Anyone who has been through it, would probably agree with me, that being unemployed is one of the toughest jobs out there.
My last position as a guest service representative at the Natick Collection was a great job. It was a part time position with "mothers hours" and, I got health insurance! My desk was in the center of the mall's new wing, putting me front & center to all the action. I love interacting with people, and in this position, that was 90% of the job. Honestly there were days when I couldn't wait to leave the stress of home and head for work.
When General Growth Properties who owns the mall decided to outsource the department, I was truly heartbroken. Soon enough the sadness was replaced by pure anxiety. Starting with my final paycheck which was given to me in the form of a "pay card." The booklet on how to cash the thing was 20 pages long. Apparently even the people at the bank were not familiar with it, and they were every bit as baffled as I was. It seriously took over an hour to deposit the thing, during which time I received the "hairy eyeball" from those behind me in line. I couldn't even look at them, because they had every right to be annoyed with me.
The next obstacle was getting through to unemployment to file my claim. With so many out of work, there is some sort of system in place where depending on your last name, date of birth, and shoe size, you are assigned a day to call in your claim. Expect to be put on hold for a minimum of 30 minutes.
If, like me, you are the family member carrying the health insurance, the task becomes more complex. Again, it all starts with a phone call, figuring out who & where to call for COBRA assistance is kind of like playing "Where's Waldo."
There is so much outdated information out there as well as inconsistencies between state and federal guidelines. I became more determined then ever to get the family signed up as I knew I was going to need medical insurance to cover the therapy I was going to require after this ordeal.
After gathering pay stubs, proof of existing insurance, filling out forms, making photo copies, making phone calls, and payingto send faxes, I finally received my letter of....denial!? That's right, we were denied, we made too much money ... LOL!!
Apparently someone entered my husbands salary as weekly, not bi-weekly. Getting such a simple, honest mistake fixed, took more patience then I could muster.
When at last we did get the approval letter, my blood pressure went through the roof as I read that now that we were approved, if I wanted reimbursement forms, which of course was the whole purpose of my applying for COBRA assistance, I could call the office to have them sent to me.
Here's a crazy thought ... enclose them with the letter!!