Deadline to file for unemployment Wednesday night, system offline for upgrades

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(WHTM) — We hit an important deadline today for people who need to file for unemployment. Claimants needed to file by 9 p.m. Wednesday night to avoid delays, as the state transitions to a new system. While the Department of Labor and Industry says this system will make filing a lot faster and easier, the entire system will have to go offline and that means delaying new filings for almost a week.

Claimants needed to file biweekly claims by Wednesday night before the 40-year-old system goes offline for both filers and employees.

“In addition to user guides and videos on our website and social media, we are continuing to host live workshops that demonstrate the filing process and answer frequently asked questions,” said Jennifer Berrier, Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The Department of Labor and Industry says every claimant has received multiple direct messages through mail and email, but Angela Fulwiley who was looking for a new job at the Greater Harrisburg Community Job Fair tells us this came as a surprise.

“I saw it on the news yesterday evening so that’s when I logged on to file my claim,” said Fulwiley.

Information is being moved from the old system to the new one. You will still be able to contact the unemployment compensation center by phone or email, but it’s still a major issue for people to get through to someone for help.

“I had difficulties in getting in touch with someone on the phone. Sometimes you wait for an hour and you get cut off,” said Fulwiley.

If someone calls about filing, their information will be taken but won’t be filed until the new system is online. That’s planned for next Tuesday, June 8th. Berrier says while this will be inconvenient, the upgrade is needed and is confident things should run smoothly.

“Our staff will be monitoring the new unemployment system around the clock. Should any issue arise big or small, we have processes in place to quickly identify the cause and put a fix in place,” said Berrier.

After the new system is running and staff is fully trained, we’re told they should be able to process claims about 10-percent faster.

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