TRENTON — Amid its document crush of unemployment claims throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the state Division of Labor and Workforce Improvement noticed its web site go down for quite a few hours Sunday.
“Staff in search of to assert their weekly advantages on-line or file a brand new unemployment declare have been unable to take action. We’ve got been working feverishly to determine the supply of the issue and proper it as shortly as potential,” the Labor Division stated in an announcement to New Jersey 101.5 Information, including it expects to be totally operational by Monday.
Simply days earlier, the department announced it has distributed $1 billion in advantages to greater than 550,000 employees for the reason that begin of the general public well being emergency, and that “every thing potential is being performed to maneuver claims by means of as shortly as potential.”
Nevertheless, tens of hundreds of newly unemployed residents nonetheless have been ready, some with out receiving confirmation that preliminary claims had been obtained.
On Twitter round 1 p.m., the division stated it is going to put up an up to date schedule for purchasers who had been scheduled to certify for unemployment on Sunday. “We perceive employees’ frustration over this unplanned occasion and apologize for the inconvenience it has induced,” based on the tweet thread.
Earlier this month, New Jersey officers stated the state was in dire need of computer programmers who know COBOL, the decades-old programming language that also runs the state’s unemployment insurance coverage system, together with a hefty chunk of comparable transactions across the nation.
State Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Improvement Rob Asaro-Angelo talked about the “legacy know-how” at an April four state briefing, throughout which he additionally famous the primary week of the general public well being disaster in NJ noticed a “1,600% enhance in quantity in unemployment claims.”
On Saturday, the division shared step-by-step instructions for the half 1,000,000 residents anticipated to go surfing to assert weekly unemployment advantages beginning Sunday.
“Making use of for unemployment may be difficult, so this information takes employees step-by-step by means of claiming their weekly advantages,” Asaro-Angelo stated in a written launch, which additionally famous half of the common submitting errors occur on the primary three questions, by claimants saying they aren’t accessible for or actively in search of work, or mistakenly saying they refused accessible work.
In line with the division launch, “employees ought to reply ‘sure’ to Query 1 in the event that they had been bodily in a position to work earlier than dropping their job as a result of coronavirus, are out of labor briefly and count on to return to their job, or are ready and accessible for work.”
“Those that are ready to be recalled to their present job, or are delaying their job search till the nationwide emergency subsides, ought to reply ‘sure’ to Query 2,” the identical launch stated.
“On Query three, employees ought to say ‘no,’ except they’ve refused work,” the Labor Division launch stated.
Staff who’re self-employed, impartial contractors and others not normally eligible for unemployment will be unable to assert state advantages, the division additionally famous, whereas including these employees “seemingly are eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Help (PUA),” a program the Labor Division is working to convey on-line in New Jersey which might “be accessible quickly,” based on the identical launch.
Each employee who’s eligible for unemployment additionally will obtain a supplemental $600 weekly profit by means of the tip of July, whatever the quantity of their common unemployment cost.