For a few weeks I was receiving unemployment.
Jan 4th: Benefits end.
Jan 25th: I receive a letter from Unemployment, telling me that my former employer was contesting the right to receive unemployment, and is filing an appeal. It's too late in the day for me to do anything about it. The letter states that, if the appeal is upheld, I have to pay back $750.
This is rather devastating. I don't have the money to pay bills, much less pay this money back.
Jan 28th: I call Unemployment and they tell me that my employer was appealing. This is confusing me, as my former employer was clear that they would support my right to Unemployment, and there was no question that I was qualified for it.
I talk to the head of HR for my former employer, and they unequivocally state that they had not filed an appeal. I call Unemployment, and they unequivocally state that my employer had filed an appeal.
Jan 30th: I receive a large packet of information from Unemployment, including details on paperwork and copies of what I'd reported to them. Of note: the paperwork states that an appeal was filed by my employer, but no response was given when they asked for a response to my statement of the right to unemployment. Because no response was given, Unemployment's policy is to go forward with an appeal.
A hearing is set for Wednesday morning at 9:30. It will be my first hearing ever in my life, and will take place over the phone. I will be on the line, as will the judge, and a representative from a company in the Mid-West that represents my former employer. This hearing will decide if I have to pay back the money. I'm dreading the outcome of the hearing, as I find The Man usually wins in life. But kind of looking forward to the moment when I declare to the judge that I won't swear because I'm a Quaker. Again, I've never had the opportunity to do that before.
I call Unemployment, and they tell me again that my employer very directly filed an appeal. My employer tells me again that they very definitely didn't, but they will look into it.
Feb 1st: I haven't heard from my former employer, and call to find out if they know anything more. I am unable to reach them.
In the mail that night I get a notice from Unemployment, telling me that there was an error on their part, and I deserve an extra $244 from my previous application. No way am I depositing it at the moment. I have no idea if I'd have to pay it back later.
Feb 3rd: I share with my church the dilemma, and ask for their prayers that truth will be expressed in the hearing, and I not have to pay the money back. At times I am a bit concerned about the outcome. I don't know where I'll come up with these funds.
Feb 4th: I try again to get ahold of my former employer. I am unsuccessful.
Feb 5th: I have a good time in prayer this morning. I'm remembering the word I received from a Friend in church two weeks prior, "He will make the rough places smooth and the crooked places straight, and is setting your feet firmly on this path." I still have some concern, but am heartened in a weird feeling of trust.
While in the library I get a call from the law offices. I'm told that my employer filed a letter, just received by Unemployment, saying they are withdrawing their appeal. There will be no hearing.
I go deposit my check. And am filled with such joy, such overwhelming gratitude, that there is a good God, who looks out for us. I find my heart clenching in my chest, and that I'm spontaneously breaking into song.