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State asks unemployment claimants to file on specific days

In an effort to deal with a glut of unemployment claims, the state requested beneficiaries to only file claims on specific days of the week.

Starting next week, claimants whose last names begin with letters A-G are asked to file their weekly unemployment claim certifications on Monday. Those with last names beginning with letters H-O should file on Tuesday, and last names beginning with letters P-Z should file on Wednesday.

Thursday through Sunday are free for anybody to file, said Scott Murakami, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

“We’ve received calls at the Capitol about everyone trying to get onto the system, and it’s been bogged down,” said Gov. David Ige during a news conference Thursday. “So now, we’re trying to divide the traffic to help the performance of the system.”

With about a third of the state’s workforce now unemployed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the state’s capacity to handle the massive surge in unemployment claims has been overwhelmed.

Murakami said Thursday that the department is making updates to its server network to better handle the influx of claims and expanded its call center with an additional 150 phones.

As of Wednesday, Murakami reported, 141,077 claims have been processed, about 63% of the total claims submitted; 100,602 of those claims have been paid.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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