Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bomb Scare

Dear Mouse,

It had been a week that I have not stepped out of my place. Last Monday, however, there was a need for me to go the nearest EDD (Employment Development Department) to show my documents for validation pertinent to my claim for unemployment benefits. Contrary to the belief of some, unemployment is not a form of welfare. It is an insurance paid by the company where the employees are the beneficiaries if they lose the job due to downsizing, lay off or termination. Those who resigned whether it is voluntary or forced are not entitled to receive this benefit. The Unemployment premium paid by the employer has increased by 50 per cent this year thus increasing the overhead expenses in the form of employees fringe benefits.

So with the tips of my friends who had received the same benefits in- between- jobs,I went to the county’s one stop job connection center. They made me fill in forms that asked the same questions about ethnicity, personal information, financial status, blah blah. At the end was a question if I want to register as a voter.

This was not my first time to set foot in an EDD satellite office. The first time, I lost my job because of the death of my boss, I went to EDD, made some inquiries, filled in forms and left. Days after, I did not follow it up since I got a new job. Communications from the EDD kept coming with the warning that if I would not send back the forms, my claim might be affected.

The receptionist asked me to wait for a social worker or whoever these people are who conduct interviews to determine if one qualifies for what he/she is applying for. I did not know that the first form was an application for welfare of any form that may be availed only by:

  • 1. those less than 21 years old single mother
  • Whaaa, so those are the welfare checks received by the single mothers aside from free milk and vitamin supplements for babies, daycare assistance, health insurance for both mother and child. And all of these come from the taxes that we pay when we are productively employed but we cannot avail since we do not fall in their categories.

  • 2. those homeless or those in apartments who are going to be evicted.
  • 3. Medical for unemployed, uninsured and low-income brackets.
  • Whoooo, kaya pala ganoon ang mga tanong. Pati yong $ 5 kong bank deposit, tinatanong.

    Perstimer ako sa ganitong experience and the Ca t was not even aware that she is applying for welfare when she just inquired about an alternative insurance in lieu of the expensive COBRA coverage. When an individual loses his/her job, he/she loses also the benefit of group insurance that may be given as 100 percent free coverage by the employer or a partial coverage-low group premium insurance package benefit.

    When I realized where the interview was going, I have to tell the worker that I was not there to get an welfare but I was there to register with an EDD agency that help those displaced from the job market by providing networking, use of fax, copier and computer to search for job.

    Though I have these machines at home, I still have to report personally so they could provide me with an access code for the job search and resume databank programs that I can use to log in anywhere.

    The interviewer was grateful for shortening the interview process but suggested that I try another county program that offers low cost insurance. The qualifying and adjudication processes are tough in order to assure that only those who really need them are enrolled in the program.

    So I was about to go to the second floor when a trainer stopped me and instructed me to go out the building FAST.

    He went upstairs too to give the same instruction to the trainees and jobseekers using the facilities. At that point, I smelled something funny, repulsive odor.

    We were herded outside the building with the alarm blaring in full blast. A few minutes later, the fire truck came with a couple of cops’ cars trailing.

    WOW. sabi ko, ganon pala ang may bomb scare. Funny, I was not scared at all.Some people kidded each other about FARTING, thus the smell.

    Some more minutes passed and the area were declared safe. They did not announce what they found. They merely told us that we could go back inside the building.

    After all the dusts have settled down, a lady in the second floor conducted the interview, asked for my docs, inputted my personal data and directed me to use a computer to type my resume. They cannot scan the copy I brought with me because they have special resume software that can be viewed by prospective employers. A Filipino lady with a Lexus van was also there typing her resume. Pareho siguro kami ng kapalaran.

    So, I typed my resume, got a print out and bid the lady, goodbye.I got to go to bathroom and I did not want to cause another scare.

    While eating in a restaurant, I browse the print-out from the EDD and found that the telephone number was wrong. I have to call her to rectify the error. Tomorrow.

    I forgot what I was constantly reminding others to check the forms before leaving a government agency. They are not all smart to get the correct information.

    The Ca t

    6 Comments:

    At 7:16 PM, Blogger Dr. Emer said...

    From filling out forms to bomb scare procedures, everything there is organized. Kakainggit. Dito puro kapaan, dimo alam kung saang window ka pupunta. Ingat ka, Cath.

     
    At 9:32 PM, Blogger rolly said...

    Ganda mo talagang mag-kwento. Pareho nung sa isa mo pang blog na pinaysaamerika. Talagang blow by blow. Nothing left to the imagination talaga. YOu tell it like it is, ika nga. Kumpletos rekados. Meron pa ba? Hmm, the whole 9 yards...

     
    At 6:35 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

    Dr. Emer,
    The EDD manages the insurance contributions paid by the employers for their employees. Not everyone knows these
    benefits and how to avail of them.

    Not all organizations have Human resources department that can make the job terminations a less stressful transition for the people who lose their jobs.
    Some small corporations merely give the employee their last check and escort them outside.

    Only friends who are also well-informed can give them leads.

    I know Noli de Castro filed a bill that is of similar nature to US unemployment insurance program.

     
    At 6:38 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

    titorolly,
    Ewan ko ba, I may not remember where i put my bunch of keys but I have the elephant's memory for events that happened many years ago.

     
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    At 3:21 AM, Blogger Cat Care Insurance said...

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