(WRIC) — The Virginia Employment Commission is working overtime to try and keep up with the thousands of unemployment claims coming in during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are receiving, and this is a conservative estimate, over 100,000 claims per week,” said VEC Communications Manager Joyce Fogg.
Because the system is overloaded, some people are having technical difficulties when filing. 8News talked to a Mechanicsville man who was mistakenly denied his benefits and could not get in touch with anyone for help. Hundreds of viewers commented on the 8News Facebook page after that story aired saying they, too, were having issues
The commission has taken some steps to try and keep up with the demand like adding staff, hiring back retirees and working overtime.
“We’ve deployed staff from other areas of the agency, especially those who have a background in unemployment insurance, and they’re helping to respond,” Fogg said.
This week, VEC opened a third party contact center to help work claims.
“I know it’s hard to be patient right now but we’re working as fast as we can to try and get your paperwork done and get the letters out to you,” Fogg said.
Fogg said the best way to get in contact with VEC about problems is by sending an email to customer service at email@example.com with your phone number included so someone can call you back.
“If you send an email, we’re all going through our emails daily and forwarding them to people that all around the state to try to help respond to those emails,” she told 8News.
Although many Virginians are having trouble filing for unemployment, there are many others receiving their claims with no problems. VEC paid out more that $100 million in unemployment claims last week.
“Our staff has been really diligently working hard,” Fogg said.