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Changes to the Unemployment Process

Posted at 7:09 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 20:24:38-04

We are inundated with calls and emails from viewers expressing their frustration and desperation as they try to apply for unemployment benefits.

At first, they couldn't get through to the employment office to apply either on the phone or online.

Now, that the agency added hundreds of extra call takers and boosted its online ability many filing for unemployment are still waiting weeks to get a benefits card or can't get answers about why they were denied or when they'll get their money.

"I've made several phone calls, talked to a couple people and they said they bumped me up to critical, but they're still telling me after a three week wait to finally get in touch with somebody, it could be up to two to three weeks before anybody calls me from level two to get the situation straightened out," James Leyva said.

We asked Oklahoma Employment Security Commission what's causing the hold up and what to tell those waiting for benefits.

"My best advice would be to be patient, but I know that is not gonna cut it," said Jim Polly with OESC. "We are trying to run those calls as fast as we can."

Polly added, "I want to say this. I shouldn't take that long getting cards out to 'em, and that is something we are looking into to try to figure out what's going on, and we're looking at ways to get 'em more quickly to people."

Polly says certain questions in the application are being more carefully worded to stop tripping up applicants.

Just fixing one helped process thousands of claims that would had been caught in the system.

"We did pay 12,000 extra people last night," Polly said.

We're happy to say Polly was able to find and fix the question that on had been delaying Leyva's claim. His benefits are now going out, too.

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