Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jobless claims drop as 2 states upgrade computers

My comment:
As reported in the T&G on Saturday, Massachusetts spent $46 million on a new Unemployment Claims computer system, which is just horrible. People are being denied money they are owed, or delayed for months. There's no one to talk to but some ignorant person in a phone bank, even if it should be clear to anyone who knows the unemployment laws that the computer has it wrong. 
Yesterday I talked with a man who hasn't seen a check in six weeks, can't get a straight answer, and is getting evicted today! 

Plus now the computer is spitting our blizzards of bills for overpayment in the past and garnishing people's benefit checks, often absurdly, and again there is no one to talk to! 

Now we're starting to see people who've given up in frustration and walked away from money they are apparently rightly owed and urgently need! 

I hate to jump to conclusions. I still talk about this as a problem of an incompetent, badly conceived and badly implemented new system. But if this is happening nationwide - and this article suggests it is - then maybe that's the design of the system: to drive people crazy and get them to give up and walk away! 

That would not only save the US and state governments (and employers) money, it would be one more way the Feds can make themselves look good by hiding the true extent of the unemployment problem! 

The Worcester Unemployment Action Group will be having a followup meeting tomorrow with representatives of Workforce Central, the city's Workforce Investment Board and a representative from Boston of the Division of Unemployment Assistance. We will be impressing on them the urgent need for putting DUA specialists back on the job at the Career Centers, and giving them the power to override the computer and fix a problem if the computer can't be made to fix it in a reasonable amount of time. 

This has gone on too long! We don't want to hear any more excuses! We want to know what they're going to do! 
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