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State Of California To Add Insult, Injury To List Of Unemployment Benefits

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Are you a recent victim of the Bush recession? Hoping to finally cash in on those (extremely meager) unemployment benefits you've been accumulating?

Better hope your cell phone bill is paid up:

In January, with the unemployment rate nearing 6%, nearly 12.6 million calls were placed to the state's toll-free phone number to apply for unemployment insurance benefits. But more than three-fifths never got through. Frank Hartzell knows the problem all too well. A laid-off Mendocino County social services worker, he tried calling morning and afternoon, 45 times in December. The computer hung up every time until No. 46, and he was able to apply.

Of course it bears mention that with the sharp increase in unemployment and the State of California in the midst of a
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massive budget crunch, there's going to be a longer than normal wait time to arrange the sickly financial methadone that will, most likely, only barely keep you out of the homeless shelter. Even so, one might think that a competently run government would foresee such problems and try to prevent them.

Too bad the joke's on Jane and Joe taxpayer. As it turns out, the system was apparently designed to inconvenience.