I’d appreciate everyone’s feedback on this, because I’m not sure of the answer. This past weekend my wallet was stolen. The wallet contained my TWIC card. I was due to crew change this Wednesday. First thing Monday morning I called and ordered a new TWIC card, but of course it won’t arrive by my crew change day. 7-10 business days I was told. I called my office to let them know my situation so the appropriate measures could be made so I could access the ship. They told me without a TWIC card my MMC is invalid, and I can’t return to work until I get my replacement. I think it goes without saying that I need every sea day I can get! I’m broke! Am I entitled to apply for 7-10 days of unemployment benefits? I’d rather be at work, but I can’t afford to lose half of my hitch! I also realize that it’s my dumb fault for getting my wallet stolen, or maybe I shouldn’t have kept my TWIC in my wallet, whatever. Lesson learned. However isn’t this why my company pays the State? I think this is a grey area, I’d like to know what you guys think.
I am not sure about your states requirements on unemployment. I do know that through Virginia your first week of unemployment is not paid. Unemployment starts paying the second week. And companies can contest unemployment. It is a grey area. Honestly I would not be certain that you qualify.
Call the USCG for answers. I do not believe that a lost TWIC invalidates a MMC. This is not the first time this situation has come up and it won’'t be the last. It seems like the USCG should have an established policy for dealing with this situation.
By the way, If you try to collect unemployment because you lost your TWIC card, you should assume that your company will find a reason to fire you (such as you lost your TWIC card and you are therefore no longer qualified for employment). That might leave you with no job and no unemployment.
You know there is that moment in life when it’s time to call your congressman. Get that TWIC expedited. The first time I was moving a boat out of country I went to get my passport and they told me 3 days. I told them the boat was leaving the next day. When I arrived back at the boat my passport was waiting on me.
It use to be that all you needed was two photos, a plane ticket, and z card, and they would issue a passport right on the spot. I needed an emergency renewal a couple years ago and it took all day waiting in lines. A few months ago it took an hour just to get through the door of a US Embassy to notarize a document (with an advance appointment). The level of service at the State Department has dropped considerably.
Lol my unemployment comes from NYC, big $$ maybe getting fired isn’t such a bad idea… Lol I’m kidding. You might be right, I don’t want to ruffle any feathers. I don’t think talking to the USCG will do me any good. (Have you ever tried to ask them a question?) But mainly because even if my MMC is valid I will have a tough time getting into and out of docks… which I have to do quite often.
I tried calling my congressman in the past when dealing with a licensing issue, he’s no help.
Once you have reported your card lost or stolen, you may have 7 days of unescorted access to a facility, at the facility’s discretion, if you meet the below requirements:
- The facility’s security staff knows that you had a valid TWIC
- You have previously been given unescorted access
- You have reported your card lost or stolen to TSA (which occurs when you receive your ticket number when ordering your replacement card)
Additionally, U.S. Coast Guard Policy Advisory Council (PAC) 03-09 guidance allows the owner/operator of a facility or vessel to authorize an additional 30 days of unescorted access if your replacement TWIC is not received within 7 days. This authority remains in effect until July 15, 2009. For any questions about PAC 03-09, please contact your local Coast Guard contact.
The TWIC Outreach Team
-This is stupid. I get 7 days access, but it takes 7-10[U] business[/U] days to get a replacement.
-Even with a TWIC card I don’t get un-escorted access, the docks are over-kill on the policy.
-Authority has expired? 2009?
I guess I’m just screwed. LOL
Your post really brings out the ‘best’ in people. (especially company HR) Whether you need a TWIC or not is really up to the facility you are going to. If you are going into your companies facility, and they know you, and you are just going ONTO the vessel to work you don’t need it. BUT, if you are crew changing at some terminals they require it. If you are just coming and going by water ON your tug, then by definition you don’t need the TWIC.
Think about it: if your AC goes out and the Captain calls an AC tech, what are the chances they will have a TWIC? slim to none. But that doesn’t matter, since the AC tech is escorted to and from the vessel.
So a lot if this depends upon your circumstances. We are all required to have TWIC to have ‘unescorted access’ so we can do our jobs in secure facilities. But as we have all seen, most terminals have incorporated the need for a twic for even escorted access. This is NOT what a TWIC was envisioned for, or even truthfully needed. Unfortunately you are familiar with the term ‘shoveling shit against the tide’… well, that is what this is. If your company isn’t willing to help you, maybe you should look around.
[QUOTE=BigTireGuy;76541]I’d appreciate everyone’s feedback on this, because I’m not sure of the answer. This past weekend my wallet was stolen. The wallet contained my TWIC card. I was due to crew change this Wednesday. First thing Monday morning I called and ordered a new TWIC card, but of course it won’t arrive by my crew change day. 7-10 business days I was told. I called my office to let them know my situation so the appropriate measures could be made so I could access the ship. They told me without a TWIC card my MMC is invalid, and I can’t return to work until I get my replacement. I think it goes without saying that I need every sea day I can get! I’m broke! Am I entitled to apply for 7-10 days of unemployment benefits? I’d rather be at work, but I can’t afford to lose half of my hitch! I also realize that it’s my dumb fault for getting my wallet stolen, or maybe I shouldn’t have kept my TWIC in my wallet, whatever. Lesson learned. However isn’t this why my company pays the State? I think this is a grey area, I’d like to know what you guys think.[/QUOTE]
I worked as a State Adjudicator for unemployment for over 20 years. I also trained Adjudicators and served as a Department Representative during Administrative Appeal Hearing for individuals or employers filing Appeals against Department Decisions.
The Unemployment Code is regulated by Title 22 of the Social Security Act. Regardless of the State, the loss of credentials in your case will be considered as a constructive Quit. A person is only eligible if he/she had a compelling reason for the quit (Section 1256 of the Unemployment Insurance Code). You as the moving party, have the burden of proof to show that your separation was due to a compelling reason / good cause.
If you had let your credentials expired good cause would be negated. The same applies if you were negligent in the loss of your credentials (i.e. Got Drunk. Passed out and was picked pocketed).
You will most likely be found Voluntary Quit Eligible because your documents were stolen (get a police report)…unless you admit to something really stupid or piss off a State worker that just happen to have a bad hair day.
Now for the “Catch 22”. You will be disqualified as not being available for work because you do not have the credentials necessary to work in your usual occupation (Section 1253 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.)
But there is a way around that too. You’ll have to prove that you have the current skills, can and willing to work in other occupations. Stating that you can work at McDonalds or WalMart won’t cut it. They will have accessed your past employers and past wage records prior to your Adjudication Interview. Big Brother knows more about you than you do. This situation would work if you were a licensed 3rd mate that could work as an unlicensed AB. But this is about your TWIC. Not a lost license.
In the end, it may depend on who handles your claim. You need top prove you don’t need a TWIC. But if you were let go because of the lack of…
Some State workers (except in Louisiana) know very little about Maritime Requirements. But you can bet they look it up if your employer protests the claim account. Most employers do.
[QUOTE=tugsailor;76545]…I do not believe that a lost TWIC invalidates a MMC. …[/QUOTE]
While you have to hold a TWIC to be issued an MMC, loss of the TWIC does not invalidate the MMC. The MMC can only be invalidated by its expiration or a suspension or revocation. No longer having the TWIC might be cause to bring an action for suspension or revocation, but in this scenario where you have applied for a replacement, it’s extremely unlikely one would be brought.
Transiting a terminal is not the only reason a TWIC might be needed. If your vessel has a secuirity plan and has designated secure areas, you need a TWIC for unescorted access to those spaces on the vessel.
Flat out…if company policy says you gotta have it, then you gotta have it.
I don’t know how much driving someone might do onboard, but I’ve seen companies that require a valid Drivers License as a condition of employment.
Lose the license, lose the job.
Last hitch one crew member was sent home because his TWIC expired during the hitch.
Its pretty obvious that there is still an overabundance of qualified mariners. When companies can choose to create and enforce silly, arbitrary, and expensive policies that are contrary to the requirements of government regulations to disqualify their existing employees from employment over trivial non-issues, they must have no shortage of manpower.
Thanks everyone. Yeah we crew change at other companies docks. Royal pain. Looks like I’m just going to use up my savings and miss a hitch. I’m not going to go to war with my employer over 2 weeks unemployment.