Browsing "Census 2010"
Aug 23, 2010 - Census 2010, Milwaukee, The Bier of Beer, Wisconsin    Comments Off

Census 2010 and unemployment compensation

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bread line

Hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off by the census bureau. Whether or not they qualify for  unemployment? It’s an alchemical art.

Even though federal employees are covered for unemployment insurance under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program and you don’t even have deductions taken out to pay for it, they are bound by the eligibility rules of the state they worked in.

In Wisconsin, where I worked for the census bureau from March til August, the rules are really arcane. Now pay close attention:

Benefit amounts and eligibility are based on the first four of the last five quarters prior to the start of your claim — unless you don’t have enough wages to qualify for a claim based on that formula, in which case, you use the ‘alternate base period‘ method. The alternate period is the four most recently completed calendar quarters prior to the start of your claim,  where your wages must be at least 35 times your weekly benefit rate AND your wages equal at least 4 times your weekly benefit rate outside the highest quarter.

Got it?

It took four phone calls with wait times of up to 40 minutes to determine that I need to reapply in October (when the next quarter begins) to have my last quarter (July and August) considered as part of the formula.

And as my passionately-right-wing Republican,  Fox-News-Network-loving Mom noted: “What are people supposed to do if they need that money to live?

Aug 6, 2010 - Census 2010, Getting old and stuff    Comments Off

Arghh! I DID get booted off the Census 2010 island!

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Fourteen hour days weren’t enough. Working 50 hours and paid for 40 wasn’t enough. Being a Good Little Monkey wasn’t enough. I became collateral damage.

I suspected something was up when my boss didn’t mind that I took two days off in a row for a raging sinus infection. Well, yep. My instincts were right. The 2010 Census went from a frog in a blender to “work? What work?” overnight–and I’m filing for unemloyment.

But wait? What’s that I hear? The distant thunder of a new Census operation, unplanned and randomly implementized? Last minute calls from the LCO asking about my ‘availability”? Four weeks work to be done in in 15 days?

I can’t even say no. Where is my black, all-purpose dress?