We lost our job back in May, but weren't officially unemployed untill about October or November. We developed a problem with our inner ear that significantly impacts our balance. This made it unsafe for us to go in to strangers' homes and repair their computers. If we had a sudden vertigo attack, and couldn't stand or walk, we would be at the mercy of whatever stranger's house we were in. That just isn't safe.
We filed for unemployment and our claim was denied right away. They wanted documentation regarding our ear problems. We were able to provide this and we were confident that we would be getting our unemployment. They denied us again. Julie, being the smartest of us, was the one to attend the appeals hearing. She had been handling all our unemployment paperwork, and she had all the information that was going to be needed at the hearing. If you weren't already aware, Julie is unable to speak. She communicates by American Sign Language and written English. The Department of Labor was well aware of this, and knew that Julie would be front for the hearing. They had told her this would not be a problem.
It seems our former employer had some concerns regarding our multiplicity. At the appeals hearing, Julie was not allowed to communicate. Any attempt to sign or write was met with "I won't allow that!". The referee also demanded we switch to someone else, and Julie refused. A represenative of our former employer, and the referee, sat there and talked about us in front of Julie, and refused to accept any input from her. She was not even allowed to give an opening statement. They decided that someone with "multiple personality disorder" was incapable of holding a job, and thus we were denied unemployment benefits. This was nothing short of egregious. We had worked for that company, plural the entire time, for 5 years. Additionally, the multiplicity had nothing to do with why we no longer worked at Unisys, and we had a letter from a psychologist stating that we were capable of holding a job.
Our question to them - If a multiple is incapable of holding a job, why did Unisys employ us for 5 consecutive years?
Julie contacted an employment lawyer, and a second appeals hearing was scheduled. This time, with a lawyer's name on the case, the Department of Labor brought in, not 1, but 2 interpreters to communicate with Julie. Never the less, the referee's behavior was still unbelievably abhorent! The referee was pushing the issue of a multiple being unable to work, even though our former employer had dropped out of the fight and did not make an appearance at the second hearing. We also now had 2 letters from 2 psychologists stating that, in their trained, expert opinion, there was no reason we could not hold a job. Durring the hearing, he demanded to know details regarding the other members of The J.C. Klatch, even the members who do not front for work. He demanded to know about how we switch, when we switch, why we switch, who in here decides who is front... All of this entirely none of his business!!! His job wasn't to pick apart our system and decide for himself, a singlet, how a multiple could possibly hold a job. No, his job was to look at the evidence presented and determined that we are eligable for unemployment benefits. Instead of simply doing his job, he decided to take this personally and personally decided that a "crazy" woman does not belong in the work force. This became exceedingly blatent with his final act in this circus of a hearing. He demanded we demonstrate a switch, in front of all these people, as if we were some sort of freak performing for an audience expecting a show for the admission they paid! When Julie declined, he threatened us.
In the end, we recieved some of our unemployment. Not the amount originally promised, and nearly nothing retro for all the months we had no income while this clown dragged us through the Big Top!
Without much income, and the loss of our home, we have been staying with our grandmother. This place is a death trap. She refuses to make any repairs to the dangerously failed circuit breakers, saying she doesn't want to risk her wallpaper. We have recieved burns from a shower that suddenly and unexpectedly jumps to over 190 degrees, which is even hotter than our coffee maker. She is also verbally and psychologically abusive. She feels the need to make up things about my headmates, and report the lies back to me, as if I was somehow the "real one", and in full disregard of the fact we can all comunicate easily and all know what is happening when she does this.
She doesn't always allow us to sleep, waking us up after only a few hours sleep. She constantly threatenes to throw us out. She lies continuously. She has threatened to murder our cat. She has no ability to talk, only scream. She has, on more than one occasion, used our balance disorder to attempt to send us falling down the stairs. (We need our eyesight in order to balanace ourselves, and she has taken amusement in turning off lights as we step on the staircase) She has even vandalized our laptop, right in front of me, and then proceeded to lie to me about the act of vandalism. Her latest insanity was to come scream at us late at night for making too much noise, and tell us we are being thrown out for the noise. So what were we doing that was so noisey? One of us was reading a news article. She can't even complain the pages were being turned too loudly, as it was in digital format.
According to her, the fact that she is "helping" us is her ticket to the right to abuse us. She actually said this herself when I confronted her about being abusive.
Needless to say, we are no longer living, we are merely existing. Every day is a struggle to stay sane.