My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: CALIFORNIA
I have been denied unemployment insurance because the Employment Development Depart (EDD) say I am unable to work due to health reasons, though I am able to do many jobs. I am going to file an appeal, and wonder if anybody has any advice and/or experience of a similar situation? Here is some background information:
On November 17, 2008 last year I was laid off my from last job. I did not quit – a number of people were let go due to the company downsizing due to economic conditions. The next day I immediately filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) with the EDD.
I did not hear back from the EDD for a few weeks, so tried calling them to enquire as to the status of my claim. After many attempts over a number of days, I finally got through and was told that they were under a heavy workload due to the current economic situation and increased number of people filing. A few days later I received my first claim forms.
I promptly returned these, indicating that I was available and looking for work.
In December 2008, I applied to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DSS) for Food Stamp benefits, and because recipients of these benefits are required to attend job placements, I was asked during the interview if I was able to perform such work requirements. I responded that I was, but because of a colo-rectal medical condition which I was awaiting surgery for, I could not do certain jobs such as those which involved lifting heavy weights or which involved strenuous activity. Office based jobs, such as sitting at a computer - my normal line of work - were fine.
The DSS required me to visit a doctor, which I did on December 26, 2008. After making the visit and explaining my condition to the doctor (there was no examination) and indicating I could perform many different types of work, but not some, I was given a form which stated “temporary disability with expiration date of 4/26/09”. I assume that this information was also sent to the DSS as part of my benefit eligibility.
My medical condition had gotten worse over the past year, and I was diagnosed after I had been seen and examined by a doctor during a hospital visit. This happened a few months earlier in 2008, which occurred during the time of my previous employment.
In early January 2009, I still had not received any UI benefits, so I contacted the EDD. Again after many phone call attempts, on January 5, 2009 I eventually got through to an EDD officer. While asking about the current status of my claim, I mentioned my DSS claim, the doctor’s visit and not being able to perform all types of work.
Because of this, the EDD officer said they needed to schedule a telephone interview with me, which in a letter that arrived a few days later, indicated was to take place on January 15. On January 15, I had the telephone interview with an EDD officer, and I explained the situation of having the medical condition, and visiting the DSS doctor. I said to the EDD officer that I was able to perform most jobs, but was unable to do some types of work because of this condition. The EDD officer asked me to fax the DSS doctor’s letter to them, which I did that same day.
On January 25, I received a letter from the EDD saying that “you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits because…you cannot work for health reasons.” The letter informed me that I have a right to appeal this decision within 20 days of the mailing of the letter (Jan 23, 2009) which I am doing.
On the evening of this coming Tuesday, Feb 3, I will be visiting the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County for advice on how to word my appeal against my UI denial.
Since being laid off on November 17, 2008 I have been searching for work constantly, and I have applied for hundreds of jobs without any luck. I am applying for both jobs in my area of expertise, and those which are not - such as general office work.
So my current plan of action is:
1. Get legal advice
2. Appeal the EDD’s denial of UI decision
3. Continue looking for work
4. Await my surgery
Any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for replies.