So, when I’m unemployed, I like to freelance. Sometimes I freelance even with regular employment, it depends. The past few years, when I was working at the job I am currently laid off from, I worked 30 hours a week and then freelanced 4-6 for one particular client.
Freelancing is good. It is way less depressing than simply being unemployed, the extra money stretches out the benefits longer (and eases the burden on state funds, if I don’t end up using all the benefits), and freelance jobs can lead to fulltime jobs.
This time, however, freelancing has so far screwed me out of getting a single cent of unemployment benefits. It’s been a month, seriously. I opened the claim a month ago. When I filed for the first week I claimed 5 hours of freelancing. They sent me a form to fill out. I faxed them the form. Last time I was unemployed, they looked at the form and then started paying me appropriate benefits, minus the freelance amount adjuster.
This time, they are still busy “making a determination.” Because the system is backlogged, I have no idea when they are going to finish making a determination. Not only that, but every week I actually claim any self-employment income I have to spend about an hour on hold waiting for somebody at the office to “release” my claim.
So, it’s too late now to just say “uncle! uncle! I give up! I don’t work in self-employment after all!” because I claimed it for that first week. But I am seriously considering telling my main freelance client, “I’m sorry, unless you can be as profitable for me as my unemployment compensation would have been, it is too big of a pain for me to do any work for you.”
I am, in fact, feeling bitter.
But I also thought it was worth knowing, in case any of you out there find yourselves in a similar circumstance.