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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Unemployment for VSSOP'er

The answer to the question of unemployment for VSSOP participants is: NO!

I just got my Notice of Determination from EDD this afternoon. It says that under Section 1256 I'm disqualified because I voluntarily quit my most recent work without good cause. (Note that they call the VSSOP a SEVERANCE BONUS PROGRAM.) I am disqualified until I perform services in bona fide employment for which I receive remuneration equal to or in excess of five times my weekly benefit amount. Of course, I guess I'd then have to be laid of from that job to qualify. So they really didn't say anything about waiting until you exhaust the severance.

Or I can appeal, but I don't see much point in that. Prior to the VSSOP, I tried to figure out if I would qualify, but I couldn't get that info for certain from the EDD web site, and calling them was pointless, since they wouldn't talk to you anyway (long story.) I had a feeling, though, that I wouldn't qualify due to the fact that I was the cause of the separation.

While they never lied to us, LLNS HR made it sound as if it was a possibility. They'd only tell you that you were on your own, but they'd never fought it before. Well, thanks again, LLNS. Just another case of partial information or disinformation.

They, in fact, knew all along that the VSSOP was designed to exclude unemployment. That's why we were made to resign instead of "volunteering to be laid off" ala LANL. Why didn't they just come out and say it?

It would have helped to tide things over until I can find another job. Maybe I should have had something lined-up prior to taking the VSSOP, but I just had to get out of there to preserve my mental and physical well being.

If anyone either qualifies, hears of someone who qualified, or places an appeal and wins, I'd sure like to hear about it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like LLNS ULM has been proven liers once more.

All those who took the VSSOP and thought they were going to get unemployement only got the shaft.

LLNS has been lying since the beginning of the transition.

What's that tell you people.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the same will happen to all those who get ISP'd if they in fact get any money at all.

Anonymous said...

So now we need the anser to the other question that was asked.

"If you are a double dipper or decide to retire upon getting your pink slip does your retirement count as income and therefore you are disqualifed for unemployment?"

Anyone know the answers?

Anonymous said...

"If you are a double dipper or decide to retire upon getting your pink slip does your retirement count as income and therefore you are disqualifed for unemployment?"

Anyone know the answers?

You're joking, right? If you are fired, you are fired. Does not matter that you have other sources of income.

Anonymous said...

Actually, ISP'ers should qualify. It all has to do with who is responsible for your separation. If it's your employer, ie, you're laid off, then OK. If it's you, ie, you quit (resign) or get fired (your fault), then so sorry.

I'm not sure about the retirement thing. I do know that certain kinds of payments do count and disqualify you, but others, such as severance or vacation pay, do not.

You might look at the EDD web site, but a lot of the questions there soon get into case law, so it gets confusing.

Anonymous said...

I have another question; I know a employee who went tcp -2 then cashed out his ucrp and then when the vssop was offered he took it. on the day he checked out llns told him he would not receive medical from them; this employee was over 50 and had 30 years in service. has this happen to any one else?????

Anonymous said...

April 9, 2008 8:15 PM

I thought that once you cashed out your UCRP no matter when, you do not get medical. Can anyone verify that. I also understand that if you are 50 with 20 years of serive and LLNS fires you or you quit you need to tell UC within 120 days or you'll lose your medical too.

Anonymous said...

8:23
If you took the lump sum or cashout as you put it, you gave up your right to medical. If your a double dipper and took the monthly you are correct, if you leave LLNS, you have 120 days to get your retirement medical fired up or lose it as I understand it.The sad part about all this is I'm offically retired from UC and my medical premiums would have been a 1/3 of what I'm paying now but I was forced to take LLNS medical as long as I'm working at the lab.Hope I've helped!!

Anonymous said...

Here's a copy of an email I got from Benefits on the subject:

Recently you took the VSSOP offered by LLNS and then will be receiving your retirement benefit from UCRP. Your medical/dental covg through LLNS will be ending on 4/30/08. Since you are eligible for medical/dental covg through your wife you are unable to participate in the displace workers benefit program.

In regards to retiree medical/dental covg. If you start a monthly annuity from UCRP within 120 days of leaving LLNS, and you have more than 20 years of UCRP service credit then you are eligible for LLNS retiree medical/dental covg. But, since you will be on your wife's medical/dental plans at the time of receiving your UCRP monthly annuity you will not be eligible to enroll in LLNS retiree medical/dental covg until open enrollment for plan year 2009 which will take place sometime this fall.

This email is not a guarantee of retiree medical/dental covg in the future. Before retiree medical/dental covg is given, proof of your receiving a monthly annuity from UCRP and verification of UCRP service credit will be needed. Please contact the LLNS Benefit Office at 925-422-9955 in the beginning of October and we will advise you on how to submit your documentation.


Note that if you retire from UCRP and take the Lump Sum, all that LLNS will give you as a retiree is Access Only medical benefits. This means you get to be a part of their group and get their group rates, but you must pay the entire amount.

Also remember that retiree medical is NOT part of the retirement plan, either UCRP or LLNS, and they can eliminate it at any time. Anyone care to wager on how long it'll actually last?

If the employee in question who went TCP-2 and "cashed out", I assume you mean he took the Lump Sum. He should be eligible for Access Only.

Anonymous said...

No wonder people are having heart attacks. The lies...how sad! Hope they can sleep at night. I was very careful when making choice of retirement plan. I never heard this statement "Retiree medical is NOT part of UCRP or LLNS retirement package". TCP-2, 25+ years, froze UCRP benefits and was assured medical was covered 100%.

I don't understand? My chest tightens as each lie is revealed.

Anonymous said...

I want to be sure you understand. Retiree medical is a part of the "package" given to retirees, but it's not a part of the "plan". Retiree medical benefits were always paid by UC, not UCRP. Now, they are paid by LLNS, not UC and not the LLNS TCP-1.

There are many rights a vested person has in the retirement system. However medical coverage is not one of them. LLNS has to come up with the funds to pay for this out of their budget. In a era of declining funding, where can LLNS go to reduce costs? An easy answer is to cut the costs of retiree medical or to eliminate them altogether. Look around, and you'll see that other companies have taken this step.

Anonymous said...

April 11, 2008 2:39 PM

You are probably correct in your assumptions but if they do as you say and take medical away from the retirees I personally hope that each person involved in the decision making process dies a long painful death and has no coverage neither. If I could be there to watch I would.

Anonymous said...

"Retiree medical benefits were always paid by UC, not UCRP. Now, they are paid by LLNS, not UC and not the LLNS TCP-1."

I believe the funds "paid" for retiree medical by UC came out of DOE funding to LANL and LLNL, they were just administered by UC. Now I understand another company does the medical benefits administration for LANL retirees (Hewitt), for both TCP1 and TCP2.

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