Hello? Is This Mic On? Is Anyone Listening?

It has happened, on occasion, that I overreact and then need to walk back my rage or indignation. Throughout the pandemic, it has not happened often. That is a sad reality. Think about it, I see someone getting screwed by the UI division or catch a press conference that infers significant consequences on millions of people. My knee jerk reaction is to be pissed and head to my studio. I should be wrong more often, but I’m not! That, in itself, is upsetting.

Together with the Wisconsin Unemployment ACTION Group there is a protest being planned for Labor Day. What better moment than a day to celebrate laborers to stand up and be heard about the injustices and oppression heaped on the very laborers we are celebrating. People do not wish to be on unemployment. Its an absolute nightmare. People have no desire to sign up for emergency food stamps. Its humiliating. Yet . . . here we are.

A recent situation that has seriously affected my ability to remain calm came to my attention in the wee hours of the morning today. SSDI recipients have been treated like a population of individuals unworthy of the governments scraps, let alone the benefits they are rightly entitled to. After four months of fighting for their rights, vindication came in the form of a letter from the Department of Labor. Once and for all, the argument was settled. In Wisconsin, while SSDI recipients are not eligible for Reg UI due to state law (108.04 (12)(f), they are entitled to federal pandemic benefits.

The good news doesn’t end there. Not only are recipients eligible, but because Wisconsin doesn’t even recognize them as a working class, the state is forbidden from adjusting their benefits due to the amount of SSDI income they receive. So, to be completely clear, SSDI recipients are eligible for min. of $163/week with the PUA program. This amount can not be adjusted down, and regardless of income earned and if it would qualify or be a lesser amount under state UI statues and standards, the Wisconsin UI department does not have the legal right to adjust this minimum earning.

Not only is the UI division continuing to deny SSDI recipients and put them through pointless appeal hearings, they are now attempting to process them through the Reg UI system, which is a violation of state law and why these folks weren’t paid in the first place back in March! When recipients inquire, they are told that programing the system to pay SSDI requires manual computations of benefits and other steps that are taking an extended period of time. Uh . . . what computations?

This is NOT right and we must stand with these people until these wrongs are made right. As I continue my research, listen in this week as I share some crazy stories from claimants across the state and also welcome a few to come and share their stores themselves!

Published by chenontr

I'm just a girl looking for the truth. I love digging into mental health and why we are so afraid of it. I also enjoy taking on advocacy issues and fighting the fights that need fighting.

2 thoughts on “Hello? Is This Mic On? Is Anyone Listening?

  1. And they send us through adjudication for 21 days every week for the same thing. Even though your answers most likely will be the same every week when u certify. When you call PUA they tell you they don’t have supervisors and to check the portal. The portal hasnt been update since August 3, 2020 at 10:45am. Ive been waiting since May 8 got denied In May and now they making me start the process all over even though I was already denied


  2. I applied for regular UI on April 5th. I was laid off from my part time job I’ve worked at for 15 years. I was told I needed to be denied for regular UI before I could qualify for PUA. I applied for PUA on 4/21 under the assumption that I would automatically be denied UI because of my SSDI. The majority of the weeks I have claimed have been “disqualified.” Fast forward to today I am STILL waiting for an official denial of my regular UI, before they can move on to my PUA application. I call and I’m told “just keep filing your weekly claims and check your portal.” They sound like a broken record. I cannot afford to wait any longer. I fear what will happen ppl en with my mental health within the next month. I never wanted this, I never wanted ANY of this. We should not have to literally BEG for the money that we are entitled to.


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