MONTGOMERY, Ala. – At one point, the Alabama Department of Labor had more than 100,000 initial unemployment claims in one week. Now ADOL reports initial claims have remained below 30,000 for the last four weeks. But that is still a substantial amount, considering only 130,000 claims were filed in all of 2019.
The department said it is still working to keep up with the large number of claims and they have exhausted plenty of resources to do so.
The influx of unemployment insurance claims in Montgomery makes it harder for claimants to get in touch with an actual person there, leaving some local claimants in Huntsville wondering why they can’t get local, in-person help. ADOL said they’re working to cross train employees at local career centers, so that they can help with claims. But right now there’s no way to tell when that help will become available.
ADOL said right now all of its unemployment claim staff are located in Montgomery and are needed to answer phones and adjudicate claims.
The department did open a brand new call center this week to help those calling about existing claims and most of the week was dedicated to training new employees.
Department spokesperson Tara Hutchinson said the call center should be up and running by next week.
For those who have had issues with ADOL’s claim website, Hutchinson said they’re planning to launch a new live chat tool in the near future.