‘Please call back another time’ - North Carolinians still struggle to get unemployment claims processed

“Please call back another time” - North Carolinians still struggle getting unemployment claims processed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Many North Carolinians who filed for unemployment are still waiting on their first check.

A theme among some of them is that they don’t work typical 9-to-5 jobs, but when they call the Department of Commerce to try and explain that they can’t get through.

“I have never been able to get anybody on the phone,” Alex Forester told WBTV.

Tyler Schultz said he can get someone on the line if he calls the number for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance line, but when they try to transfer him it never works.

“Then they hang up on me instantly,” Schultz said.

Both Schultz and Forester said they filed for unemployment months ago but their claims are still pending.

What makes them unique is that they don’t work your typical 9-to-5 jobs.

Forester and Schultz both work in production and they say the claim process isn’t tailored to their work.

“It’s definitely catered and made for people work very defined full-time jobs,” Forester said.

When they call the unemployment number, they can get someone on the phone if they press the buttons to file an unemployment claim. However, since they have a problem with an existing claim, they hear the following statement:

“Due to the high number of claims related to COVID-19 our phone lines are busier than usual. We’re sorry but all of our call center agents are assisting other people right now and our hold queue is full.”

“That’s pretty much any time you call after 8:01,” Forester said.

The newest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Commerce show that as of May 12, 861,713 claims have been filed and 494,251 claims have been paid.

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