My personal nightmare is over. I awoke yesterday to find that my Maryland unemployment benefits in my bank account. Part of me didn’t believe it would ever happen. I submitted my initial claim on April 25, almost a month after the CARES Act was signed into law. If it weren’t for the CARES Act, gig workers and self-employed people like me would not have been able to file unemployment benefits. Then, it took another 26 days for the funds to get deposited into my account.
Getting unemployment benefits makes the Coronavirus apocalypse a lot easier to deal with
I’m thankful to receive the money. I’m also annoyed by the whole process I had to go through to get the money. I thought it was confusing and overly difficult. Making the entire process worse was the fact there’s a Republican governor in charge who doesn’t believe in the concept of unemployment benefits. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has cut funding to the unemployment system every year since taking office. Hogan’s former chief of staff runs the Maryland Department of Labor. I think it’s safe to say she shares Hogan’s thoughts on unemployment benefits. Whenever I faced a new delay or technical problem with the Maryland unemployment benefits website, I felt it was designed that way.
I’d feel the same way if I faced unnecessary delays and difficulties acquiring a gun permit in a state with a liberal Democrat as governor.
I felt the entire system was meant to induce uncertainty and anxiety when I didn’t need any more uncertainty and anxiety directed my way. For example, nowhere in the system does the word “approved” appear. I assumed they approved my application, but I didn’t know for certain. I didn’t know for a fact it was approved until I saw the money in my bank account yesterday.
Do I feel any shame in taking money from the government?
Some people might feel uncomfortable taking money from the government. I’m not one of those people. If there’s a ledger somewhere showing what I’ve given to the government and what I’ve taken from the government, I think it would show our government was a lot of making up to do. I was in the Air Force for close to ten years. When I got out, I didn’t have a lot to show for it.
The G.I. Bill I was eligible for was the worst G.I. Bill ever offered to veterans. It was based on a matching system. If I paid into it while I served, they would theoretically match a certain percentage. I then had to use it in a certain amount of time after getting out, or I would lose everything. Not only the money the government matched but also the money I put into the system.
I live in the richest country in the world. If I cannot work because of no fault of my own, I feel no guilt in accepting funds to help pay my mortgage or car payment. As bad as the economy is right now because of COVID-19, it would be a lot worse if everyone just stopped paying their bills.