Monday, July 09, 2007

Peculiarly Informal Way to End Unemployment

I HAD THE PLEASURE of terminating my participation in the New York State Unemployment system this Sunday. What surprised me was the lack of any defined, emphatic way to let the system know you're done.

In the manual I received when I signed up for benefits, it merely says, "When you get a job, you should claim credit for the last days you were out of work, then simply stop claiming benefits."

There's no explicit "I'M DONE" button on the NYS Unemployment website. Rather, you need to submit a claim for the week, then, at the end of the survey, you answer "yes" to the question, "Have you returned to work full-time?" I did this, and the system let me know I was ineligible for benefits for that week, but because I had earned more than the claim payout maximum.

For something as important as closing out a financial record, I would imagine there to be a formal procedure, requiring you to sign off specifically for that purpose, to end the benefits relationship. Not that I feel it needs drama that befits the joy of getting a full-time gig again. If I were closing a bank account or switching 401(k) providers, I would expect to sign all manner of forms or click a variety of Web buttons, and have printed proof that the desired result was enacted in case it ever becomes an issue. Not here. All I need to do . . . is do nothing.

It does gall me that I will have to pay taxes on the unemployment cash, though. I'll use the remainder for my 2008 Roth IRA contribution. Tax that.

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