Alabama Department of Labor representative explains top two unemployment claim issues

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The unemployment level is still very high in Alabama and many people looking for help say it’s impossible to get.

According to Communications Director Tara Hutchison from the Alabama Department of Labor, her team receives over 200,000 calls per day.

Hutchison says the office is able to complete anywhere from 6,000 to 7,000 calls per day but that does not put a dent in the number of calls coming in.

Hutchison says there are two primary reasons why so many people are not seeing their checks come through.

First, some are not completing their certifications every week either online or via phone. Hutchison says about 35,000 to 40,000 people each week are not filing these, causing major delays.

The second problem is with employers. Claims are being filed, but employers either aren’t responding or challenging the worker’s claim.

The DOL then has to investigate and that slows things down.

Hutchison says their office reduced staff and budgets right before the pandemic hit, which really stressed their system.

The agency is offering in-person assistance, but only in Montgomery.