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EDD NOD

Discussion in 'Unemployment Insurance & Benefits' started by sgeneris, Feb 8, 2022.

  1. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    I have been self-employed continuously, without pause since 1970s to present. While initially I did consulting and teaching, due to age, health and economic conditions I became a one-person, home office author and publisher -- marketing my self-published books and papers via a website. As such and given the volume involved I operated sort of informally -- "dba some name".

    The pandemic devastated the business and I have been struggling to rebuild without yet succeeding. As self-employed I applied for unemployment, was approved and received benefits until the end of that year.

    At some point during 2021 I was notified to provide proof of self-employment for April-December 2020. Looking through the EDD list of acceptable proofs, I chose "signed affidavit of self-employment", so I did. I stated that I have been continuously self-employed since 2022 including the specific period and linked to my website, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Amazon author, and publications pages, all of which state that I have been an independent consultant, author and publisher for a long time.

    Today I received an ineligibility NOD without any explanation as to why. I do intend to appeal, but without an explanation I don't know what is the best strategy.

    Having not ever been not self-employed, it did not occur to me that I would have one day to prove it for some specific period beyond just saying it. Any idea what the problem might be and what is the best way to handle this? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Did you ever, as an employer albeit self-employed, pay into the unemployment system on yourself?
     
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  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Please take a minute and reread the above paragraph you created.

    After you've reread and digested your paragraph's meaning you'll KNOW what MIGHT have influenced EED's "notice of denial".

    Hint: Your revelation regarding the year of our Lord, 2022.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    California unemployment compensation is not available to the self-employed who are not employers.

    See the following Information sheet from the EDD. The first paragraph says it all:

    Information Sheet: Elective Coverage for Employers and Self-Employed Individuals (DE 231EC Rev. 10 (12-18)) (ca.gov)

    What you were paid so far may just have been the PUA which was available to those who did not qualify for regular benefits.

    Doesn't seem to matter according to the EDD document. Had he elected to be covered his election would have been denied without any employees to cover.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
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  5. commentator

    commentator Member

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    It is not uncommon for the agency to need MORE documentation than you have provided. Before this decision was made, did you ever receive requests for more or different documentation of your self employment? I have seen several cases during the pandemic where people were contacted and asked to provide proof of self employment for qualificiation for the PUA. In one case, the person had elected to send in some paperwork from their bank about the self employment, without any further documentation telling the agency representatives what it was or what is supposed to be shown by these documents. Their pleas for more explanation went unanswered, and the person was declared ineligible until the hearing was actually held. At that point, with more documentation, things were cleared up.

    Incidentally, with the PUA, totally self-employed people who had never paid anything into the system were suddenly eligible, with no input whatsoever from their interested employer, since it was THEM. However, many times I have found that these people, who had not been working for someone else or paying taxes within the unemployment tax system, have had trouble realizing that just a pass at documentation sometimes doesn't get it.

    When I worked for the agency in my state, we still had green screens from the 1980's, and did not have the capacity to receive on line submissions. Fax machines were the highest form of tech we had. That has been fixed to some extent, but it is a good idea to make your proofs of self employment as antiquated and paper trailed as possible, and it will work to your advantage in any effort to document your self-employment. Read your notice of denial, submit an appeal, and follow their directions about submitting information when you receive the notice of hearing you will receive AFTER you have filed this timely appeal of the decision, which needs to be your immediate next move.

    Schedule the hearing, in a timely manner, and go through the list of acceptable proofs of self employment, forward all your material according to their directions so that the appeals officer will have it to look and discuss during the hearing. And try to come up with about as many proofs as you can. Income tax records are a good place to begin. Also, why don't you print off the things you provided a link to instead, and submit them into evidence in the hearing? I'm sure you mean something other than that you have been self employed since 2022, as that's kind of not when you were receiving benefits, i'm sure.

    Remember, the system is antiquated, and their technology requires a lot of plain old paper documentation. Giving them a link where they could go to something and look it up themselves instead of providing the documentation directly to them isn't any more acceptable in a U.I. hearing than it would be if you tried to use it in any other legal testimony. Notarized statements are considered "back up" for other documentation and the weakest sort of proof. I bet your list didn't say only one of these documentations was necessary or required. The more you can provide, the merrier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
  6. commentator

    commentator Member

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    This is what makes it tough for people who used to be quite able to look at the rules and figure things out about the unemployment systems in the individual states. Because when the pandemic hit, about March of 2020, all this kind of went to blazes in a mass of confustion.

    And yes, as a matter of fact, during the pandemic, self employed individuals were actually eligilbe for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, PUA, which did cover self employment. (Either partial or totally self employed people were eligible.) I believe that this person's being found ineligible had nothing to do with not working for a covered employer, and has a lot to do with the quality and quantity of proof they provided of that self employment.
     
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  7. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Not so fast. States were permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation.
     
  8. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Also wondering if OP should provide tax returns showing income each year to prove that work and books were order and were being paid for.....even if some of that income went to expenses....
     
  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Didn't say they weren't, or that the OP was not entitled to benefits. But I still think it's a relevant question if the OP was collecting benefits, isn't any more, and is looking to start them up again.
     
  10. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was never an employer -- always one-person business.
     
  11. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, I have done some more research and I think I caught the mistake: can I sign an affidavit to verify that I employ myself, or only somebody else can? If the latter, that's probably why.

    I have other evidence to use -- I assume I can add it in the appeal.
     
  12. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    >What you were paid so far may just have been the PUA which was available to those who did not qualify for regular benefits.

    The payments were April 2020 -- September 2021.
    Can you enlighten me as to how I can identify the PUA payments from "regular benefits"?
     
  13. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, see my prev reply -- I suspect it's the proof.

    It's a very small, one-person business with home office that did not justify registration and all that comes with it. I always operated in DBA mode: personal name DBA some business name. Because of that I don't have the documents in the EDD list, that is why I made the mistake with the affidavit -- it was something possible. I'm trying to figure what else I could provide.
     
  14. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am selling my self-published books and papers via my website. I have 12 months of such sales (small amounts), but in my name, not a business name (DBA) -- is that SE proof?
     
  15. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Not looking to claim more.
     
  16. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh, one more thing: can you pls clarify something.

    Say you have some self-employed income in 2019, the pandemic eliminates all your income in 2020-21 and you apply for UE in 2020 for both years, you look for work and can't find it -- isn't that exactly what qualifies you for the benefits? Or do you have to earn income in 20-21 to be eligible?
     
  17. sgeneris

    sgeneris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If I understand you correctly, appeals are not decided like NODs -- each gets a hearing?

    If so, do you have write a detailed explanation and attach all the paperwork to the appeal form, or can you say the NOD was decided based on the wrong proof, I have the right proof and will submit it at the hearing?
     
  18. commentator

    commentator Member

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    He just doesn't want to be overpaid, he was, from what I understand, found ineligible for those benefits he received in the past.
    What I assume you got was a decision letter telling you that you are ineligible for benefits for whatever reason they cite. It should tell you about your appeal rights. You do not need to make your appeal when filing the appeal, just MAKE SURE you get it in within the time frame given. It can be as basic as "I wish to appeal this decision."

    And they should (if this is what I'm assuming it is, which is an eligibility decision letter,) after receiving your request for an appeal, send you a hearing date. And with this hearing date scheduled, they will include information to tell you how to send documents to be reviewed in the hearing.

    You will have the hearing usually by telephone on the scheduled date, and you will be able to have the documentary proof, they will have the copies of the documentary proof of your self employment that you have sent to them, and the two of you will discuss whether or not you met the legitimate definition of self employed for PUA purposes.

    The problem I see is that you have so little actual documentation of your being gainfully self employed. I would begin with showing them my income tax forms showing the income you have made from this self employment. If you didn't make any money at all, for the last quite a while, what proves you are self employed? Perhaps copies of checks or money transfers from people using your services could be used. A comparison of your income for a period of time before the pandemic, versus your income after the pandemic started. Don't be shy about revealing private information. Unemployment procedures are not public records, no one but the invested parties can see this material, but do try to show, definitively, that you are or were before the pandemic in an actual money making business, and that it dried up due to the pandemic.

    See, I pick up a few dollars here and there doing some things these days of retirement. It did pretty much stop with the pandemic. I could've if it were my source of income and support, filed a PUA claim that my self-employment had dried up due to the pandemic. However, I'd have a problem, since I am not a named, registered,or in business for myself formally entity, convincing the hearing officer that I'm not just a hobbyist who played on an opportunity and drew unemployment I wasn't entitled to. That's what you must find proof enough to do. Notarized affidavits don't carry much weight. But think of everything you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  19. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I'm posting this as further explanation of this statement for the OP's benefit. When you have an affidavit "notarized" in California, it just verifies that (1) it was actually you who signed the affidavit, and (2) that you swore to the notary that it was true. This is done through a "jurat certificate" and adds no real legal weight to the affidavit itself.
     
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  20. commentator

    commentator Member

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    Regarding this question. Since this PUA was something they'd never had before, and have very little federal guidance about, you cannot answer definitely that you "have to" have had this or that to qualify.

    It's more of an, "I was doing work as a handyman, people stopped using my service when they self distanced" or "I was working as a mediator. The courts were closed down, so I couldn't do that anymore." If you were working, as you say as a self published author, why do you think your business died out due to the pandemic? What financial documentation can you provide that the pandemic actually affected your self employment?

    In the case of self employment, since it is not, like regular unemployment benefits, based on your having worked a certain amount during a certain time period for a covered employer, you are going to have to prove that one, you are self employed. and two, that your business/income/self employment was affected by the pandemic. Don't be shy about showing the adjudicator all the proof you can throw into this mix, don't worry about making it a legalese argument, just put out as much proof of these two issues as you possibly can, and make it as easy as possible for the adjudicator to reach a suitable decision about it, as they are, to some extent, winging it without extremely clear guidelines.
     

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