HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – People across the state continue to report problems when it comes to reapplying for unemployment and contacting the Department of Labor.
The latest complaint comes from people who have to wait over a month for a hearing every time employers dispute their benefits.
Congress has extended unemployment benefits for people who remain out of work during the pandemic. But after 50 weeks of benefits, you must reapply.
However, many wonder how the processing of resubmitted requests has progressed since last month.
The Ministry of Labor said the turnaround time was only a few days. However. some require extra attention. For example, questions about social security numbers and banking information. This is where many people run into problems.
The ministry suggests using the unemployment website to troubleshoot common issues yourself, such as updating bank information. This is because the call center is inundated with calls for help.
“I know we’ve had plenty of people answering the phone calls for you, I think we’ve done a much better job getting the unemployment checks,” Governor Ned Lamont said.
He added that the state has shifted its resources, expecting a wave of calls.
He said he would look into the problem to see if more needed to be done.
Last week, the Ministry of Labor said it received 43,000 calls.
You can try to schedule a reminder, but the hours are filling up quickly every day.
The ministry suggests going online, but appointments are already made until May 13.
The backlog also slows down hearings when employers dispute how much a person should be paid.
“They have to move it, at least you have to know whether you’re going to get it or not,” said Jose Flores, who returned to work in November but quit his job in February.
His partner has an underlying illness and he didn’t want to risk catching COVID-19.
Flores had a hearing in April and is awaiting the decision. But he plans to go back to work to pay his bills.
There are 10,000 cases still pending, which means the wait for a hearing is 40 days.
The ministry hired 11 people to hear the appeals.
A Channel 3 viewer asked if there was a deadline for an employer to challenge unemployment benefits. The Ministry of Labor has not answered this question at this time.
When the pandemic started, people could refuse to work and collect unemployment if they were not ready to return. However, this decree expired last year.
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