Holidays and Unemployment Services

I was unemployed between July and September. My state’s unemployment services office discovered there was one over-payment which I have started to pay back. I called the unemployment service office today to make sure my payment was received and that everything is in good order.

Although I am working now, I don’t receive benefits from my job, such as paid holidays and paid leave, so when the office is closed I don’t get paid that day. So I asked the unemployment service rep if I can file for unemployment benefits when my office is closed for the upcoming holidays.

Instead of answering my question, the woman on the phone threatened to open an investigation against all of my claims in July, August, and September and accused me of trying to commit fraud. I reassured her I haven’t filed any claims since I started my job in September. She had clearly misunderstood my question. I was in tears as I got off the phone because I made the call to ask a couple of honest questions, but was threatened with an audit and accused of making fraudulent claims. Additionally, it’s clear that I will just have to suffer through the holidays with less pay unless I can find extra work and do some gig work.

Should I report this call to my state? I don’t even know who to contact.

You might first want to ask for the woman’s supervisor, and see what happens there. I would start out by asking your original question, and state that the staff may have misunderstood your inquiry. You wont get too far if you call upset and accusing the staff of being angry and rude (even though she may have been).

There may be an Ombudsman for the state, if you cant get it resolved at the local office, try that.

That person may fall into the stereotypical “government employee”. Not all are, but some are clearly miserable. So I’ll assume that nothing will come about of making a complaint. You may just frustrate yourself even more. But if you do decide to try, don’t put too much stock into getting a good resolution. Good luck finding a better job with benefits or a side hustle for the holidays.

Not sure of the state you are in, but If you are off for more than a week, you should be able to file anything after that first week. My husband has 2 weeks that the company he works for shuts down at the end of the year, and he can claim a week of unemployment. They always make you wait a week. I hope this helps.

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My daughter, too, works for a company where they don’t get paid for days off, holidays, sick time, etc. She is a one-on-one aid for school students with disabilities and loves the job, but, in addition to all the days off during the school year, of course she is off all summer. We are in New Jersey. Can she file an unemployment claim?

I am sorry that you were treated badly. Money is stressful enough without someone threatening to audit what you have already received and usually spent.

My recommendation would be to just call back and speak with another rep. If the questions come up then you could explain the disconnect. These are government employees so they really in a unique position because a complaint probably isn’t going to help you in any way. Though I believe in reviews and feedback whether I am treated well or poorly.

I would not think that you could claim unemployment for closed days. It sounds like that is a term of your employment. Plus unemployment withholds the first week off anyway. I would try googling your state’s unemployment benefits for more information.

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