Friday, July 31, 2009

Thanks to Rebecca (daughter) I sent this to an NPR reporter.
Got this notice from my daughter in PR. I am a 63 year old white anglo saxon protestant with two post graduate degrees and in good health.

As of July 12, 2009 I was laid off from a lower level management position in an agency providing services to intellectually and developmentally disabled citizens of D.C. I specialized in the area of "cash benefits and health insurance." This means Supplemental Security Income payments (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) and most importantly Medicaid (state/federal partnership that provides poor and disabled individuals with health insurance and life supports (housing, habilitation, vocational training, etc.)

I was the only person in our agency to be laid off. I was told it was a 2010 budget reduction. In our whole Department on Disability Services 10 to 12 workers were "riffed." (Also, more than 20 empty positions were eliminated as well.) I was in a Management Service position, which means I was dismissible without any cause or improper behaviors on my part. I served D.C. since the Spring of 2001; I was providing a valued service (I guess not so valued now) for the agency. Keeping people on Medicaid ensured the Medicaid funding of their programs. I was hoping to work until I turned 70 and then do the retirement bit.

I would still need to work to "pay the mortgage." I just might not have to work full time. Now, I'm in a different place. Because of my years of service I earned 26 weeks of severance pay. I was given 4 weeks of administrative leave. The severance pay ends in mid-December. Two of my grandchildren have been visiting my wife (a Federal disability retiree) and me for a total of a month. So, I've been being "Papa" and enjoying not working for the first time in 50 years.

As the summer wanes, I will begin to play the network I've built in twenty-one years of living in D.C. to find a suitable employment situation. I'm going to aim for a Federal Government position; I have just over two years of Federal service before I joined the D.C. government. I want to make sure that the contributions to the retirement plan, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is vested. If they aren't, I don't collect. Given the stimulus movement and the return of the Democrats to the White House, there are lots of positions being created and filled.

I'd be happy to talk with you; maybe I can give you usable material.

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