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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: Massachusetts

    My daughter worked full time at one employer and had a "per diem" position with another employer as well as a part time (8-16 hours a month) job with a third employer.
    She was awarded FMLA benefits due to my wife's (her mom) disability (she has ALS).

    After exhausting all her FMLA with her full time employer and with her mother's condition deteriorating and requiring 24 hour care, she quit her full time job and gave notice to the other two that her availability would be even more limited (neither has contacted her to offer any hours since).

    She was originally denied unemployment benefits, then appealed, and the decision was overturned (all three employers), thus qualifying her for benefits due to the "urgent and compelling reasons" that caused her to have to leave her job.

    Then we surmise, the state decided to "appeal", or "review" her case again, and she received a letter stating she was now NOT eligible because she had answered "no" to the question "were you able and available for work" when filing her weekly claims. She complained and received a notice stating the Review Board would not consider her appeal.

    This makes no sense to me whatsoever. The state has agreed that she could not work her job and care for her mother thus she was entitled to benefits, yet they also are saying that she must look for (and accept) similar employment in order to actually receive benefits. But the need for her to care for her mom hasn't changed! Does the state expect her to lie and answer "yes"?

    If anyone has any insight or thoughts about this I would be grateful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    They awarded her benefits on the basis her quitting her job was valid to not disqualify her. The problem is to receive benefits you have to be able and willing to accvept employment. Since is not willing to accept employment, she is one livable to receive benefits until such time she is willing and able to a job

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,494

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Quote Quoting cmh242gt
    View Post

    This makes no sense to me whatsoever. The state has agreed that she could not work her job and care for her mother thus she was entitled to benefits, yet they also are saying that she must look for (and accept) similar employment in order to actually receive benefits. But the need for her to care for her mom hasn't changed! Does the state expect her to lie and answer "yes"?

    It does look like a Catch 22.

    Unfortunately, at this point, she is going to have to consult an attorney who specializes in UC because her next step is likely to require going to court.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    The state does not provide disability or compassion care benefits. Heck if they did in my state, I would be collecting them now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    It does look like a Catch 22.

    Unfortunately, at this point, she is going to have to consult an attorney who specializes in UC because her next step is likely to require going to court.
    d

    i do not seeing the op prevailing. It is not a catch 22. Qualifying for benefits and qualifying to be able to receive payment are separate issues. Consider this; if you have a current approved claim and had been drawing benefits, if you are then injured and not able to work, you no longer qualify for payment of benefits even though you do qualify for benefits otherwise. Op's cl im has been approved but she does not qualify to receive payments. Because she does not meet the criteria required to receive payments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,211

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Unemployment is not a guaranteed absolute. It is possible to be approved for benefits overall, but not approved for weeks in which no job search was made.

    In this case, the DUA agreed that the reason she quit was not one that disqualified her for benefits. But that does NOT mean that she is exempted from the requirements to receive benefits on a weekly basis. Cut and pasted directly from the DUA website (emphasis mine):

    benefits are available for eligible workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own, and who are able to work and are actively looking for a job.

    3. Will I be eligible for UI benefits if I quit my job?
    According to the law, if you left your job voluntarily with good cause (attributable to your employer) or for an urgent or compelling personal reason, you may be eligible. However, you must meet all the requirements of the law, including being able to work if a job were offered to you. If you are disqualified for any reason, you have the right to file an appeal.


    So she is free to appeal, but the law is very clear on this. Regardless of her being found initially eligible for "urgent and compelling personal reasons" she still is not able to collect for any week in which she is not able to work and in which she conducted the required job search.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    d

    i do not seeing the op prevailing. It is not a catch 22. Qualifying for benefits and qualifying to be able to receive payment are separate issues. Consider this; if you have a current approved claim and had been drawing benefits, if you are then injured and not able to work, you no longer qualify for payment of benefits even though you do qualify for benefits otherwise. Op's cl im has been approved but she does not qualify to receive payments. Because she does not meet the criteria required to receive payments.
    I found this decision by the Mass. Review Board... wouldn't this apply in my daughter's case? http://dwd-webapp-01.detma.org/bor_d...=202&Itemid=48
    She never actually quit her per diem position, the employer testified to that in the hearings. She simply cannot do her previous full time job any longer. If they offered her shifts/hours that she could fit in with her homecare schedule she would love to work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    As I learned....if she is taking care of her mother....she needs a doctors note....she may qualify for some state Dept of Human Services benefits.....however, her mother would need to fill out some paperwork, too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    View Post
    As I learned....if she is taking care of her mother....she needs a doctors note....she may qualify for some state Dept of Human Services benefits.....however, her mother would need to fill out some paperwork, too.
    Nothing we have found out about so far. We do not qualify for MassHealth, which seems to be the overwhelming requirement for receiving any assistance. We even looked into getting a divorce as an option. Neither my employer's health insurance nor my wife's Medicare part B offer any type of "custodial care" whatsoever. ALS is a monster. She needs someone with her 24/7. My daughter is the only female caregiver she has. Between the two of us we do most everything (my sons are limited but help as much as they can). Private duty care is incredibly expensive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: "Able and Available for Work" Problem

    Check into where you would apply for Food Stamps, etc., at.

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