GREENVILLE, Pitt County — Unemployment claims across the state have skyrocketed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and people in eastern North Carolina say they are having trouble filing through the state’s unemployment website.
State Senator Jim Perry says delays are occurring because the online application and call center are being overwhelmed with the record number of applications.
Perry explains that those at the North Carolina Department of Commerce are working to process applications, but those applying need to remain patient.
He says even after someone files a claim, it can take up to 10 days for their employer to respond to state officials, which could delay unemployment funds.
“The division was accustomed to processing – let’s say – 10,000 to 15,000 claims a month, and it went to about 200,000 in one week, so the volume is unprecedented,” he explains, “but I believe that’s something that we should have started preparing for.”
Perry recommends applying early in the morning or late in the afternoon and adds that the state does have money on reserve to process the large number of claims.
The federal government is also stepping in, but Perry says the money coming from Washington D.C. is delayed for approximately two weeks.