HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Across the nation more than 10 million people filed for unemployment in March. More than six million of those claims were filed in the last week.
But some Alabamians say they can’t file, not even online.
Over the past few weeks several WHNT News 19 viewers have called and emailed asking us to look further into the Alabama Department of Labor’s unemployment claims website.
Thursday, WHNT News 19 Investigative Reporter Dallas Parker, sat down and attempted to file a claim herself.
In the beginning things ran smoothly.
The website asked for essential information such as legal name, birthdate and social security number. Then it addresses your most recent work history. In the end, it only took about 15 minutes to complete the claim, then you’re greeted with a claim confirmation message.
But here’s where the issues began:
In trying to address the claim filed just minutes prior, the system said it didn’t have records under the given social security number. Users are then urged to contact ADOL at 1(800)361-4524 for assistance.
But after dialing that number, you may hear an automated message. “We are currently experiencing a high call load. Please try your call again later.”
Thankfully, there was another toll-free number listed for claim help, 1(800)752-7389. “For general information about unemployment benefits press 1, or you may visit our website at www.labor.alabama.gov. Otherwise please try your call again later.”
So was the claim filed or not? Right now, there’s really no way to tell. Unless an email confirmation is enough for you.
Governor Ivey sent WHNT News 19 a statement from her Twitter question and answer session.
The Alabama Department of Labor is receiving a record number of unemployment claims, and the website is not able to withstand the traffic. I assure the people of Alabama that our folks at ADOL are working overtime to ensure that these claims are being verified and processed. We are living in unprecedented times, and we greatly appreciate the patience from everyone across the state.
The state’s best advice right now, as it sorts through tens of thousands of claims? Patience.
But some Alabamians are running out of patience and ways to pay the bills.
We will continue digging for answers. We reached out to the Alabama Department of Labor about what people can do in the meantime. The department has not responded with any guidance.