The Boston Globe with a great report on how the unemployed get screwed out of their benefits. (David Brooks, take note!)
After nearly a year without work, Gary LaPlante was happy to take a three-week construction job. What he didn’t know was that the job would cost him more than two-thirds of his benefits when he went back on unemployment.
LaPlante, a union carpenter, is among thousands of unemployed in Massachusetts and across the nation who are discovering an unexpected kink in the system that can mean drastic cuts in their unemployment benefits.
Workers who seek to renew their benefits for a second year – not uncommon during this recession – are finding that their new benefits are based on their most recent wages, even if it was low pay for temporary or part-time work.
LaPlante’s benefits, for example, were slashed to $178 a week from more than $600. He was forced to move in with a friend, who supported him for several months before he found a full-time job a few weeks ago.
“You can’t take care of yourself with that amount of money,’’ said LaPlante, 42, a member of Carpenters Local 40 in Cambridge. “I don’t think people should be penalized for working.’’
Thanks, Uncle Sam!