Still waiting for unemployment? New tools on the way to speed things up

Still waiting for unemployment? New tools on the way to speed things up

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Officials with the Alabama Department of Labor tells our newsroom they plan to roll out new tools that will hopefully speed up what many describe as a slow process.

Jared Trevino says he filed for unemployment in late March. He has not heard anything from the Department of Labor.

“They list me as getting $875/week -- $600 pandemic fee and $275 for unemployment. I’ve seen ‘zip’ of it. None, and it’s been about a month," described Trevino. “I try contacting them about four days a week, every 15 minutes calling their 800 number. I’ve never talked to a single person.”

We took his concerns surrounding communication to Department of Labor officials. Here is some advice, according to Tara Hutchinson:

The system remains overwhelmed with calls. There is simply a large volume of people calling in at the same time with a limited number of staff to answer the calls.

They continue to encourage patience and to remind claimants that once they are able to get through and leave a call back on the phone system, to please stop calling. The call will be returned, but it may take five days or more due to volume.

Additionally, they have been seeing claimants in person at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery for the past two weeks and have continued through this week. We are able to assist approximately 500 claimants per day.

This week, they’ve set up an additional call center to handle inquiry-related calls with new staff. We hope that those staffers will be taking calls by next week - they are training this week. Also, next week we hope to launch a new “live chat” feature on the Claims Tracker to allow claimants to open a ticket with a staffer.

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