UPDATE: In a series of tweets shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday, the Alabama Department of Labor said they resolved the technical problem for most claimants.
53,000 Alabamians were unable to file weekly unemployment certifications.
Sunday morning, the Alabama Department of Labor said the technical issues with weekly certifications were caused by a programming error.
Multiple viewers have emailed and posted on WHNT News 19’s social media pages saying when they attempt to file their weekly certifications, the website locks them out and gives this error message:
“Your access to the Internet Weekly Claim System has been suspended.
You have had two chances to enter earnings for your claim.
Failure to call within 4 calendar days from today’s date could result in a denial of benefits.”
The system then asks applicants to call the Alabama Department of Labor’s existing benefits line at (800) 361-4524.
Leslie Knight applied for unemployment benefits in March after losing her job as a teacher’s aide.
She tried to file her weekly claim certification online at midnight.
“I put in my username and pin number and it just automatically said that my internet access was suspended,” she explained.
Knight said this is just the latest problem she’s had with the Alabama Department of Labor. She said she’s received letters and sent in requested documents, but she has yet to speak with an actual person in Montgomery.
Knight said a solution could be to process claims in person at local career and unemployment centers.
“Just like they allow in Montgomery, they open up the building so they can allow individuals to speak to someone face to face, that’s what I feel they should do,” she explained.
The single mother of two said her biggest worry is that she’ll accidentally lose her benefits due to all the moving parts.
Since she can’t speak with anyone directly, she said she can’t be 100 percent sure she’s filling out the forms correctly.
“I just hope and pray that unemployment becomes a lot more organized than what we are dealing with in Alabama,” Knight added.
WHNT News 19 has reached out to the Alabama Department of Labor and is waiting for a response on the issues.
A post on the Alabama Department of Labor’s Facebook page shows hundreds of Alabama residents are having the same issues.