Thursday, May 28, 2020

360,000 Self-Employed and Gig Workers Will Have to Wait For Paper Checks.

Over 360,000 self-employed and gig workers have registered for pandemic relief under the federal CARES Act. Unfortunately, this federal relief is being distributed by Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry, the same outfit that has has botched unemployment claims by people who have been laid off. On Sunday, the self-employed filed their weekly claims as required. Most have established direct deposit or debit cards. On Tuesday, they received an unwelcome surprise. The state, worried about fraudulent claims from identity thieves, has decided against filling debit cards or making direct deposits. Instead, "PUA Claimants [the self-employed] will be receiving their PUA and FPUC benefit payments via paper checks for the foreseeable future as an added precaution." According to the Department of Labor, "This will result in about a four business day delay in receiving benefits."

Right.

More like three or four weeks, if past experience is any indication.

One of the three great lies - "It's in the mail."

Temporarily switching to paper checks will help prevent improper deposits into false accounts and give LandI [LaborandIndustry] time to verify accounts," reports Mount Pocono Boro. If you get a check, but have not filed for benefits, you are supposed to return it.

Here's how most of the self-employed have reacted on LandI's Facebook page:

Jennifer: "This is freakin ridiculous!!!!! We're waiting with baited breath for 2 months of back pay and now their gonna mail it out? Hmmm...let's see. Someone else's job security? Feds make more money, not us?"

Terrie: "Freaking awesome... Why the hell not screw us more?"

Mona: "Anybody know the number where someone would actually pick up the phone? I also did live chat today and it wait to wait for a while. I waited since 9:32am - 5pm no response."

Andrea: "I have been emailing since April and I haven’t gotten a response or resolution to my PUA!"

Katie: "I feel like everyone that is upset should be calling Wolf... he started it. Seriously we are the only stare not letting people get back to work. And when he put a stop to all this the systems were not ready to handle it."

Gregg: "Not sure if it’s a result of the fraud events, but it’s ironic that this change is happening just as the states unemployment funding was getting dangerously close to empty. On a side note, the lack of timely communication about any of this has been an unacceptable joke."

LandI plans to conduct a virtual Town Hall today at 1 pm. That shopuld be a hoot. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is beginning to look like there is a political motive to much of this. do they consider all self -employed as Trump supporters so they are fair game. Also I dont think any government workers were laid off, so only the private sector is being screwed.

Anonymous said...

And plenty of folks have had delays getting help.
your not so special so buck up cupcakes

Anonymous said...

Government systems that are designed to make easier and quicker almost always seem to lead to fraud and abuse. When problems are discovered, those same government systems are so impersonal, they either ignore the problems, or take far too long to correct.

This same predicament will occur within many states and counties across this nation as mail-in voting spreads. That’s fertile ground for weeds. Get ready.

Anonymous said...

First, Wolf had to deal with cowards who want to defy laws and go to work. Now, he has to deal with whiners who want money to buy food and. His is not an easy job. He deserves our blind loyalty. God bless Governor Wolf for keeping us safe.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I don't know if this plays into it, but there is a large fraud ring filing fraudulent unemployment claims, and they're having success scamming the system for large claims. Alerts went out last week on it, and we've already seen it in action here.

I'm not excusing DOL on anything operational, and Governor Wolf has been a political hack/train wreck the past month, but that at least is real and will further complicate things.

Short story, the delays will continue.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

Banker, so go after the fraudsters and suspend payouts to those suspected of identity theft. You don't hold up payments to 360,000 people and with zero notice, unless you're Governor Wolf.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It is beginning to look like there is a political motive to much of this. do they consider all self -employed as Trump supporters so they are fair game. Also I dont think any government workers were laid off, so only the private sector is being screwed."

Wolf is obviously playing the float. It is not his $, but he earns interest holding it as long as he can. This is why local governments want any money from the feds to come from them directly and not thru the state.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I agree with you, and I think DOL has been a shit show too, but you know how government works. My only point is that, in case you hear about it, the fraud they are dealing with is real.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Latest report I saw stated debit cards were being mailed out because Jared found a better way to enrich himself and his friends.

Jondar said...

Interestingly, the stimulus portion of my PUC showed up as a direct deposit today, but not the PA portion. They're only concerned about fraud against PA funds? I have to agree with others - they're either playing float or running out of money.

Anonymous said...

As an employer, you are notified of the employee filing by snail mail and have four days to respond with the required information, or to challenge the application. With layoffs and forced closures, I see the forms in my sleep, sadly. The forms are regularly received after the four-day deadline has past. The response must be sent - again - via snail mail. I had to dig through a junk drawer for stamps, as my company rarely mails anything, anymore. While the employee filing end is electronic, the employer back end is like something out of 1950. I'm not surprised in the least that things are so slow.

Anonymous said...

Colo-rectal cancer screenings are down 80%. Chemo follow ups are down 60%. Perhaps the plan is to run out the clock and minimize payments through attrition? Or do the dead's survivors still get the tardy checks?

Anonymous said...

3:08, as Trump has explained, if we're not testing for it then it doesn't exist.

Canary said...

That sucks, Bernie.

How may LVR readers chip in to help? Your reporting is a valuable service and merits financial support.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm fine, Canary. Think I could make a lot of money if people paid me NOT to write, lol.

Anonymous said...

Trump and Wolf dropped the ball. Not so much on the closings to protect but the moony that people would need to pay their bills so as not to lose a small business or pay rent, food, etc. On that they both get an F-.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
I'm fine, Canary. Think I could make a lot of money if people paid me NOT to write, lol.
May 28, 2020 at 7:14 PM

Or just to cover your face.