Pa.’s unemployment system getting through more claims, but still not doling money out fast enough

Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Problems with the state unemployment system continue. While the state says it’s getting through claims much faster with the new system that launched in June, it’s still not fast enough for the people waiting on the money they deserve.

One gentleman’s identity was stolen last year when he was working. The scammer tried filing a claim through unemployment on his behalf, but now he’s unemployed, and now he can’t get into the UC system to file his claim. We went to the state for answers.

“I was working two jobs at the time, a full-time and a part-time job and I got a letter in the mail saying I signed up for unemployment and I thought, what’s this all about?” Paul Smith said.

He filed a police report, and notified Labor and Industry and ID me. Fast forward to about a month ago, he’s now unemployed and can’t file a claim. “At my wit’s end not knowing what to do, and I thought well maybe I’ll give abc27 a call,” Smith said.

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We called the Department of Labor and Industry. It says Smith’s situation is very uncommon. The protocol, freeze the original fraudulent claim while they investigate it. The victim needs to call Labor and Industry for help creating a new claim which then needs to be verified.

But Smith says he got nowhere, so L&I said it would call Smith to figure this out. Meanwhile, Stacey Novak filed her unemployment claim in June and hasn’t been paid yet.

“You should be able to speak to somebody to get an answer and I don’t know what other states are doing but Pennsylvania is their unemployment system is a failure in my eyes,” Novak said.

The state says since the launch of the new system in June, the backlog of claims has decreased by one-third but there are still new claims from June when Novak filed hers, that are still in the queue.

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