Today I will be doing two posts. One that is a rant and the other will be The Daily Affirmation. For now, I have a lot to get off my chest about the bureaucratic BS that was exposed to me today. The parties involved: The State of California Employment Development Department – the EDD – (more likely just the State government) and Bank of America!
Yesterday, Ron at the EDD told me that I would have access to my disability money today. He gave me the telephone number for Bank of America (hereafter BofA) so that I could call them and have them move my money from their bank directly to my bank. Let’s look at the politics of this briefly, if I can be brief…
See the State of CA turns my disability money over to BofA as they have a “contract” to handle the money. This means that people who worked for the State of CA issuing real checks for state disability, and I am sure for unemployment too, no longer have a job. As the sector of BofA that handles this is on the east coast, which Ron told me was where they were located, this means the State of California does not get any tax benefits. Those benefits would be from income tax and from spending in the State by those BofA employees. And, the State of CA is crying because business is leaving this glorious golden State and they are seeing a reduction to their coffers.
So, I called BofA this morning. As they are on the east coast calling at 6 in the morning, I thought, would get the money into my account today. Not so. The first thing that BofA asks for is your card number. I don’t have a card number, and Ron at the EDD told me all that I had to do was call the bank and they would just put the money into my bank account. So I press “00” on the phone to hopefully get to someone.
I finally get to a representative who asks for my card number. I tell her that I do not have one. She asks for my social security number which I give her, and then she verifies who I am with a series of questions. That done, she can see my money. I need to set this up to go into my bank by direct deposit. She can also see that a card number has been issued to my account.
Well, guess what? Ready for the bureaucratic BS? BofA does not issue a card for 7-10 days after they get my money from the State of CA. Until I receive the card I will not be able to touch my money. WHAT? So, not only do I have to go through a 2 week waiting period for disability with the State of CA, but add on 11 days for BofA to issue the card and maybe 3 more for me to get it by snail mail. So really, you have to wait a month for your own money!
And, until I get the card coming to me by snail mail in 7-10 days from yesterday, she cannot set up my future funds to go into my bank account because I need that card number, even though she sees a card number on my account, and even after verifying who I am.
Then she tells me I can manage my account online once I get the card. I ask her what if I do not have a computer. She tells me that I should go to the public library to use their computers to take care of my business. Then being frustrated, I ask her and how am I to get there? I tell her I don’t drive. Basically, she says that this is my problem.
I ask her if BofA would be paying me interest on my money which they are holding and she tells me that is not BofA’s policy. So, let’s get this right. They are going to use my money to make money and I do not get any benefit from this? Who in the State of CA did BofA payoff?
Let’s look at some numbers, these from 2012. In December 2012, according to the social security administration, there was 1.3 million Californians receiving disability. The dollar amount for the payout in December 2012? $800 million. How much money do you think BofA is making off this deal with the State? And, who within the State of CA is getting a kickback from this BofA contract? And, how much does using BofA cost the struggling State of CA?
So basically, I have to wait until I get this card. How do I get the money from the card so that I can put it into my dwindling bank account? I have to go to an authorized BofA branch and ask for them to cash out the card. There is no cost to me. Authorized here is the key word. Will the local branch of BofA be authorized to do this? I can only wait and see.
Now for me, this will be 3 months before I can access money that I paid to the State of CA by way of my paycheck in case I end up disabled and need it. Does this seem right to you? And, who can I complain to that will make a difference? No one.
OK – rant is over. What do you think of this? I would love for you to share your thoughts!
Hugs and be well – Jane