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Denied Unemployment Insurance - EDD Say I am Unable to Work Though I Can (CALIFORNIA)

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  • Denied Unemployment Insurance - EDD Say I am Unable to Work Though I Can (CALIFORNIA)

    My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: CALIFORNIA

    I have been denied unemployment insurance because the Employment Development Depart (EDD) say I am unable to work due to health reasons, though I am able to do many jobs. I am going to file an appeal, and wonder if anybody has any advice and/or experience of a similar situation? Here is some background information:

    On November 17, 2008 last year I was laid off my from last job. I did not quit – a number of people were let go due to the company downsizing due to economic conditions. The next day I immediately filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) with the EDD.

    I did not hear back from the EDD for a few weeks, so tried calling them to enquire as to the status of my claim. After many attempts over a number of days, I finally got through and was told that they were under a heavy workload due to the current economic situation and increased number of people filing. A few days later I received my first claim forms.

    I promptly returned these, indicating that I was available and looking for work.

    In December 2008, I applied to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DSS) for Food Stamp benefits, and because recipients of these benefits are required to attend job placements, I was asked during the interview if I was able to perform such work requirements. I responded that I was, but because of a colo-rectal medical condition which I was awaiting surgery for, I could not do certain jobs such as those which involved lifting heavy weights or which involved strenuous activity. Office based jobs, such as sitting at a computer - my normal line of work - were fine.

    The DSS required me to visit a doctor, which I did on December 26, 2008. After making the visit and explaining my condition to the doctor (there was no examination) and indicating I could perform many different types of work, but not some, I was given a form which stated “temporary disability with expiration date of 4/26/09”. I assume that this information was also sent to the DSS as part of my benefit eligibility.

    My medical condition had gotten worse over the past year, and I was diagnosed after I had been seen and examined by a doctor during a hospital visit. This happened a few months earlier in 2008, which occurred during the time of my previous employment.

    In early January 2009, I still had not received any UI benefits, so I contacted the EDD. Again after many phone call attempts, on January 5, 2009 I eventually got through to an EDD officer. While asking about the current status of my claim, I mentioned my DSS claim, the doctor’s visit and not being able to perform all types of work.

    Because of this, the EDD officer said they needed to schedule a telephone interview with me, which in a letter that arrived a few days later, indicated was to take place on January 15. On January 15, I had the telephone interview with an EDD officer, and I explained the situation of having the medical condition, and visiting the DSS doctor. I said to the EDD officer that I was able to perform most jobs, but was unable to do some types of work because of this condition. The EDD officer asked me to fax the DSS doctor’s letter to them, which I did that same day.

    On January 25, I received a letter from the EDD saying that “you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits because…you cannot work for health reasons.” The letter informed me that I have a right to appeal this decision within 20 days of the mailing of the letter (Jan 23, 2009) which I am doing.

    On the evening of this coming Tuesday, Feb 3, I will be visiting the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County for advice on how to word my appeal against my UI denial.

    Since being laid off on November 17, 2008 I have been searching for work constantly, and I have applied for hundreds of jobs without any luck. I am applying for both jobs in my area of expertise, and those which are not - such as general office work.

    So my current plan of action is:

    1. Get legal advice
    2. Appeal the EDD’s denial of UI decision
    3. Continue looking for work
    4. Await my surgery

    Any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for replies.

  • #2

    Do not lay your case out here. The officers handling the case at the Appeal Tribunal will be on your side if they can possibly be. And you DO have a case......But, never, never, never volunteer information. Only answer in truth, and with aforethought. Think, think, and think. Do not volunteer anything but the truth of what little you must say. Believe I saw that on Perry Mason….or Judge Judy. And….with the IRS.


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply, but I don't understand what you mean by:

      "...But, never, never, never volunteer information. Only answer in truth, and with aforethought. Think, think, and think..."

      Could you please explain it in maybe a different way?

      (1) What information should I not volunteer, and why?

      (2) Also, I have been and plan to be truthful. "...answer in truth, and with aforethought..." I don't quite understand that comment, please clarify.

      Thanks again for replying.


      • #4
        Really a person should have an attorney, and for the simple fact that we all tend to explain rather than just using simple answers. Coming before the Appeals Tribunal Court is similar to any other Court. The officer that you will appear before, be you in person or be it a sworn verbal disposition over the phone (3 or more parties if all “appear”). When you are asked a question, try to keep it a simple “yes” or “no”, if for an explanation…..there is your need for an attorney. I have never had an attorney at a Tribunal, but I had looked as dim witted (not hard for me anyway) as possible, slowing my answers.

        I had won one case on constructive discharge (but not recorded as that for obvious reasons) and another on unjust termination (recorded as such). And I had been lucky. Lucky. Lucky. This was over a 42 year history in industrial construction.


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies everyone. Here's an update. I went to an appeal a few weeks ago, and was successful. After presenting all the information I mentioned earlier, plus mentioning the fact that I had recently found work a couple months ago, the Administrative Law Judge at the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board reversed the determination, and am elegible for all benefits from the date of my initial claim.


          • #6
            Congratulations & thanks for the up-date.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


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