This week I had a small amount of income for the first time since April 8. That was the day I filed for unemployment. As a self employed person (I paint houses), I don’t qualify for the pitifully low $240 maximum state payout in Arizona. The last time I applied, in 1989, that amount was $235. The CARES act, however, allows self employed people to collect $600 a week in federal funds. So I applied, and have dutifully filled out my weekly form online every Sunday. Arizona can’t figure out how to make its antiquated system do anything other than send out denial notices, so I have received nothing. Interestingly, since the original form asked for an employer’s name and info, I put down myself. A few days later, I got a form to fill out confirming that I wanted taxes withheld from any payment I got and also an employers packet which essentially said the state would do everything possible to prevent me from getting paid. I received them on a Friday and was given til Monday to get my employee paperwork back to Phoenix. I filled it out and ran down the street to catch the mailman. The employer was given four extra days. Now the state says it has hired an unidentified outside agency to go through all the pandemic related claims to see if we are eligible. They aren’t even going to start until the 12th, thirty four days after I originally applied. I am so fortunate I had a large job right before everything shut down. Even so, I have to continue to take whatever work I can get, despite being in the over 60 high risk category. I am going to bid another job today. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get a retroactive payment for the $3000 that the CARES act says I am entitled to sometime next month. Fuck Trump and fuck the Republican party for decimating every humane thing our country has ever done. I can only imagine how it feels to be losing your job, your home, your car, everything, a situation millions of Americans face right now.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
-George Orwell, Animal Farm