The Woes of Unemployment and CONNECT

No one is more excited than me that the nation’s unemployment rate is down. Thanks, Obama! (No, seriously, thanks.)

But can we talk a minute about those who are still unemployed and this system straight from the depths of hell?

I realize not all states operate on the same system. My Mom had to call in her weeks to claim for Georgia a couple years ago. I would’ve despised that.

But let’s talk a second about CONNECT. I’m not exactly sure which states use this but my fiancee told me several states do use this including Florida and that it’s the same system the White House uses? Not completely sure on that last one.

“How many claim mishaps am I gonna have?”

Being someone who used to work at a call center for almost five years, I am extremely courtesy on the phone and realize it’s none of these representative’s faults but it’s hard not to ask the above question every time I call.

I’m technically receiving TAA benefits (Trade Act Adjustment) due to my employer sending our jobs over seas in 2013 and while this should be an opportunity of a lifetime (and it is,) I have had numerous mental breakdowns due to CONNECT and untold rules.

Let’s start with the initial application. Takes a long time to get “approved” and start receiving benefits. Hope you can borrow from someone to pay some bills or maybe just, I don’t know, let them go to collections? Sounds like a good plan.

After collecting your Reemployment/Unemployment, then I got moved to my TAA benefits. Cool. But, after a year I have to “refile” and now I’m on TAA again, OH, and that takes a month for the system to resolve.

Part of me is pretty sure it’s too much workload and not enough people to handle issues on claims.


Oh, and by the way don’t get a job whatever you do. Terrible idea.

With TAA you must be IN school to get paid. But they only pay for classes you NEED. I was expecting to have a waiting semester right about this time due to applying for my Nursing Program with NO other classes I could take. So, that means ZERO income.

So, I came up with an idea to work part time BEFORE this takes place and start saving. Worked out great until I quit on Christmas Eve due to plans completely changing.

I was accepted into a Nursing Program starting January 5th at a different school. It was the right thing to do. No waiting a semester and I wasn’t sure I’d get into the other school anyway.

Well, I had to fill out some information on CONNECT about WHY I quit. Also, during this time I am collecting Reemployment not TAA. (Yay, confusing much?) It seemed to clear up and I’ve been receiving paychecks no problem until…

Two months later I guess they finally get to my “quitting your job” form I filled out and decided that I was no longer qualified for benefits INCLUDING TAA benefits.

And the funniest part is, if I had quit my job while I was receiving TAA and not Reemployment all would’ve been well. I would STILL be guaranteed my TAA benefits.

So, you might be asking yourself, “Well, Why didn’t you just do that?”

Glad you asked. Because I had NO idea that was an issue. And as my old Sociology Professor used to say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I didn’t exactly KNOW that was a question I should ask.

Punished for the Unknown?

Appears so. Not only am I not qualified but I also OWE money back. And I’m not the only one whose had numerous problems with CONNECT and nonsense “rules.”

Luckily, my schooling is still paid for but now I’m just paycheckless. I may have some other options to look into like getting a federal student loan to take care of what bills I need to and now picking up a part time job.


Read Online, Ask Questions

I thought I did enough to understand this stuff but apparently not. And the thing is, not every call representative is the most helpful OR knowledgeable.

My recommendation to anyone struggling with similar issues?


This was one step I failed to take. There could be someone out there who is just as frustrated as you and already KNOWS what will happen.

My apologized that this posting is a bit out of the ordinary but I felt I needed to post it. If anyone has questions or comments about TAA or even CONNECT feel free to comment below. Perhaps we can help one another.



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