Computer problem resolves computer problems |

Computer problem resolves computer problems

Staff Reports

The computer problem has been resolved that caused some benefit recipients to have their claims mistakenly rejected this week, said Frank R. Woodbeck, director for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The departments is asking claimants to utilize the website to file their claims and to receive up to date information on this issue to help ease the congestion in the telephone system, Woodbeck said.

Those claimants should go online at to file their claims as soon as possible. The telephone claims center will still accept claims, but due to the already high call volume, claimants may experience longer than usual hold times.

“Staff worked during the night to correct the problem that may cause some claimants to receive their benefits about two days late,” Woodbeck said. “We understand the magnitude of this situation as so many depend on unemployment benefits for their livelihood during this tough economic climate. We are in the midst of a 5-year overhaul of our computer system, but in the meantime, we continue to struggle with 30-year-old technology, that unfortunately doesn’t function well 100 percent of the time.”

There are currently about 86,000 people who received unemployment benefits weekly. The department traditionally receives a greater number of calls than usual, during this post-holiday season, which is further causing delays for callers accessing the telephone claims system.

The Unemployment Insurance Call Center hours will be extended, beginning Jan. 11, as a result of computer system issues and a seasonal increase in demand by our customers. However, the center will be closed, as will all state offices, on Jan. 16, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. All calls received prior to 5 p.m. each day will receive assistance from one of our customer agents. The Unemployment Insurance Call Center will be accepting calls Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Further updates will be provided on Thursday.