TULSA, Okla. — Thousands are without a job because of the nation's pandemic. Businesses are closing left and right.
“You don’t want to get behind, but yet the money is not coming in,” Maggie Cotton said.
Officials are trying to provide help by encouraging those with no income to file for unemployment, but Tulsa employments offices can only do so much with phones ringing off the hook.
We spoke to a few local Tulsans about their frustrations, trying to keep bills paid with no income coming in.
“We were laid off, it’s not our fault and I mean, I understand there is a lot of people getting unemployment, and I understand it’s a long process, but you gotta give us something,” Cotton said.
Cotton worked for a collection agency, but was laid off weeks ago because of the coronavirus.
“It is frustrating you know, because you do have your bill collectors calling, and they understand what’s going on, but it’s frustrating as an individual because you want to make sure your bills are paid,” Cotton said.
She says to avoid falling behind on bills, she tried filing for unemployment.
“You keep calling, and getting put on hold, or they will say your busy, can’t take your call right now, please try again. So, it’s very frustrating,” Cotton said.
After a week, she finally reached someone.
“She fixed the problem that was on the computer, and they said that it would process today. So, the payment did process. Now, I am just waiting for my debit card to come in,” Cotton said.
Crystal Reagor tells me she's been trying for nearly a month, and still no success.
“I called, it said that I had filed for all initial weeks, that was fine. I tried to follow up again, the system started telling me that I was not authorized and when it says that, it hangs up on you,” Reagor said.
She says days and weeks have passed and still nothing.
So, to help she joined groups, asked others for help, and also reached out to other city employment offices.
“Some people have had a lot of luck it seems with the emails, but I haven’t. I have emailed and received nothing back. I have called. There is supposed to be a woman in Bartlesville that can help. I have called her and haven’t received anything back,” Reagor said.
She says she doesn't know what to do.
“The biggest frustration is that we don’t have a system in place for these kind of emergencies," Reagor said. "Everything is overloaded and it is impossible to get through. I understand they are short staffed and their are so many people filing, but doesn’t change the fact that I am scared.”
For clarification, 2 Works for You reached out to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
They were unable to speak with us Thursday. To answer additional questions, email your name, social security number, and phone number to this email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you.
You can find the address, and file for unemployment in our Green Country April Solutions Guide on the main page.
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