Unemployed Nurse Cannot Access Benefits From Company She Hasn't Worked For In Five Months

CBS 2's Tara Molina reports a local nurse, unemployed for five months, says the company she worked for won't allow her to access benefits because it says she's there full time. She's not.

Video Transcript

- A nurse, pushed out of her job in the middle of the pandemic months ago, says now her company is blocking her from getting benefits. They claim she's still a full-time employee. CBS 2's Tara Molina is investigating the issue in how the facility is handling it tonight.

TARA MOLINA: Georgiajana Balugo says Alden stopped putting her on the schedule more than five months ago, but now she says she can't access benefits she needs, because they claim she's a current employee. Why? We're asking.

Georgiajana Balugo loves being a nurse, and said she loved her job here at Alden.

GEORGIJANA BALUGO: I got snapped up very quickly.

TARA MOLINA: But she has a new job now, a job she was forced to find, when she says they stopped scheduling her more than five months ago. But if you ask management at Alden, Georgijana says she's still considered a full-time employee.

GEORGIJANA BALUGO: Because of the status, I'm ineligible for much-needed funds. This is not fair, and this is not right.

TARA MOLINA: She's not looking for Unemployment or SNAP benefits, something she says others in her position have failed to qualify for.

GEORGIJANA BALUGO: I just want my retirement.

TARA MOLINA: Early access to the 401K she established here.

GEORGIJANA BALUGO: I'm under the cap to get it, but they said I can receive if I separate from my company.

TARA MOLINA: "They" is Transamerica. She says she's tried working directly with them, and with Alden, but says she's been told the only way she can get the separation date she needs to access that money is to formally resign, after more than five months without a shift.

We brought all of this to Alden with detailed questions about Georgijana's claims. Alden's VP of Policy and Public Relations responded with this. "We are aware of the situation concerning Ms. Balugo but are unable to discuss confidential personnel matters. " Her response,

GEORGIJANA BALUGO: No, I'm not going to be forced to resign.

TARA MOLINA: Tonight Georgijana maintains she should not have to resign from a company that hasn't allowed her to work for months, but she says she hasn't heard anything new from Alden.

For CBS 2, I'm Tara Molina.