Unemployment phone, online system crippled with increased traffic

The Alabama Department of Labot phone service directs you online where that process results in an error screen. (Source: WAFF)
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) -- The Alabama Department of Labor confirms issues with its unemployment phone and online system as thousands try to file claims. Right now, the phone service directs you online where that process results in an error screen.

Amber Everton, like thousands of others, is trying to figure out how to file for unemployment. This is her first time going through the process.

“I’ve been trying to do the unemployment since 9:00 this morning," stated Everton. “When you live paycheck-to-paycheck, you have to have some type of means of income coming in.”

The mother of four and her husband work for the same restaurant in Athens. Both were laid off Friday morning.

With restaurants scaling back hours with the new health restrictions, this is the new reality for many in the field.

“The restaurant can’t generate enough revenue to keep people on," said Everton.

Unemployment claims are filed through the Alabama Department of Labor.

WAFF 48 News reached out to department officials Friday. We were told they are aware of the issue and are working to find a resolution.

As for claims, the department received 1,759 Thursday, bringing the four day total to 7,821. Friday numbers were not yet available.

A potential way around this backup, according to Kelly Betts, PIO for the Department of Labor, have your employer file on your behalf. They say this *may* cut down on traffic and speed up payments.

You can file claims online Sunday at 12:01 a.m. through Friday at 5 p.m.

You can also file your claim by telephoning the Claims Line at 1-866-234-5382. They are available Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Read the original version of this article at waff.com.