Monday, September 21, 2009

What are we supposed to live on?

Not to sound all whiny or ungrateful or anything---but I'm nearly out of money because my first Employment Insurance (EI) deposit hasn't arrived. In fact, I am more than out of money. I used my Visa card to pay the minimum on my line of credit (LOC) last week. (This is known as robbing Peter to pay Paul.) Two weeks ago I moved money out of the LOC into my chequing account to cover the overdraft after my mortgage payment came out. And for about the third time in five years I can only pay the minimum on my MasterCard (I usually pay the full balance), which has a 19.97% interest rate. And my mortgage is due again this Friday.

The so-called two-week waiting period for EI is actually more like six weeks. I gave my bank account info when I applied to get my benefit cheques directly deposited. When I called Service Canada a few weeks ago I was told I'd get some money starting the week of September 15. It's now the first day of fall (and a LOVELY day it is, too).

However, I'm on a very short short-list for a contract position (they've asked for ID to conduct a security check, and I've got two of the required three employment references). So by the time I get my first EI deposit I might also have a job. Wouldn't that be ironic?

September 21 UPDATE: I called the Service Canada toll-free number and found that I will get a deposit as early as tomorrow and as late as Wednesday. It will be enough to pay the mortgage and buy cat food, litter, and smokes. This is only a week later than the agent I spoke to told me I'd get it. If I have to live on EI for any length of time that's about all I'll be able to afford.

September 24 UPDATE: Yes, the deposit came Tuesday. And I faxed ID for the security check and three references. I expect the security check will take a few days (Sault Ste-Marie Police Service conducts it), so I might even get another EI deposit.

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