Last summer, as soon as I was laid off from MentorCloud (great vision and staff, being paid would have been better…), I filed my unemployment claim with the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
Things have changed with EDD since I last wrote about it in 2009. The every-two-weeks reporting forms are the same but instead of a check in the mail, now they send a VISA credit card from Bank of America. This has lead to some problems.
Unfortunately, BofA is not my bank and the name on the BofA card is not precisely the same version of my name that is on my regular bank account, so they will not set up an auto-transfer. I get no notice when EDD puts funds into the VISA account, so every week, I have to: go to the BofA ATM to ask for the balance (the teller inside BofA cannot do this for an EDD card), if there is any money in the account, I go to my regular bank and tell them the precise balance, then my bank can transfer the funds into my checking account. I could just use the EDD VISA card to pay for stuff but not knowing how much is in it and telling EDD exactly what I spend money on do not work for me.
The EDD reporting form asks questions like:
- Was there any reason (other than sickness or injury) that you could not have accepted full-time work each workday?
- Did you look for work?
- Did you work or earn any money, WHETHER YOU WERE PAID OR NOT?
That last one is difficult for me to answer, because of my work as an accredited Education for Ministry (EfM) mentor for the University of the South – School of Theology. The EfM program pays me a $126/month stipend during nine months of the year. I tried reporting that amount to EDD once a month during the week in which it was deposited but that did not work. EDD stopped deposits and after two fussy letters, scheduled a phone call for me to explain about EfM. The call time was set for sometime during 3 pm to 5 pm Wednesday. When the EDD representative finally called at 5:15 pm, I explained that EfM is a weekly adult formation class for the laity – a four-year program of Bible study, church history, and theology I joined in 2010. The small payment is not per-hour or per-session but per-month and only for nine months – even though I work on the EfM program year-round. Nonetheless, the EDD representative asked me to report as if it were paid $28/weekly. Now that is sorted out, I hope that they will resume payments to the BofA VISA card.
Image copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson