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View Diary: Don't Bother Calling, ET: No One Is Home. Grand Rapids Unemployment Jobless Appeals Office to Close (67 comments)

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  •  And it is definitely NOT a non-issue in Michigan! (2+ / 0-)

    Read my post and the testimony of a couple of people in Comments.

    In Michigan, you absolutely cannot get through on the telephone.  There's no one at the other end to take your call, even if you call repeatedly for hours or wait through the robot, which eventually hangs up on you.

    Walk a mile in my moccasins, and then you'll understand that they make it virtually impossible to contact them by phone.

    They don't respond to e-mail, either.  

    How do I know?  I've lived it.

    •  Presumably, and in order to make he system work, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      they would have a dedicated telephone number for you to reach the appeals examiner at the time of the hearing.  

      In general, with unemployment insurance, talk is cheap.  For questions other than what you can ask in person at the office, write them a letter, send it certified with a signature card, and keep detailed records.  Email is not a legitimate way to contact UI because of the insecure nature of Email.  Every correspondence that you have with UI is a legal docurment and you should treat it the same way that you do with something you send to the IRS or your attorney.  

      I will agree with you outrage if they set up a remote appeals process without a dedicated line to the appeals examiner for the hearing, but other than that, I think you are just manufacturing a problem where none exists.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 03:28:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, okay. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dreamghost, joynow

        Whatever you say.  Obviously, because you live in New Jersey, and I'm unemployed and actually living in and dealing with the system in Michigan, you know the Michigan system better than I do.

        •  In Massachusetts... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VickiStein, ladybug53

          It's been impossible to get through on the phone to UI for a couple of years, but the claims agents are on a totally different phone system than the adjudicators.

          They use dedicated phone lines for the adjudicators, and are also shifting away from in-person hearings.  I don't think that's an austerity move as much as it is a security move.  Every time they had the employer and ex-employee in one room together, there was a chance for a brawl.  And these were administrative hearings and not actual courts, so it's not like they have bailiffs.

          •  I've read that some states are moving to this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53

            type of system.

            I have no problem with it, provided that everyone is protected under law.

            However, knowing how the system works in Michigan right now, I'm skeptical that they're capable of creating something that works.

            •  If you feel that your rights are are being (0+ / 0-)

              violated by the State of Michigan, file a complaint with the US Department of Labor that ultimately has the responsibility for the way that the Unemployment Insurance system is run in the US.  Every state must come into compliance with an established list of Federal standards that all states must adhere to.  The USDOL will certainly follow up on your complaint.  Back in the 70's, they almost shut down the New Hampshire UI system because they were not in compliance with those standards and I am sure that they will take action against Michigan if your rights to UI are being violated.  

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:22:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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