After Glitch, When Will Unemployment Checks Be Sent?

Monday, August 3rd 2009, 5:17 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- An overloaded online and phone service may be to blame for delays at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.   The technical problem means those who have tried to file their weekly unemployment claims have been unable to do so.  What's the problem and when will the unemployed get their checks?

The News On 6 has received quite a few e-mails and phone calls from people who could not file their unemployment claims over the weekend.  They either got a busy signal over the phone or a website that offered an error message when they tried to submit information.

"Stretching those funds from week to week is hard. And, there are things I need to get for my house today that I'm not going to be able to get until Wednesday," said job seeker Greg Hamilton.

Welding assistant Greg Hamilton was laid off on New Year's Eve last year. He's relied on unemployment checks while searching for a job.

"When you've been making it on unemployment like I have, it's stressful enough trying to just conduct your life without having steady employment," said Greg Hamilton.

Over the weekend, there was a glitch and Hamilton's check will be delayed.

"The system was down all weekend long with no explanation, no number to call, nobody to talk to.  No rhyme or reason," said job seeker Greg Hamilton.

The spokesperson for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says over the weekend, the system was overloaded with too many people trying to file unemployment claims.

"The computer just kind of freezes up and then it says and then it says sorry, we're having technical difficulties at this time. Please try later. And, that's all the information you can get," said Greg Hamilton.

OESC says they are working to fix the problem. But, the call center is working. You may get a busy signal because of number of calls. But, OESC says keep calling until you get through.

Hamilton did get through on Monday morning, but he's wary that his claim may not have been filed because of the glitch.

"I just wish that they could have sent somebody in and got things going a little sooner because I'm not the only person who has to wait now for my check," said job seeker Greg Hamilton.

Checks and direct deposits will be delayed by two days.  OESC says roughly 40,000 people filed unemployment claims on Sunday, July 26th.   On August 2nd, they say only 4,500 were able to get through.

OESC tells The News On 6 they have had issues like this before, but never with the online system. They are working to put a new system in place.  It should be up and running by October which they hope will prevent problems like experienced over the weekend from happening again.