As some of you may know, we've been struggling with finances over the past several months ever since I was laid off by the California National Guard back in October. Thankfully, the Lord has continued to provide for us in unexpected ways so that we have always managed to have enough to meet our needs.
One example of that occurred yesterday.
Back in October, I had filed for unemployment insurance right away, but was unable to complete the application as I had not yet received my DD214 (discharge papers) from the Guard at that time. The agent told me not to worry, that I could call back when I got them and my claim would be processed with the original filing date. I finally received my DD214 in December, and immediately tried to complete my application - only to be told that they had no record of any previous filing and that my "start date" for benefits would be that day - nearly two months later. I was told that I could appeal their decision, which I did.
Other issues came up around Christmas, as several unemployment forms (the first they had sent me) arrived the day after we left for Virginia to spend Christmas with our family. After our return, I dutifully sent in the forms, only to be told that they had arrived after the two-week period had ended, so no benefits were payable for the month of November. When an agent called to find out why I had been late sending them in, I explained that I had been traveling and was unable to receive my mail during that time. Unfortunately, I used the term "vacation," which must've signaled to her that I was either unwilling or unable to look for and/or accept work during the two weeks I was gone. Thus, more appeals had to be filed.
What I did not realize was the the unemployment department apparently has a policy not to pay ANY benefits as long as there is a pending appeal - which meant that I would not receive any money until I could have my day in court and get these matters cleared up. That day finally rolled around on April 27th, and I went down to San Diego to appear before an administrative law judge to present my side of the story on these three separate appeals. After presenting all of my evidence, I was told that a decision would be made and sent to me - but no indication of how soon that would happen.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. Tamara and I are getting ready for bed, and are discussing our financial situation and some upcoming bills that need to be paid. Ever the wise woman, she suggests that we take a moment to pray about it. We do - trusting in God to provide for our needs and asking Him to continue to fill our little jar of oil.
The next day (yesterday), the mail arrives - and in the pile is a large manila envelope from the San Diego Appeals Board. I rip it open and begin to read the documents, soon skipping ahead to the DECISION paragraph at the bottom of each appeal. In each of the appeals, the result was the same:
"The department determination is reversed. The claimant is eligible for benefits..." Benefits are payable, provided the claimant is otherwise eligible."
Now, not only will we begin to receive our monthly benefits, but we will also be receiving all of the moneys owed to us backdated to October 11th - the date that I originally filed the claim. At $1800/mo. x 7 months, that adds up to quite a lot of back pay! More than enough to carry us through until my chaplain school begins in July, and enough to allow us to take care of some car & house repairs that had been put on hold.
Please take a moment to thank God with us for his miraculous provision, and for His continued reminder that He cares for us deeply.
Adonai IS Semper Fi!!
In other news, please keep these dates on your calendar:
May 22nd - My ordination council meets from 0900-1200.
May 26th - Ordination Service at Gateway Church at 1900.
June 12th - Bethel Seminary San Diego graduation at 1000.