My last day of work was May 19. I have been trying to apply for unemployment since then and boy has it been a headache.
Unemployment is handled through the Texas Workforce Commission. TWC has offices around the state and they’re purpose is to put you to work. They don’t actually handle unemployment even though you are required to register with them in order to collect. There is apparently only one unemployment office which is in the state capitol of Austin. Austin is nowhere near me so I have to handle all business with them on the phone.
I called them a couple of weeks ago, and they asked me to apply online. Okay, I can do that. I went online and followed the directions and got a message saying they felt they could serve me best by phone. Really? Okay, I can call again. And again. And again.
I’ve called at least once a day for about a week and a half. I could only find one number online so that’s the one I used. The outgoing message is very short. Short as in rude. When I finally got through the phone tree, I’d get a pre-recorded message saying something like, “We’re sorry but due to the current call volume, we are unable to take your call at this time. Please try again later.” Which feels like, “We can’t plan appropriately to be staffed to take calls, so goodbye.” I mean, 10 days of “unexpected call volume”? At what point do you decide you need more people working phones?
This afternoon I got through. The girl on the other end didn’t seem to know much about what was going on. After leaving me on hold for an extended period of time, she told me that since my last duty station was in Virginia, that’s where I need to file for unemployment. I wish I’d known that 2 weeks ago, but okay.
I called the Virginia Employment Commission. I will say this for the VEC, they were a lot more pleasant to deal with than TWC. I answered the questions with the automated system and got a fairly helpful customer service person. She took my information and let me know that in fact TWC was incorrect. Since most of my work in the last 18 months has been in Texas, I could have filed with them. They were so difficult and hard to work with, that I chose to continue with Virginia.
I still have some requirements to meet: I need to send a copy of my demobilization paperwork. I need to register with my local workforce commission. I need to make at least 2 applications per week. And I need to call in every week on Sunday. I don’t know why Sunday, but there it is. They’ll direct deposit the money into my account.
I hope this gets handled rapidly. I don’t have just a lot of money saved up, so I need this income to start pretty quickly.
I can’t believe how difficult this all is!
I got a call this morning from TWC. The lady told me they were reviewing my case and realized they’d given me the exact wrong information. So I filed with Texas because the maximum amount is about $100 a week higher. Not that I think I’ll max out the benefits but you never know. I called Virginia and cancelled my claim with them. I also updated my resume on the WorkInTexas website. I still need to fax them some information, but I can do that for free through the workforce office.