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.
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