Coronavirus Unemployment Woes: N.J. Department Of Labor Online System Crashes Again, Causing Even More Angst

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Frustration is never ending for people in the Tri-State Area who are trying to apply for unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people have not been able to get their benefits, and in New Jersey the Department of Labor’s online system crashed again, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Sunday.

If applying for unemployment wasn’t difficult enough, recipients now have to deal with frequent computer crashes.

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Daryl Johnson of North Arlington, N.J. said when his wife tried certifying benefits last weekend, she couldn’t access the web page.

“It’s a roller coaster of emotions. You go to log on and you’re, you know, you’re nervous, like, OK, is it gonna work? Is it not gonna work?” Johnson said.

DID YOU LOSE YOUR JOB AMID THE OUTBREAK?

New Jersey officials told Fan some recipients will receive benefits a few days late this week, after the Department of Labor’s computer system went down again this weekend. Gov. Phil Murphy was asked when the outages will finally stop.

“They’re trying to stay above water. These keep coming in at extraordinary levels. The fact that we’re doing better than other states is, at one level, a point of pride and I’m sure it gives nobody one speck of satisfaction,” Murphy said.

In New York, Scott and Stacey Nagel of Belle Harbor are also at their wits end. Both have been trying to file since early April.

“I was calling 75 times a day, both of us. And I just stopped calling because the anxiety, the stress of not being able to sleep,” Stacey Nagel said.

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With over 1.4 million New Yorkers applying for unemployment since the crisis began, the Nagels said they understand the system is taxed. What they can’t understand is why there isn’t a more efficient callback system.

“It might actually be helpful to know, oh, you’re you know, we’re thousandth on the list and you check tomorrow when you’re 2,000 on the list. At least you know something’s getting done,” Scott Nagel said.

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The New York State Department of Labor said the number one holdup on claims is that people do not know their former employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number. The department said it will eventually give everyone a call back, starting from the earliest applications.

And that people should not call them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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