Pa unemployment call center problems

Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry Julia Hearthway says they are working diligently to fix problems with Pennsylvania’s unemployment benefits hotline.  The call center is receiving a record number of calls.  In November alone call centers received more than 15 million calls. January is usually the busiest month. Hearthway says she expects things to improve over the next three to six months.

A loss of $30 million in federal funding forced the state to close a call center in Philadelphia in August, putting 75 people out of work. They expect to lose more funding this year. Lawmakers say they will try to put together some sort of state funding package to try to help.

Because of the amount of calls State Police are also looking into where they came from and whether any of the calls are part of any sabotage efforts.

The toll-free number for unemployment in Pennsylvania is 1-888-313-7284. They recommend calling on the slower days: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday later in the day. It closes at 4 p.m. They also say using a landline phone may get you an answer quicker than a cellphone.

Secretary Julia Hearthway says people wishing to file claims can also try the website or fax line. The fax line is dedicated to people who have questions with their claims. That fax number is 717-525-5160.

What they are doing to fix the problem:
1. Called back 117 temporary workers
2. Established fax line 717-525-5160
4. Improved training
5. Upgraded phone system
6. Improved website

For more information about Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation click here.