Volume 45, Number 1 - November/December 2009
Some not aware of unemployment benefits
Chapter president Dave Hall, knows that it isn't always easy for part-time instructors to file for unemployment insurance – to which they are entitled – so he took it upon himself this summer to do some "one-on-ones" to walk them through the process.
"We had so many summer classes cancelled that there were a lot of people looking for assistance. Once you sit down, it takes about 30 minutes online to file a claim. It's painless, but can be tricky," said Hall, president of the Rancho Santiago College Continuing Education Faculty Association (CEFA).
All told, Hall assisted about 60 CEFA members obtain checks up to $450 a week over the summer, when they were not employed by the district. Hall was somewhat surprised by the number of faculty who did not know they could receive unemployment benefits.
Apply right away
"It's really important to get the word out. Part-time faculty should apply for unemployment immediately after they turn their final grades in. You shouldn't wait until the future when you have to backdate your form. It's important to follow the timeline," Hall said.
If they don't, instructors face having their claims denied and then following through with an appeal process. Although many successfully appeal, the process can delay their checks by a few months.
"That money can come in handy in the summer – maybe even help with a mortgage payment," Hall said.
Hall also warns instructors that many district administrators don't fully understand how the law works and there is likely to be someone more knowledgeable in the Human Resources department. He provides the name and contact information of a specific supervisor in the Human Resources department whom faculty list on their forms as "immediate supervisor." It is that person who responds to the Employment Development Department.
Bread and butter issue
"For a lot of people, especially this year, this is really a bread and butter issue," Hall said.
Following is a list of things to remember:
- Most part-time instructors require individual review because of their status of adjunct employees and questions about reasonable assurance of going back to work.
- It's far easier to file online, but remember to save your confirmation number in case you need to inquire about the status of a claim.
- Find out from your chapter president if there is a key person in the college's Human Resources Office to list as an immediate supervisor (as opposed to listing your dean).
- Provide the district office address as the address of your former employer.
- If your case is denied, appeal! Provide a strong written statement within the correct timeline.
- Don't miss your phone appointment. Every obstacle harms the chances of getting benefits.
- Find out more on the CCA website
- Click here for the EDD website