“We are working day and night to figure out how to turn everything around," the governor said. Wynn said she is desperate. Unemployment office phone lines jammed, websites crashing . The state’s call center for PA unemployment benefits in downtown Allentown is not set up to assist the unemployed, but most days some will turn up anxious for answers after receiving a non-stop busy signal when they try calling.. An employee of the call center memorized one woman who claimed she had … As of Thursday morning, Wynn had logged 760 calls. Bruce and his girlfriend Alyssa Imbrogno said the state’s unemployment office prefers people file claims online, but say the system is not working for them. “Thank you Jesus we have a food bank in Duquesne,” said Wynn, who lives outside of Pittsburgh. Once you are on hold in the queue, you are in line, stay on the call. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller spent the day Monday video chatting with people who are trying to file claims but only hearing a busy signal on the other end of the phone line. More than $1 billion has been paid out in unemployment claims, Wolf said. So I call. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Lisa Nunes spent countless hours on the phone trying to reach the New Jersey unemployment office, with no success. ©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. My daughter and I would starve.”, “Are you kidding me?” Jordan said. How the pandemic disproportionately affects working moms. Coronavirus testing creates a dangerous world that’s ‘dirty or clean,’ UPMC Pinnacle nurses say, Some coroners are questioning the health department’s numbers of fatalities, Why some Pa. election officials oppose a mail-only primary: ‘Considerable potential for serious problems’, For Pa. casinos, coronavirus means plummeting revenues and questions about the industry’s future. It's best to claim weekly benefits or obtain benefit payment information online with your NY.Gov ID. Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system underwent deep cuts in funding and staffing in the wake of a 2016 funding stand-off between Wolf and the Republican-led Senate. Help!” I even called the hearing impaired office thinking I could try to be slick. I called the Duquesne office after being hired. “I have received absolutely nothing from the unemployment compensation office,” Jordan said. “I waited two hours for two boxes of food. If you have an Unemployment Insurance issue, please see below for the correct number to call. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus news briefings. Confirmed deaths due to the virus stood at 1,394. The CareerLink offices, which provide services to job seekers, have telephones that cut through the busy signals and go straight to a UC caseworker. Please try again at … “I am trying to be empathetic,” she said. Phone #651-296-3644 busy just busy for 2 days straight,, called 651-296-6141 automated line that states high call volume, call cant be completed and hangs up. Wynn hasn’t touched her federal stimulus money out of fear that things will get worse. You have to wait 22 days for a response. Across Pennsylvania legions of state residents have expressed frustration at the amount of time and effort required to connect with an unemployment compensation system that has been overwhelmed as a result of the pandemic induced record-shattering unemployment numbers. The construction industry has a green light to restart on May 1, and Gov. 2 News called the state's unemployment line. Susan Jacobson, a policy director for Labor & Industry, said earlier this week pin numbers had been assigned to biweekly claims and that there should not be any more backlogs. Information about Unemployment Insurance Phone: 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484) Coronavirus-related layoffs are leading to jammed phone lines and crashed websites at unemployment offices from coast to coast. Pennsylvania, like the majority of states, has experienced a tidal wave of unemployment compensation claims as the pandemic shuttered states economies, prompting wide scale layoffs and furloughs. The governor said he understood the frustration of those who have had trouble reaching the labor department. The slow and methodical process of reopening the state is underway. People who have a problem with unemployment benefits get endless busy signal. If you call and hear a busy signal, wait a few minutes and call again. Wynn has been trying to get connected with anyone at the state office since late March, when she was laid off from her job as a school bus driver. Better EDD Phone Number to Get Through for Unemployment When the Line is Busy. Quality local journalism has never been more important. Wynn confessed to feeling angry and disappointed at the news account this week of fellow state residents protesting at the Capitol demanding Wolf reopen the state for business. In the days of the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment office is the epitome of busy lines, as it's nearly impossible to talk to someone without help. Tom Wolf has laid out a phased county-by-county plan to reopen the state on May 8. So many are calling, … If you use TTY/TDD, call a relay operator first at (800) 662-1220, and ask the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at (888) 783- 1370. He also said the new legislation removes the work search requirement. Beware stimulus check scams Pennsylvania this week surpassed 1.5 million unemployment compensation claims filed since March 15, when the state rolled out coronavirus mitigation efforts. But six weeks after Pennsylvania shuttered its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of state residents continue to struggle to collect unemployment compensation benefits. Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. He said the state legislature passed a bill last week that will remove the one week waiting period, so people can file unemployment immediately. “I’m trying to be patient and trying to be understanding but when I see people protesting to open up the economy, I think to myself, why aren’t people protesting the state of unemployment benefits? I can’t. “My 26 weeks is about up mid-April and I did land a job with a good company, but the due to the coronavirus, he had to lay off half his company,” said Kopnisky. I am bubbling like a volcano.”. They said to call back after I started working. He’s worried that his unemployment will run out amid the coronavirus crisis. Thank you Jesus that we have these other systems that are supporting us. “Due to high call volume, we can not take your call at this time,” the automated message said. He wants to know: “Will the state’s new 13-week extension apply to me?”, “Yes, he would be able to do that going forward and also could tap into that additional $600 dollars from the federal government — I’m pretty sure of that.”. This family is not alone. “I tried to call today over 400 times,” said Zach Bruce, Hempfield Township resident. Updated Mar 25, ... but the line is either busy or she … lisanelson@hotmail.com . It is that the State does not have enough staff to answer the phone. (440) 567-6888 . Oleksiak said the department had bolstered the ranks of staff assigned to unemployment compensation claims - online and on the phone - and was working to improve the response time to phone and email inquiries from state residents. Jordan, who filed for benefits on March 29, has yet to receive his pin or even a financial determination letter. Here are some tips for how to get around the busy signals. Both say they get nothing but an endless parade of busy signals; unresponsive email exchanges and pop-up windows informing them that the Live Chat feature on the PAUC website is unavailable. extended the stay-at-home order for 26 counties, Pennsylvania Homeowner Charged With Homicide After He Fatally Shoots Intruder, Wounds Woman, Police: 25-Year-Old West Virginia Woman Upset Over Husband's Absence Kills 5 Kids, Then Herself, Allegheny County Health Department Closes 2 More Establishments, COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Health Network Suspends Scheduling Of Coronavirus Vaccinations For The General Public, Dreams Of Mega Millions: Why A $1 Billion Lottery Prize Could Be A Dream And A Nightmare, Raccoon Found In Pittsburgh Neighborhood Tests Positive For Rabies, Allegheny County Judge Apologizes For 'QAnon Shaman' Picture, 'Keep Your Nose Out Of Our Business': Sen. Ted Cruz's Paris Climate Accord Comments Upset Pittsburgh Leaders, Gov. At one point, she got through via email but was informed that she faced a 22-day wait period to hear a response. Nearly half a million New Yorkers filed for unemployment benefits in March — or tried to, anyway. “I have tried to reach the unemployment office for the last three hours. “I work every day and I struggle to put food on the table and stay independent and self sufficient, and then something happens... something that is beyond my control and has something to do with me and it knocks my world off its axis and I‘m suffering even more. The coronavirus outbreak has led to an unprecedented spike in unemployment numbers and subsequently has burdened an underfunded and ill-prepared state unemployment compensation system.Lynne Sladky | AP Photo. I would starve, literally, if I had to wait for 22 days, which is the response I got to my email request for help. I want to protest but I don’t want to use the funds that I have on gas to go drive to Harrisburg.”, “I am overwhelmed with frustration and anger because I was already angry,” she said. Fax Starting Wednesday, a machine will be answering the Colorado unemployment office’s customer support line, and busy signals will be a thing of the … While the Wolf administration has unveiled plans to phase out the statewide lockdown of the economic sector, cases of coronavirus continue to increase across the state. When you're trying to call a busy line — one that disconnects the call each time due to a surge of activity — the more times you can call in, the better. Bruce even set his alarm early to beat others to the punch. Jordan emailed the unemployment compensation office on April 16 and was informed that the average response time was 17 days. After that, all he heard were busy signals. It’s not that your phone (or their phone) is broken. Emails can go unanswered for weeks. If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again. A busy signal may mean that our call queue is full, and we are unable to add more people to the queue. She is a single mom of a 7-year-old daughter, and is concerned she is close to not being able to meet her obligations on rent, gas, electric and her car payment. We would love to hear from you . “When you try to call unemployment it’s just a busy tone, all the time,” said Bulkin, 32. Despite a phone hotline that seems always busy and an office fielding upwards of 15k emails a day, Pa.’s unemployment system is faring better than … Calls for assistance end with a busy signal and a recording. I've been doing this non stop for two weeks. how am i suppose to get ahold of the unemployment office. You can find more details here. Albany County Unemployment Office: 175 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 (518) 462-7600 X162 (518) 447-5967 Allegany County Unemployment Office: 7 Wells Lane, Belmont, NY 14813 “It did leave me with some unanswered questions and concerns about what Labor & Industry officials are telling Pennsylvanians,” said Jeremy Jordan, who has been trying to call the unemployment compensation office at the Department of Labor & Industry since April 13. Please support high-quality local journalism. She constantly worries about feeding her daughter and paying her rent. … “I‘m just trying to stay positive,” said Angelita Wynn, who has tracked the number of calls she has placed to the unemployment compensation office. Beware that you may need to wait in a lengthy line. The Director's Office is unable to assist or answer questions regarding your claim or Unemployment Insurance. Wolf says he’ll reopen Pa. ‘county by county’; Philadelphia area looks to be last. I would starve. You cannot get through to them,” said Jaffe, 80, who says the loss of income is making it hard to pay bills. Subscribe to PennLive. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. “No pin, no financial determination letter and no phone call or email from the office saying there is an issue with my claim.”. He told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that he’s encouraging constituents to reach out to his office via phone or social media with concerns or issues they’re running into while filing their claims. It’s literally just a busy signal,” said Bruce. The spike in applications has put unprecedented stress on the system, but state Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak on Monday assured residents that the department was addressing the problems and obstacles hindering residents from resolving claims issues. “When you call the phone number that is plastered all over the unemployment compensation website all you get is a busy signal, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” said Jordan, an auto sales representative from Hummelstown. “I’ve been up since this morning calling back-to-back. Jordan and Wynn have been trying to resolve their benefits issues for about the same length of time. He said he learned a piece of good news Monday morning. We need your support. Office . The Texas Workforce Commission’s executive director says his agency is getting upwards of a million calls a day, and there are no real signs of a decline on the horizon. PennLive made repeated attempts to speak with someone at Labor & Industry, but as of Thursday afternoon had not heard back from officials. Multiple callers to the Louisiana Workforce Commission this week, if they did not get a busy signal, got an automated message saying they had to call back later to file for unemployment benefits. I have been working this week starting on Monday, November 18th, 2013. They’re starting to get worried that they will run out of savings. 440-358-0058 . According to the Labor & Industry’s website, pin numbers are mailed out after 7-10 days and the financial determination letters are sent out after about two weeks. More than 850,000 people filed unemployment claims since March 15, according to State Senator Jay Costa. Box 3539 Topeka, KS 66601-3539 Fax 785-296-3249 On Thursday, Pennsylvania health officials reported 1,369 new coronavirus cases, raising the statewide total to 37,053. “There is never an available representative,” Jordan said. "I called a hundred times … “We have two daughters, one’s 3 and one’s 6 months old.”. Can we find those infected with coronavirus, so everyone else can get back to work, school and life? “It’s telling me again to refile on the 12th of April so that’s a month already gone of no income at all,” said Bruce. cant get ahold of any representative.. phone line just ring to busy tone and hangs up.. been trying for 2 days. On Friday, he tried calling a minute before the office opened at 8 a.m., but got a message that it was closed. Kansas Unemployment Contact Center P.O. Legions of workers who have been laid off or furloughed say it remains impossible to reach the state’s unemployment compensation office: … Not a subscriber yet? Busy Phone Lines, Backlogs And Benefits: Your Unemployment Questions Answered. “A busy signal for over a week straight, so how exactly are they improving their response time to phone calls if no Pennsylvanian can call them?”. But legions of state residents who have been trying for weeks to collect their benefits or even resolve issues with their claims find that assessment disingenuous. There is no word for how frustrated I am. Michigan system for filing unemployment claims is overwhelmed, but keep trying, state says. Go to a PA CareerLink office. 3/8/2013 ... the 213 number the 916 number, I actually went to a local edd office and stood in line for 3 hours to get on the list to use their phones. One plays if all lines are busy, and the system isn't going to take your call. Yellow cabdrivers in New York are fighting to stay alive as the pandemic rages on. Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. Tom Wolf To Nominate Alison Beam As Secretary Of Health Dr. Rachel Levine's Replacement, Return Of Unemployment Payments For 400,000 Pennsylvanians Marred By System Crashes And Error Messages, Public File for WPCW-TV / PittsburghsCW.com. “Now I get on the unemployment compensation website this morning and the average response time is now 21 calendar days!”. Use this website to find it: www.pacareerlink.pa.gov. Woodley says he determined the EDD phone line plays two distinct recordings when someone calls. Workers told VICE they are trying their best to file for unemployment but they are often unsuccessful, due to crashing websites with outdated programming and busy phone lines. The U.S. Labor Department this week said that 4.4 million Americans had filed for compensation in the previous week, bringing the national total to 22 million people. I cannot get through to anyone at the Unemployment Office, despite dozens and dozens of tries, as it is constantly a busy signal. “I learned this morning they’re moving 100 people from another agency and department into the unemployment compensation bureau to help handle the work flow or claims flow we’re talking about,” said state Senator Jay Costa. What will be allowed in the red, yellow, and green phases of Pa.'s coronavirus reopening plan? By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our. Sen. Costa said those receiving unemployment will also soon receive an additional $600 weekly benefit. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). She filed the same day she lost her job as a bartender at a Portland restaurant. If you’re self-employed, you can find more information here. The office line is busy, but I wanted to call back as instructed, and report my new part-time employment before having to file my bi-weekly claim on this Sunday, November 24, 2013. Why aren’t people protesting that we can’t have access to a benefit that we have earned? To put Pennsylvania numbers into perspective: In comparison to the 1.5 million unemployment compensation claims filed since March 15, the state logged 40,000 new claims in the three weeks prior to March 13. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. Hanging up and then calling again will put you in the back of the call line. “I have spent a whole day from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock calling, trying to get through but the phone is busy. State labor departments are overwhelmed with unemployment applications New York state's Department of Labor has seen a 1000% increase in claims . Thanks for visiting PennLive. Wolf said the department has hired more workers to handle claims and invested in new technology to improve the system. Getting an answer from Pennsylvania’s unemployment office takes patience, persistence, and perhaps multiple phones calling at once. In the aftermath, the Department of Labor and Industry closed call centers and furloughed 500 workers. I couldn’t get through that number either.”. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller spent the day Monday video chatting with people who are trying to file claims but only hearing a busy signal on the other end of the phone line. The level of frustration and anger among residents who have reached out to PennLive desperate for assistance or answers from state officials is palpable, particularly after state officials this week held a press conference vowing that response times have improved and that the backlog for pins had been resolved.