NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - “This COVID-19’s got me in a pile. A pile of bill mess. So, I was just wondering, how I get out of it,” Robin Rouille said.
Robin Rouille is a bus driver for Williamson County schools. Wiping her tears, she feels helpless.
“It’s not fun when you’re driving a school bus with precious cargo and you’re worried about your bills. It affects your life, you know. You gotta, you know, get your life back in order. I just hope that I can get out of this red tape and just get what’s owed to me,” Rouille said.
Rouille is talking about her state unemployment benefits. Like many bus drivers, COVID-19 let her with no way of making a dollar this summer.
“Williamson County was gracious enough to grant the bus drivers that worked in the summer. They were allowing those bus drivers to get unemployment,” Rouille said.
Rouille said she received some unemployment, but says she can’t understand why it stopped.
“I’ve probably done like seven tickets!! I call every two weeks. So i’ve not received any money for June or July,” Rouille said. So where I stand now is, for 2 ½ months I have not received any income. I’ve exhausted all of my savings….And this is where I’ll cry. I maxed out my credit cards.”
News 4 checked in with the Department of Labor to see if we could help Rouille. The Department tells News 4 that Rouille did receive funds up until May. That’s because she was out of work during the school year because of COVID-19. But Rouille also falls under what’s called “Reasonable Assurance,” meaning if you work for a public school district, state law does not allow you to get benefits during regularly scheduled breaks.
Rouille expects to get her first paycheck on October 1st, but she’s in such a deep financial hole, she doesn’t know how she’s going to climb out of it.
“It’s like okay you’re working now...you’re getting money. But I got so much in a hole--and when you get into credit card holes...you pay a lot of interest. So it’s taken me to dig out of this mess... it’s gonna take me a while,” Rouille said.