Dear J.T. & Dale: I am trying to help my brother. He quit his job about three years ago because of back pain. He was close to being fired, and instead he just quit. He was told he could not file for unemployment insurance because he’d quit. He’s been trying to get disability ever since, and is still waiting for another appeal. He will be homeless within three months, age 50, and he doesn’t know where to go for help. What can he do? — Sophia
J.T.: I’m so sorry to hear about your brother’s situation. The sad reality is had he waited to get fired or laid off, he could’ve gotten unemployment. Also, had he stayed and applied for disability before quitting, he might have had a better outcome. I am so very sorry I don’t have any good news for you.
DALE: This is one of those cases where bad news is better than no news. Rather than continuing to wait for yet another appeal, I hope you’ll urge him to just decide help is NOT coming. He has to figure out what work he can do and get moving forward.
J.T.: Without knowing your brother’s skill sets, it’s hard to get specific about jobs he could pursue, but if he has good clerical or computer skills, he could apply via job sites such as Elance.com and Guru.com, where some companies hire contractors who work at home.
DALE: If your brother isn’t qualified to do computer work, maybe he could do sales. He might have to start in telemarketing or collections, but the important thing is he quits waiting and STARTS. He may discover a prosperous new career. You might pass along a line from Ogden Nash: “People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.”
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the career management blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.
Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
© 2011 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.