I Danced Too Soon!

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

16 thoughts on “I Danced Too Soon!

  1. Well this is bureaucratic bullshit! We all know this state sucks and so does Bank of America. There’s my rant! So sorry we have to live in such a beautiful state that’s so full of crap. I am sorry, I hope it gets better soon for you.

    • It is awful! It’s actually egregious. And look at what BofA might be making on this! Say BofA has their money – $800 million – in a Chinese bank where interest rates are right now at 6%. They would pocket $48 million! I hope that it is not this bad for those in Australia!

      • I can’t really comment on how it works here. I believe it works more easily. Mainly because we have ten times less people than you do in the US.

  2. Government agencies are notoriously inefficient. Why? Because they have no competition. They don’t HAVE to please the customer. They can sit there and collect their taxpayer funded paychecks regardless of whether they are doing a good job or not. And yet we’re entrusting our healthcare to them? Don’t even get me started!! As for BofA, I had a negative experience with them a few years ago, and will never bank with them. You don’t need all this extra stress, Jane. I hope it gets resolved very soon!

    • Well said Marcybee! I had bad experiences with BofA and took my money out of that bank. I hope this gets resolved soon too! I sent my entire experience with the EDD to the Sacramento Bee Newspaper. Thinking of sending it to the San Francisco Chronicle and the LA Times too!

      • I hope your letter gets published. There are probably a lot of people going through similar problems with the EDD and BofA. If enough people complain, maybe some bureaucrat will do something to fix it. Here’s hoping you see your money soon!

  3. Reblogged this on Life in the Foothills and commented:
    As you may know, I am going through chemo and cancer and have had similar troubles collecting from the State of Ca money that I paid in on each paycheck…Every dollar was hard earned. This is an excellent example of government bureaucracy at best! No wonder CA is having financial troubles!

    I also find that there are other posts on this blogger’s site that were informative and I live the daily affirmations, when she can post! Please take a moment to visit and look too!

  4. This is typical State of California bureaucracy. You should see how long it takes to get agency payments … like 3 months. I no longer bank with B of A since not only did they move from San Francisco to North Carolina, but I never feel welcome whenever I walk into a branch.

    • Thank you Ric for your comment! I no longer bank with BofA due to their high fees and bureaucracy! No, you do not feel welcome walking into any of their branches. My credit union: Those folks are happy to see me when I come in. And, they will not hold on to your money to make money for themselves!

  5. Jane–yours is not a rant but rather more of a commentary on the lunacy limbo of which you are currently swimming in—-Asinine!
    This is just one small snapshot as to what is wrong with this great country of ours. You work all of your life, you pay into insurance, social security, yada, yada and on the off chance you will actually need to use your hard earned money and pay ins—God forbid. They don’t “bank” on you ever needing to use it. . .what’s yours is theirs and that’s all there is to it.
    The flip side of frustration is, let’s say, you were say in this country as a “visitor”, nice word for illegal, you’d get monies and benefits much faster than the long timer you are. It just seems to work better that way.
    Everything is so backwards as our government, financial institutions, insurance companies do not have our, the American people’s, best interest at heart, but rather indifference, greed, corruption, incompetence,
    Your observation is a commentary, my response is the rant πŸ™‚
    I am so terribly sorry for your frustrations.
    The priorities of the US–institutions and people, are all screwed up—and we wonder why we have lost so much credibility globally when we can’t do things right by our own people—
    Oh I am just so angry over this—
    Let’s pray for a resolution—for some employee out there with some sort of sense who can help sort some of this craziness out!!!
    continued prayers–

    • Thank you Julie! I love your response, and Marcybee’s too! The absurd thing is, BofA telling me 7-10 days with the money being available to me on the 11th day. Not the case. Ready for this? I had the card on Monday! Yup! Monday! I activated the card and then could not do the online set up of direct deposit. So I had to call BofA again. The gal that I spoke to was astounded that I had the card so soon. And she told me that the 7-10 days was absolute have by date, not that one had to wait so long. Do better training of your staff BofA! Now the next issue: In order for me to get the money into my bank, there is a two day delay so BofA can earn interest on my money! I told the gal that I spoke to that I can transfer money in my other bank accounts with the click of a button, so how come BofA cannot do the same? Oh, yes, they need to make money on my money with little concern over those who need the money, particularly disability money! Shame on you BofA, and to the State of CA for making the process more difficult than it needs to be!

      Hugs and thank you for keeping me in your prayers! Be well – Jane

      • perhaps this may need to be brought to the attention of your local news—- πŸ™‚
        Corporate America is wrecking havoc on good ol America–if there is such a thing which remains!!
        Much prayers and blessings

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