Five Tricks to Try if You Still Haven't Gotten Government Relief

May 4, 2020

This article is reproduced with the permission of our partner, Trupo.

Getting federal relief has been challenging for many. Unemployment Insurance can take patience and persistence. For many, it's discouraging and worrying to repeatedly redial or wait for payments to finally come through.

While there are no definite solutions or magic ways to get paid, we have seen some tips and tricks being shared on message boards and social networks that other people claim helped them. Note that we cannot verify these will work for everyone, and the tips can vary depending on where you live.

Unable to check your Stimulus Check status? Try this ALL CAPS trick on the IRS website.

While this hasn't worked for everyone, some say that writing out their address in all capital letters on the IRS "Get My Payment" website finally worked. There are some other tips in the tweet above, like not including the apartment number, and the IRS has said that those having trouble getting in should try omitting punctuation like periods or commas.

Having to call over and over again? Create an autodial contact to save time on the extensions.

If you find yourself having to call your federal offices over and over again, you can at least save yourself time by making a contact with all the extensions on autodial. According to one Reddit user in New York, putting in the phone number, "pauses" using commas, and numbers for the interactive prompts helped them redial a lot faster. Here's a guide on how to do it.

Trouble navigating phone menu systems? Call using Google Voice or Skype.

If you're still struggling to get through the menu system every time you make a call, a New Yorker from the Freelance Mutual Aid Circle stated that using Google Voice or Skype (Skype offers free one-month trials) might do the trick. According to them, Skype not only helped them reach the menu, but it also got them placed on hold and eventually taken to a representative.

Not able to speak to a person?  Hit the "#" repeatedly when transferring.

In some cases, you have to speak with someone directly to finish up your process. Many people are having difficulties getting transferred even with repeated calls. Offices often have extended hours, including weekends to keep up with the demand, so be sure to try at odd times.

Another tip that's worked for some people is rapidly tapping the "#" key when you're about to be transferred on the call. One NY-based user said, "you will actually be placed on hold instead of it telling you to call back another time."

Still having trouble? Email your senator or assemblyman.

Some Reddit users said they were able to get help by finding and contacting their local senator directly. Read this letter from a citizen in Indiana who received help from her local senator’s office when she experienced difficulties getting through to the Dept of Workforce Development.

Whatever tricks you try, just remember that the people on the other end of the line are working overtime and overwhelmed as well. It goes without saying that being courteous and kind is important whether you email a senator or reach someone in unemployment.

If you're still struggling (or have successfully gotten UI), you can try posting in our Google Group, join a Facebook community around unemployment questions, or browse Reddit for local threads about benefits.

[Photo: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez]


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