ODJFS says additional servers coming for record unemployment claims

Miami Valley News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said a record nearly 188,000 people filed unemployment claims last week but that the actual number could be even higher.

The director of ODJFS, Kimberly Hall, said so far they have paid 26,680 unemployment claims related to coronavirus closures.

Hall said last week’s number of unemployment claims rivals monthly numbers from the recession in the early 1980s.

She said they recognize this spike in claims is causing issues for their 16-year-old systems, so they’re continuing to bring in additional servers.

“We almost increased by 15 times the number of connections to increase that website capacity and are continuing to triage for solutions around, not just the web situation, but for our call center volume as well,” said Hall.

Business owner, Carolyn Davis, told 2 NEWS her employees can’t file because of a problem resetting their pins.

Hall said people who have trouble applying will be retroactively paid back to the date of unemployment.

“If an individual was laid off or terminated on the 15th as a part of the governor’s order for temporary suspension of business and still is having trouble getting through, they will not lose any benefits,” said Hall.

Others who have been approved say there are still a lot of questions.

“Looks like they’ve approved me and they’re going to send me money sometime,” said David Compton, a Miami Valley resident applying for unemployment. “It doesn’t really say when. When you click on there, it just says that document can’t be found.”

Hall said though, they’ve already sent out checks worth about $7.5 million, assuring Ohio residents that relief is on the way.

“I think a two week time frame is reasonable under these circumstances,” said Hall.

Hall said that ODJFS knows a lot of people are having issues with resetting their pin.

She said they have brought in additional staff that focus solely on this step, but right now, her best advice was to select the email option to receive pin numbers, which had seen the best results.

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