Sunday, October 25, 2020

covid notes 48

When Tim was laid off, he was given a (small as far as I’m concerned given that he worked there for 25 years) severance package and had a couple of weeks of vacation pay coming to him. We figured unemployment wouldn’t kick in until that ran out, so when payments began arriving a few weeks later, Tim called to point this out and was told all was well and was instructed on exactly how to fill out the weekly forms. Then, at the end of September, we received a call from someone who was investigating his claim. Apparently he had been given bad advice. The investigator led Tim to believe that payments would stop and begin again after about the same amount of time had passed. Instead, he received a legal document via certified mail billing him back for the overpayment. If he wanted to appeal, he needed to do so within 30 days of the determination date, which was 16 days before the day he received the certified notice.


In other words, we are supposed to pay back almost every penny of unemployment (including the very helpful extra $600/week that was being paid out over the summer).


Would it surprise you that I am very angry?


When we at last got a “program integrity specialist”* on the phone, she suggested that we appeal, because everyone does, which would put off a decision for months. My accountant, on the other hand, was clear that the laws are coming in/changing quickly during all this craziness, and if we don’t pay it back in full this year, we may not be able to write off the entire paid-back amount next year. He said if we can pay it now, we should.


Oh, and we have to pay back even MORE cash than they sent us, because we had taxes withheld. So that has to get paid back now too and we won’t see it til it’s written off our tax return next year. I’m so glad that the people who fucked this up are now getting a loan from us.


We are lucky that we can pay this back, but it sure as hell changes things. We are not wealthy people. (Thank god we didn’t spend all the severance.) And they are sending this huge bill to an unemployed person.


Which reminds me, you know what else is exciting? Open season for health insurance starts November 1.


We’re so screwed.


*in fairness, she was very helpful.



  1. This is terrible and truly fucked.... I'm so sorry. (And I don't even want to ask what "open season for health insurance" means.)

  2. Fuck this shit. Can it get any worse?

  3. Oh no! WTF? That really sucks.

    And I'm with Helen - health insurance open season does not sound like fun.