The first people who should be unemployed are the people who built Ohio’s unemployment site

I’ve never filed for unemployment in my life. Probably because I’ve never been without work for more than 2 weeks. Most politicians probably have never filed for unemployment either (not getting re-elected doesn’t qualify you– I think).

So today, I tried helping someone who is unemployed file for unemployment on the Ohio Unemployment Benefits online site.

Some web developers should be unemployed tomorrow. The site is overly complex, not very user-friendly, and requires too many screens with too many options. There is no “progress bar” to indicate how far you are in the process. The person I was helping had tried to file on the phone and was repeatedly getting stuck by being asked for a pin code– which s/he didn’t have or know. The first thing the site does is issue a “temporary pin code” of 8 digits- and then forces you to log right back in with it- and then tells you the pin code is invalid, create your own 8 digit code. WHY? With your SSN and your Drivers license number, your bank routing number and account number– ODJFS should have more than enough info to identify you. And, if it’s going to be an “8 digit code” what’s the matter with the one they generate? Do all of us have a favorite 8 digit sequence?

With record numbers of people applying for unemployment, a simpler solution would cut down overhead costs and probably prevent so many expensive phone calls.

ODJFS is a farce in the first place, remember Tom Noe and their investment in “rare coins.” The way they calculate rates for small business is criminal (I’ve had one claim in 19 years, and they jacked my rates to 10% for 3 years!). If Ohio is wondering why they are out of money, it’s partially their own fault.

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3 Responses

  1. Jim Crotty January 14, 2009 / 11:35 am
    Right on David. Right now I’m filing my Ohio sales tax return for the second half of 2008, and the state requires me to keep track of taxable sales of all 88 counties. Brilliant. As is probably the case with the state unemployment benefits office, it’s a safe bet that nearly all of these “administrators” have no idea what it means to own a business. It’s just suppose to all magically appear. From local all the up to federal, everything is done to actually discourage small business ownership.
  2. David Esrati January 14, 2009 / 11:42 am

    @Jim- I think if you sell under a certain amount- you don’t have to do all those counties. But, yes, you’re absolutely right, Ohio has no clue on how to make it easy to do business.
    Their portals suck.
    Their schedules are all out of sync.
    And- the policies are stupid- why would unemployment only be collected on the first $9K of salary? That seems really regressive, since everyone earns the first $9K but the people who fire people generally get paid A LOT MORE.

  3. Dan Kennedy January 14, 2009 / 9:56 pm
    I had to file for unemployment compensation in early December. Their site was terrible for all the reasons you mentioned. Even worse, they only have an abbreviated set of the outdated federal Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics SOC codes for technology related jobs. You must select two different valid SOC codes to register for the job center and complete the online registration. You will only be offered jobs that match your SOC codes. You must accept a job offered to you or loose benefits. If you use the wrong SOC codes you may loose benefits. I spent four hours between time outs and researching SOC codes to find two valid codes that the system would accept. I finally had to submit two valid codes that were not even close to my job. Then I left a note in a comments section that I had used the wrong codes, but here were the correct codes. I got a bunch of letters to investigate my unemployment claim, it was finally ‘approved’, but still haven’t received a dime. My government has failed me again.

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