Residents facing issues filing for unemployment benefits

Local News

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Many people in our region are having issues filing for unemployment benefits. This comes just two and a half weeks after the state launched its new modernized website to handle unemployment claims.

One of those having trouble is Kevin Bloom from Clearfield County.

“I get a message that I have a Workmen’s Comp. claim that I need to explain to them. And I don’t have a Workmen’s Comp. claim at all. I’ve never had one,” said Bloom.

The issue has left Bloom stuck, not able to submit a claim in more than two and a half weeks. However, he’s not alone.

“We do see that there are some individuals still struggling with filing their weekly benefits,” said Secretary of Labor & Industry Jennifer Buerrier. “However, we are addressing those issues as quickly as possible. We have folks working around the clock to address the issues that we have identified.”

The issues people are facing range from not being able to log in, being told they have a worker’s comp claim or receiving a notice that they’re not eligible for the benefits they’re entitled to receive. When they try to call the UC, they are met with an empty line. When they finally do get through, no one is available to help rectify the situation.

As thousands try to get their issue resolved, wait times are piling up. Currently, more than 60,000 people are ahead of Bloom. There are more than 600 people working the call centers right now. However, the Secretary of Labor and Industry admits it’s not enough.

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“Our call centers are a bit overwhelmed right now with the rollout of the new system,” said Buerrier. “But we are very hopeful that once we are able to stabilize the new system fully, our call systems will calm down.”

Bloom’s last payment came at the end of May. He says he’s currently out $2,400. With the call centers averaging about 7,500 call-backs a day, it’s still a long road ahead until Bloom may get this resolved.

“I’m looking at 2 to 3 weeks before I even get a phone call,” said Bloom. “So that numbers gonna go to 4,800 pretty soon.”

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