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Where Are The States At On UI Benefits?

Updated : August 4th, 2020

states with largest number of UI claims

Its been a while since unemployment benefits were extended to cover a wider range of unemployed people. So far some states have been quick to keep their labor websites updated with the progress while others are reportedly slow on keeping UI applicants informed. In this article, we shall survey the points of progress the five states with the largest numbers of UI claims are at. You will know when you can expect to hear from your unemployment office if you are worried about the radio silence.

States With The Largest Number Of UI Claims

Over 6 million unemployment insurance claims were filed over last week alone, the record highest number in US history. The states have been overburdened due to a shortage of staff, ill-equipped servers (to handle the volume of claimants logging in) and of course, state trust funds.

As many states had downsized their UI systems over the years, they have been scrambling to hire/depute employees to process the UI claims and sign agreements with the US Dept of Labor to get the CARES Act funds. Let’s take a look at the status of five states with the highest number of UI claims.

California

This state saw over 900,000 claims filed just last week. While every state on this list is struggling to process the huge surge in UI claims, California is particularly in need of more resources and fast. 

Governor Gavin Newsom directed that unemployment phone line timings be extended. So now people can call from 8 am-5 pm whereas previously, calls would not be taken after 12 noon. Unfortunately, the extended hours alone won’t help because many people report being put on hold and not getting hold pf a representative even after the call gets through.

The California Employment Development Department has not yet made guidelines clear for claim filing by independent contractors and gig workers. On the bright side, the state labor website stays up-to-date.

Pennsylvania

This state has had insured unemployment of more than 500,000 along with over 283,000 UI claims just last week. Pennsylvanians are fortunate to have better UI benefits than many other states even without the additional payout provided by the Families First and CARES Acts. 

Pennsylvania claims to have already begun sending unemployment payments. However, the state has not significantly raised the capacity to take calls and respond to email volume, at this time of writing.

The state has tentatively announced that a separate platform to streamline the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims will be developed in 2 weeks.

New York

With insured unemployment of 715,750 till March 28 and 345,246 claims filed last week, the state of New York has among the most well-updated sites. The state has been experiencing the same issues with technical capacities and staff shortage but it has kept people informed about the work in progress on different measures being taken.

New York has been quick to upgrade its online UI application system since people reported calls dropping midway when they even got through. The state has roped in new staffers and call centers. They have also extended phone line hours which are now 8 am-7:30 pm.

It has already begun sending out the $600 assistance as part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Georgia 

This state saw 388,175 claims filed just this week and a similar number last week. Georgia is ahead of Penn State with an even shorter period of one week announced tentatively for PUA payments to go out.

The Georgia Department of Labor has announced that they are in the process of improving the UI claims process with more questions being added to identify eligible applicants. To help contractors and gig workers they are likely to use different wage criteria from the normal system.

The state has announced that payments will be backdated to ensure that people don’t lose benefit payments due to the delays in executing the program.

A few workers have reported receiving benefits cards but with the money that should have been there, not on them. The phone lines continue to be jammed despite the state hiring call centers.

Michigan

Michigan is another top state in terms of UI claim filed numbering at 384,844 last week alone. The state has enabled contractors, gig workers, etc. to start filing unemployment claims and extended phone line hours. But the website crashes frequently.

On the bright side, Michigan is among the earliest states to actually start sending the benefits. Most states including Michigan have recommended that applicants file claims as per the following schedule:

Last names beginning with letters A-L: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.

Last names beginning with letters M-Z: Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.

Whoever misses filing on the above days, can do so on Saturdays.

 

With states finally gearing up to handle the large payment volumes, people can expect to start receiving benefits by mid-April. There are many teething troubles yet to be fixed such as monetary determination letters showing zero benefits owed due to improper wage calculations. Most states are hiring workers to process additional claims and expanding technical capabilities.

Also heartening to see are funding campaigns and community interventions to support the people laid-off.

 

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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