By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — A nurse, pushed out in the middle of the pandemic months ago, said now her company is blocking her from getting benefits.

The company said she’s still a full time employee. CBS 2’s Tara Molina is investigating the issue and how the facility is handling it.

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Georgijaña Balugo said Alden stopped putting her on the schedule more than five months ago. But said she can’t access benefits she needs because they claim she’s still a current employee.

Why?

Georgijaña Balugo loves being a nurse and says she loved her job at Alden.

“I got snapped up very quickly.”

But she has a new job now. A job she was forced to find when she said they stopped scheduling her more than five months ago. If you ask management at Alden, Georgijaña said she’s still considered a full time employee.

“Because of the status, I’m ineligible for much needed funds,” Balugo said. “This is not fair and this is not right.”

She’s not looking for unemployment or SNAP benefits, something she said others in her position have failed to qualify for.

“I just want my retirement.”

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Early access to the 401K she established at Alden.

“I’m under the cap to get it, but they said I can receive it if I’m separate from my company,” Balugo said.

They is Transamerica. She says she’s tried working directly with them. And with Alden, but 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.

CBS 2 brought all of this to Alden. With detailed questions about Georgijaña’s claims, CBS 2 asked what is going on with employment status here and its effect on benefits.

Alden’s Vice President of Policy and Public Relations Janine P. Schoen responded with this:

“We are aware of the situation concerning Ms. Balugo but are unable to discuss confidential personnel matters.”

Her response?

“I’m not going to be forced to resign.”

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Georgijaña maintains she should not have to resign from a company that hasn’t allowed her to work for months. But she hasn’t heard anything new from Alden.

Tara Molina