they found out that I was taking classes and that is NOT allowed while on unemployment. WHAT????? I have 10 days from the date of the letter to go in and talk to them. We are at the start of a 5 day Easter holiday. Ok. I did not know of this prior to my taking classes.

Here are the unemployment rules for going to school:

1. They have to be classes that the unemployment office approves of. You first have to pay the nonrefundable registration fee to the university, sign up for classes and then take your registration to the unemployment office and hope that they approve your classes. Normally, they do not.

2. If you get lucky enough to get approval, you can only take 10 credit hours a semester. So, it would take me 6 years to get a 2 year degree. Instead of paying 120,000, I would have to pay 360,000 for school.

3. They have to be classes that will help you get a job. Wouldn't getting a degree possibly help you get a job? I was starting on an English major so I could get a job helping children here learn English when they begin it in school.

If you do not get their approval (which apparently you never do) you will lose your benefits. Although, you are REQUIRED to take the classes that the unemployment office offers (self-help classes) through the local tech school.

How archaic is this? What backwards thinking! I thought that going to school would be a good productive use of my time since I am off work. Apparently school is not a productive use of time per the unemployment office.

Moral of the story: If you are on unemployment in Iceland, do not try to better yourself to get OFF benefits.

I'm done now. Thanks for listening.

mom4him
March 29th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Oh, how frustrating this must be! I don't know all the ins and outs in the states but I do know there are some pretty unrealistic attatchments to a lot of the government programs.

Hope you can get your classes approved.

Jean Sewing Machine
March 29th, 2013, 01:36 PM
I don't think it's much better in the U.S. I don't know this personally but I'll bet others could give details.

dwil23
March 29th, 2013, 02:09 PM
HHMM.....definitely a catch-22. I understand the reasoning - if you are in school, you "aren't available" to work full time. Of course, on the other hand, if you take some classes you may improve your employability. Hope you are able to get at least some classes approved.

MartinaG
March 29th, 2013, 03:03 PM
And I thought the US bureaucracy was bad.....I am very sorry you have to fight through the system.

You said that these are "distance" learning classes. Does that mean they are online? If so, do you have to sit at the computer at a certain time or can you do it when you feel like it? If so, you WOULD be available for ANY empoyment-directed activity and those rules SHOULD NOT apply to you. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

bakermom
March 29th, 2013, 03:14 PM
i don't know a lot about the rules here, but they will help you find classes to make you more "employable". You do have to have them sign you up for the classes if you want them to pay. I don't know that doing it on your own would make you ineligible though. It does seem a shame that you would be penalized for trying to help yourself.

pdjewelrylady
March 29th, 2013, 03:27 PM
Moral of the story: If you are on unemployment in Iceland, do not try to better yourself to get OFF benefits.

I'm done now. Thanks for listening.
Same story here in the US - so many things are so backwards it is scarey which direction the future will take! i pray for my children and their children!

mommadeb
March 29th, 2013, 04:58 PM
And I thought the US bureaucracy was bad.....I am very sorry you have to fight through the system.

You said that these are "distance" learning classes. Does that mean they are online? If so, do you have to sit at the computer at a certain time or can you do it when you feel like it? If so, you WOULD be available for ANY empoyment-directed activity and those rules SHOULD NOT apply to you. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Yes, they are online and since they are distance learning, I can access the lessons at ANY time as they are recorded. I can still job search and go to required classes and still do my "big school" homework in the evening. My day is otherwise open for work and anything required by unemployment.

mamaquilt
March 29th, 2013, 05:29 PM
I feel sorry for you. Here in Luxembourg you have special courses for the people on unemployment. I don't know about university. But I think everyone who tries to better his situation should be helped.

Keep my fingers crossed for you

MartinaG
March 29th, 2013, 05:51 PM
Yes, they are online and since they are distance learning, I can access the lessons at ANY time as they are recorded. I can still job search and go to required classes and still do my "big school" homework in the evening. My day is otherwise open for work and anything required by unemployment.

You may get lucky and get to deal with a reasonable person. The argument that you won't be available for work really doesn't fit. Expect a positive outcome. I wish you success.

shannonsaulter
March 29th, 2013, 10:07 PM
here in the US people get on welfare in my state and stay there although its only supposed to be a 5 yr program..and unemployment has been cut to min benis for those trying to get a job get an education..but be lazy live on tax $$ and get it I know some really need the help but having worked security at the offices for welfare I know just how many scammers there are..Now here welfare allows thier cards to be used at 7-11 ridiculous..they get healthcare while I pay through the nose...ok I could go on an on but will get off the soapbox...

Sandy Navas
March 30th, 2013, 12:35 AM
Tongue in cheek - I wasn't aware that US GOV REGs extended to Iceland. Did we buy you??????

Makes me quite angry on all fronts. Sorry - I need to get an off-switch on my anger button; but, I only use it when thoroughly justified (I HOPE).

Shaking my head in disbelief.

phoots
March 30th, 2013, 01:05 AM
Mommadeb, I can understand your frustration! How bad is the employment problem in Iceland? I live in Las Vegas and the unemployment rate here is still very high. I've been on unemployment off and on for 2 1/2 yrs (I've had some temporary jobs). I'm now going to start night classes for a new career. I will be available to work during the day. But, I think I run out of unemployment in about 2-3 weeks and I start classes in 2 weeks. Who knows what will happen!

Mommadeb, I will be praying for you and I wish you the best!

Pam in Vegas
ROLL TIDE

Lisapc
March 30th, 2013, 01:28 AM
Rant away. The laws regarding unemployment make no sense at all. They are no better here in Massachusetts than where you are.

I was laid off the day after Mother's Day last year. The company (women I knew and worked with for 20 yrs) told unemployment that I quit. I did not quit. Three days before I was let go I was approached and told because they were not getting any new customers (I was not in sales in any way and had asked repeatedly for a year to please do something so we didn't run out of customers) about working for a few months for nothing. When these 2 ladies started the company they worked for 2 yrs with no pay. I told them that with ownership and a say in restructuring sales I would consider it but there was no way considering the pay I was receiving was one third of what I was promised and I had 2 promotions in the last 8 months with no financial gain yet much more responsibility. I won and was allowed to collect.

I arrived to work on Monday morning to be told that I was done. So they fought it but even though I had been friends, intimate friends with one of them for over 20 yrs I still had documented everything that happened business wise. Promotion dates, increased job responsibilities, etc. I won the right to collect unemployment. It was required that I attend a seminar on how unemployment works. They said that it was a lottery system but if you were chosen you had to attend classes their and make your social media presence to their satisfaction to increase your odds of finding a new position. It was no lottery. Everyone over the age of 35 and that looked like they had bathed that day or had a position of responsibility was chosen. I was the National Director of Licensure. So that meant 2-3 stupid classes a week. I was told I was scheduled for one, showed up and they wouldn't let me in because the computer said I already took that class when I hadn't. It was an administrative error of some sort. From May until December I tried repeatedly by email and phone to have this straightened out to no avail. Obama was ending unemployment extensions anyway. I finally gave up. On 12-31 he gave another extension. I tried again and was told that because there was no check issued for 4 weeks that I was un-eligible for unemployment without new employment on record. I couldn't collect anymore.

My neighbor across the street who has no desire to work at all collected for 99 weeks when we first moved her 4 1/2 yrs ago. She worked part time for 6 months and then collected another 55 weeks. She went back to work for 3 months and is now collecting again. She wasn't chosen for the "program". She certainly looks like someone who doesn't care about how she looks at all and even though I find her to be a very nice person she truly doesn't care what she looks like and has no desire to work at all.

Our system here in MA is horrible and if I wanted to go to school I wouldn't have been able to because of the job I held. In my position they came straight out and told me that at the level I was at that I would be required to look out of state for a position. So I would have to re locate my whole family? Leave my whole world behind? Really fair don't you think?

MayinJerset
March 30th, 2013, 09:41 AM
And I thought the US bureaucracy was bad.....I am very sorry you have to fight through the system.

You said that these are "distance" learning classes. Does that mean they are online? If so, do you have to sit at the computer at a certain time or can you do it when you feel like it? If so, you WOULD be available for ANY empoyment-directed activity and those rules SHOULD NOT apply to you. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Yeahl, What she said.

mommadeb
March 30th, 2013, 06:26 PM
Mommadeb, I can understand your frustration! How bad is the employment problem in Iceland? I live in Las Vegas and the unemployment rate here is still very high. I've been on unemployment off and on for 2 1/2 yrs (I've had some temporary jobs). I'm now going to start night classes for a new career. I will be available to work during the day. But, I think I run out of unemployment in about 2-3 weeks and I start classes in 2 weeks. Who knows what will happen!

Mommadeb, I will be praying for you and I wish you the best!

Pam in Vegas
ROLL TIDE

Our unemployment is probably about the same as the States. We are at 5.5%, which equates to about 17000-18000 people. We are only about 320,000 total here. Here, like the US, that number only represents those that are actually on benefits. Who knows how many are receiving nothing.

mommadeb
March 30th, 2013, 06:37 PM
Lisapc-what a heck of a deal. What a jacked-up society we live in. So sad.

In my situation I was laid off too, while on medical leave. And yes, that is legal here. It's a gray area, but it can legally be done. It's a long story but I did go as far as I could with it. I found out just this week that another woman broke her hand and while off on medical leave, they laid her off too. The limit is 3 months with this company. If you are off even 3 months +1 day, our company lays you off. Another friend of mine from there is off because he needs hip replacement. He told my husband just yesterday that he will get his lay-off letter the end of April and he knows it's coming. THEN, they will not hire you back because they say you have medical problems. I only had carpal tunnel surgery 3 times in one year and the doctor said that I was to be off 6 mos to completey heal. I did not know about the 3 month rule.

Funny thing is, people hate working at that company and the company can not understand why they can't get help. Um-DUH!

SallyO'Sews
March 30th, 2013, 09:37 PM
Oh, no! Gotta' love governmental agencies, no matter where! If it makes you feel any better, my son spent four hours at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles today in order to get a driver's permit so he can get his license (27 years old and still no license... long story). In order to prove you live here, you have to provide two pieces of mail, so he took his W-2 tax forms that were mailed to him by two different employers. After waiting in line for over three and a half hours, he was told that because they were both W-2's, they only counted as one piece of mail. So now, guess where he and his DW have to spend NEXT Saturday morning? :icon_rolleyes:

mommadeb
March 31st, 2013, 12:39 PM
Oh, no! Gotta' love governmental agencies, no matter where! If it makes you feel any better, my son spent four hours at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles today in order to get a driver's permit so he can get his license (27 years old and still no license... long story). In order to prove you live here, you have to provide two pieces of mail, so he took his W-2 tax forms that were mailed to him by two different employers. After waiting in line for over three and a half hours, he was told that because they were both W-2's, they only counted as one piece of mail. So now, guess where he and his DW have to spend NEXT Saturday morning? :icon_rolleyes:

That is SO ridiculous! It does not surprise me though with a government business. I hope he gets is straightened out ok.

Sandy Navas
April 1st, 2013, 12:27 AM
Incompetence reigns supreme. Ignorance reigns supreme. Inadequate training reigns supreme. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians . . . Too much government interference.

I am NOT going to get on my soap box.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_L8U3JVg0IYg/TKy_63CVaMI/AAAAAAAABWI/ob9a8taWsD0/s1600/soapbox.jpg (http://staceypanassidi-anewbeginning.blogspot.com/2010/10/standing-on-my-soap-box.html)

dwil23
April 1st, 2013, 12:52 AM
Incompetence reigns supreme. Ignorance reigns supreme. Inadequate training reigns supreme. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians . . . Too much government interference.

I am NOT going to get on my soap box.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_L8U3JVg0IYg/TKy_63CVaMI/AAAAAAAABWI/ob9a8taWsD0/s1600/soapbox.jpg (http://staceypanassidi-anewbeginning.blogspot.com/2010/10/standing-on-my-soap-box.html)

Yeah, save that for when these same incompetents start deciding who gets health care. :icon_razz:

New York Sue
April 1st, 2013, 01:31 AM
I can't speak for our European friends, but here in the U.S. this is how I see it.
We have a President that was elected By the PEOPLE. He ALWAYS speaks to the burdens of the middle class. And EQUALITY, for all. And the 'powers that be' can't get over themselves. What is that french term?
'Boosh-wah-zee'? Sorry, I don't have the energy to look it up...
There's a few really, really FILTHY rich guys, in charge of the whole mess, I think.
Meanwhile, I'm getting taxed to death, so 'someone' can call an ambulance, for their latest 911 emergency. She applied NAIR to her bikini region, and her genitals (edited) were burning up!....Me. 'Did you try to soak in a warm tub?' 'NO! I'd get a yeast infection!'. 'Did you use anything else to avoid an ambulance call here to your home?' 'I put on some of that petroleam jelly'.
Really? I have no patience.
You are in so much discomfort, texting on your JACKED up phone.
OH. You want breakfast? No problem, chica.
Thank GOD, it was at the end of my shift!

mommadeb
April 4th, 2013, 12:41 PM
I went and talked to the unemployment office again today and here is what they told me: You will probably only get 50% payment for April and there is a very high possibility that you will have to pay back 50% for each month, January, February and March since I was going to school during that time.

I know there are many, many others out there who have nothing and I am grateful for what I do have, but geez!

Blondie
April 4th, 2013, 07:34 PM
Hmm, does he have to have id to vote? Just saying . . . I mean no offense but so many states including my own don't require id for voting but good golly, you need it for a library card. How STOOOPPPIIIIDDDD

I will not go further with the stoooopppiiity of those who are in elected office because after all someone voted for them.
PS - it weren't me. I research everyone before I vote and then I write them emails letting them know what I think of their record.
Oh yeah, I cut the hair of one NC State Senator. There have been times he has avoided me but let's put it this way; he knows I am the heartbeat of his constituents. Or so he tells me.

Good luck with unemployment Mommadeb. I don't know how to fix a broken system. Many blessings to you.


Oh, no! Gotta' love governmental agencies, no matter where! If it makes you feel any better, my son spent four hours at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles today in order to get a driver's permit so he can get his license (27 years old and still no license... long story). In order to prove you live here, you have to provide two pieces of mail, so he took his W-2 tax forms that were mailed to him by two different employers. After waiting in line for over three and a half hours, he was told that because they were both W-2's, they only counted as one piece of mail. So now, guess where he and his DW have to spend NEXT Saturday morning? :icon_rolleyes: