State Unemployment Websites Crash As Applications Spike Due To Coronavirus

By Bill Galluccio

March 18, 2020

Frustrated worker getting virus notification at laptop scr

The unemployment websites for multiple states crashed due to high traffic as people suddenly found themselves without a job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As people logged on to file claims, they were met with error messages telling them the website could not be reached.

To help spread out the number of people filing claims, officials in New York designated specific days for people to file claims based on their last names. The New York Department of Labor said they have 700 staffers working to process the applications.

In Kentucky officials, instituted a similar system after they saw 9,000 applications on Tuesday (March 17). The state typically averages 2,000 new claims per week. Anybody who missed their day to file will be able to do so on Friday.

“We’re doing everything that we can to fix it — putting new procedures in place so that individuals who lost their job this week can make sure that they file claims on time,” Josh Benton, deputy secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, said.

New Jersey officials urged residents to be patient as staffers try to work through the backlog of new claims. They said that all applications will be backdated to ensure that people will get paid for the time that it takes to process their claims.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits is expected to skyrocket in the coming days as more and more businesses are forced to close down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Officials from the Trump administration privately cautioned Senate Republicans that the unemployment rate could climb to 20% in the next few weeks. President Donald Trump told reporters that he disagrees with that assessment and does not believe it will get that high.

To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Photo: Getty Images

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