Having trouble filing your weekly unemployment claim? You're not alone

I found a web form to report an error with the online application. I described the problem in detail but have not heard back. The next morning, I called ...
Having trouble filing your weekly unemployment claim? You're not alone

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Can't file your weekly claim for unemployment benefits online? This may not solve your problem, but at least there is a workaround.

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An online application for weekly unemployment benefits is missing an important answer. (Photo: Joanna Allhands/Arizona Republic)

I share this story of frustration, partially out of solidarity with others who are having similar problems, but also to share a workaround.

Arizona’s online form to has a glitch. Or, at least, it does for my account.

The problem lies with Question 5, which asks, “Did you work or earn any money from Sunday, April 19, 2020 through Saturday, April 25, 2020, including part-time work, even though you may not have received payment at this time?”

The answer to that question, in my case, is no.

I was on furlough that week. I did not work. I did not earn any income.

But the question only offers “yes” as a response. There is no option to click “no.”

I tried to file my weekly claim on Monday morning. I logged out and in again from multiple internet browsers, including my phone. Still no button to click “no.”

I tried to call customer service, the first of about a dozen calls over four days to the line. I couldn’t even get into the queue to wait for a representative. It told me there were too many calls to take any more.

No wonder. in the last few weeks than , as the Great Recession hit. The aging state system wasn’t designed for this.

I found a web form to with the online application. I described the problem in detail but have not heard back.

The next morning, I called the customer service line again. Still too busy to put me in the queue.

I called back in the afternoon and got in the queue for new claims. 

Twenty-five minutes later, I reached an agent, who told me she had never heard of my problem before. I asked if I could send her a screenshot.

No, she said. She didn’t have that ability.

Instead, she said, I needed to call back on the customer service line and talk to someone in existing claims.

I asked if she could transfer me. In previous calls, I was unable to even get into the queue to wait.

Looking for the other side of the story? .

So, I called back another two times and couldn’t get into the queue.

Frustrated, I went outside and screamed. At least that made me feel better.

I emailed the , describing the problem in detail and attaching a screenshot of the problematic question. Still haven’t heard back there.

On Thursday, I got an automated email saying I still hadn’t filed my claim, and that I needed to file by 6 p.m. Friday to keep my claim active.

How am I supposed to do that when everything I’ve read said I need to file online?

After more calls to the line for existing claims, I decided to go the new claims route once again. Maybe I’ll get a different answer from another agent. And a half-hour later, I did.

She said there are printed forms on the website you can fill out, sign and fax to the office. At , go to the “Document Center” tab. Click on “Forms” in the drop-down menu, then choose “Weekly Claim for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits.”

You can print the form and fax it to one of the two numbers on the form.

I’m not sure why this option is not well advertised. In fact, the on the website notes that “To maintain benefits, applicants are required to file a weekly claim by visiting our online Unemployment Insurance claims system.”

It’s unclear how many people have had problems with the state system. We’ve heard plenty of . I asked the Department of Economic Security if it was tracking how many people might be running into trouble filing their claims, which said it would get back to me.

But the deluge of calls on existing claims seems to suggest that there are a lot of frustrated people out there.

And probably a lot of missed benefits that didn’t have to be that way.

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source https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/joannaallhands/2020/05/01/arizona-unemployment-claims-can-faxed-if-online-form-breaks/3061796001/

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