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Single mom 'crushed' after learning unemployment benefits denied

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A single mom of three says she is crushed that she was denied unemployment benefits. 

Alysa Montijo says she had to take time off work when schools closed. 

"I was told that the school was gonna close and the next day I took them to day care and they told me that day care was closing as well," she said. 

Her kids were going to two different day cares. She said the one her youngest was going to wasn't closing, but they weren't taking school age kids. 

"I told my boss what was going on and he's like, 'Just do what you have to do, we'll keep you here. As soon as you can find day care you can come back.'" 

She applied for unemployment insurance mid-March. Yesterday, she got a response. 

"They told me that I didn't qualify for unemployment because the kids' school and day care closed, that that's not grounds for unemployment," she said. 

The document showing the findings from the Unemployment Insurance Division stated in part that, "the claimant is not available for full-time work due to lack of child care during COVID-19. She had no alternatives; thus, the department finds she is withdrawn from the labor market."

It goes on to say, "Benefits are denied until the claimant is able and available for suitable work."

A spokesperson for the Department of Workforce Development said, "The determination sounds correct under state law - the individual should apply for the pandemic unemployment assistance program. One of the reasons a person may be eligible for PUA is if they are no longer working because 'A child... in the household for which the individual has primary care-giving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of COVID-19 and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.'"

Montijo said she was also told to apply for PUA. 

"I asked her yesterday, 'Well is it gonna take another two months to get a decision?' and she said 'Probably,'" she said, "If I even get accepted for that, it's gonna be four months before I see any kind of compensation for anything."

She said a lot of the day cares she's been in contact with are already at capacity or they won't let siblings in the classroom. 

"I've cried so much and I'm gonna cry now," she said, "They don't understand because they're so little but I can't sleep at night 'cause I don't know how I'm gonna pay rent next month, how I'm going to get them the little stuff that they need, shoes or shorts."

For more information on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, click here. 

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Troy 23 days ago
I’m from Bermuda ,, how do I go about helping this lovely lady n Her three kids? Do I Get in touch with WDJT news ?
DashanellH 23 days ago
I moved into a new house on 1/25/2020. The next day, my 4 year old came down with some sort of episodes where her tongue involuntarily stuck out. Spent six days in Children's Hospital with no answers. My employment was termed 1/28/2020 because I had missed a whole week trying to save my child. I sucked it up and found employment at the Goodwill on 2/20/2020. I did not file for unemployment during my time not working. I was let go from GW due to the Covid on 3/16/2020. Meanwhile I'd been audited from the IRS because my tax preparer used an incorrect pin number when filing. I file for UI on 3/28/2020 and haven't heard of anything since. They will not answer the phones purposely due to the number of calls they must rightfully receive daily. I've emailed and nothing. I'm a single mother of three and have had no taxes, stimulus, PUA or UI help. My case has not been denied and the jobs they need to verify are open. I'm not understanding why as an honest American taxpayer, I cannot receive a crumb of help from America. Farms are tossing out billions in food and children are going hungry. People are selfishly protesting while spreading a deadly virus. I forgot in America you have to pay the government to care about you. Embarrassed to be American, more embarrassed to be a Wisconsinite.
DrewHall 25 days ago
She's not the only one in that position. My job let 30 people go on March 16th... still as of may 9th i haven't heard anything about if they will re open or when. Unemployment has denied my claim for benefits i was told i didn't need to apply for PUA if i had already been filing and/or if i was denied regular benefits. I applied for it anyways and that was 2 weeks ago... still waiting and i haven't had any income since March 16th, 2020. Something seriously needs to get done with this unemployment issue. Im ast home due to my job closing, and because my daughter's school closed! How do i not qualify for unemployment benefits??? I want to work but can't because my work is closed down... and because of the schools being closed as well.
jalenw 25 days ago
I have the same issue . They approved me for $55. Then sent me a letter saying they are holding my benefits because they need more information why I’m not at working . My daughter school is closed ! I called before to make sure they had all the information the needed. The rep told me “yes your fine”
DavidLewis 25 days ago
Have her get in touch with me..I will help you
BeckyWelk 25 days ago
If she is in need of food please have her contact me on Facebook
Lawrence 26 days ago
Meanwhile, banks are reaping fees in the multi-billions for processing relief forms.
JSmith 26 days ago
There should have been some kind of process that would have transferred her case over to PUA. This is ridiculous bureaucratic bull.
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