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Tue Jun 29, 2021, 08:48 PM

She quit her job to care for her children during COVID. Now, Wisconsin demands $30K repayment.

She quit her job to care for her children during COVID. Now, Wisconsin demands $30K repayment for unemployment benefits.
Posted: June 28, 2021 6:48 PM

MADISON, Wis. — When Dominique Aldridge quit her job as a certified nursing assistant in Green Bay last March, it was because her three young children–two of them school-aged–suddenly had no daytime childcare when schools closed as COVID-19 first spread in Wisconsin. A single mom, her hands were tied.

She’s now recently back at work after moving to Chicago, with her children’s new schools reopening in late spring. But the state Department of Workforce Development is threatening a warrant if she doesn’t repay $29,706 they paid out to her in regular and extra federal unemployment benefits during the pandemic, because of a minor error in one of her weekly claims in April 2020.

“With all that being shut down, I had no way to work,” she said.

She’s the only caretaker for her children. People who had to quit their jobs to provide childcare during the pandemic was one way to qualify for pandemic unemployment assistance, the federal program begun to pay unemployment for those who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits. She was on PUA for awhile, she said. But the bulk of unemployment, and the benefits the DWD is after her to repay, are from regular unemployment and the enhanced federal benefit.

“If I was never supposed to get the regular UI…it should have been corrected,” Dominique said. “You all work there; I don’t work there.”

Real or alleged filing mistakes threaten financial disaster for applicants

The issue at stake is that the DWD says Dominique worked at a job in April 2020 for less than a week that she didn’t report to the DWD–something that they didn’t work out until months after paying her the regular unemployment benefits. Dominique said she was working multiple jobs when the pandemic shut everything down.

Employment attorney Victor Forberger said most applicants don’t understand that each job has to be adjudicated for an unemployment claim–something that most states waived at the beginning of the pandemic, but not Wisconsin.

“It’s created a nightmare situation, especially with those on the lower economic spectrum who have multiple jobs,” Forberger explained.

The state claims she didn’t respond to phone calls asking her to correct the April error, but Dominique contends she called back after every voicemail–and either couldn’t get through, or continually got conflicting information from adjudicators and other respondents.

“I used to call DWD every day to speak with somebody, and I get something told to me different every day.”

The state is blaming her for not providing complete information during the claims filing process as well as not returning phone calls seeking more details about her claim. Aldridge says she didn’t even submit all the claims herself (the state says records show she did the initial claim herself, but didn’t respond to questions about claims after they went to adjudication), and returned every phone call from adjudicators. She could rarely get through, or when she did was told they had the information they needed–or a combination of other contradicting pieces of information.

Dominique applied for regular unemployment, then she said she was switched later to the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. After that, she was put on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Then, she was switched back.

“I don’t know how that stuff goes,” she said.

It was confusing, and she says ultimately, it’s not her fault. The state is threatening her with a warrant and credit score damage if she doesn’t pay out. She’s appealing the decision–and now she’s stuck in a waiting pattern for a hearing process that’s likely to stretch for months or longer.

“I don’t work there, I’m not the one that put in the case,” she said. “An actual representative there did the application for me.”

She’s now back in school to get her nursing degree while working part-time as a CNA and caring for her children. As far as the state is concerned, the nearly-$30,000 bill is on her.

https://www.channel3000.com/she-quit-her-job-to-care-for-her-children-during-covid-now-wisconsin-demands-30k-repayment-for-unemployment-benefits/

Wisconsin DWD is a nightmare.

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Reply She quit her job to care for her children during COVID. Now, Wisconsin demands $30K repayment. (Original post)
milestogo Jun 2021 OP
old guy Jun 2021 #1
Ziggysmom Jun 2021 #3
onecaliberal Jun 2021 #2
RKP5637 Jun 2021 #5
Ellipsis Jun 2021 #4

Response to milestogo (Original post)

Tue Jun 29, 2021, 09:05 PM

1. Wi. is a nightmare period and will remain that way as long as the repubs are in control.

Evers does what he can but they tie his hands at every turn.

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Response to old guy (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 29, 2021, 10:00 PM

3. Wonder if our anti-vaxxer senator Russian Ronnie will spend the 4th of July visiting his comrade

Putin again? How did Wisconsin get ignorant enough to elect these repube idiots? I grew up listening to Gaylord Nelson who founded Earth Day, supported workers rights and spoke out against the Viet Nam war. How low can we go?

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Tue Jun 29, 2021, 09:52 PM

2. Republicans are good for NOTHING

Evil fuckers.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 29, 2021, 10:14 PM

5. There's the scum under the barrel, and then under that is the republican slime. n/t

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Tue Jun 29, 2021, 10:08 PM

4. Wisconsin DWD have always been arrogant power freaks... its more their culture than politics

Though the fucking Vos and his minions will do anything to cockblock Evers efforts. And they certainly have when it comes to rewriting the code for the current DWD ancient solution.

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