Hank Investigates: Unemployment technical glitches - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Hank Investigates: Unemployment technical glitches

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It's happened tens of thousands of times on Sunday, over and over, people trying desperately to file claims with the Massachusetts employment office--both on the phone and by the web--were only met with frustration. NO one could get through.

Brenda Easely Webb, Unemployment Recipient

"I was very worried."

Brenda says she tried all day every hour, but got nowhere. Like all the other callers with food and rent money in the balance, Brenda was frantic.

Brenda Easely Webb, Unemployment Recipient

"Thats the only income I have right now."

We were flooded with complaints, people emailing:

"No one can call or go online to claim benefits."

"I cannot believe this has not been fixed!"

"This is ridiculous!"

SO what went wrong? Officials at the state's office of Labor and workforce told us: A disc drive crashed, and as a result, so did the whole system.

Hank

"Why did that happen?"

John Glennon, Chief Information Officer, MA Division of Unemployment Assistance

"Stuff breaks. Hardware breaks."

The systems now back in service, officials say, but it's still not smooth sailing. When we tried this afternoon, we got one busy signal--and message saying call back later. Officials know that's everyone who tried to call yesterday--calling today.

HANK

"If someone called Sunday and couldn't get through, will there be any penalty for that?"

John Glennon, Chief Information Officer, MA Division of Unemployment Assistance

"There will be no penalty or no major impact on claimants."

HANK

"What will be the minor impact?"

John Glennon, Chief Information Officer, MA Division of Unemployment Assistance

"I think the inconvenience, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience."

Officials say they're fast forwarding claims--working late--to make sure everyone's checks are cut and deposited without delays. And eventually, there'll be a hardware upgrade.

HANK

"But when it comes to the bottom line, are people going to get their money on time? What's your answer?"

John Glennon, Chief Information Officer, MA Division of Unemployment Assistance

"Absolutely."

HANK

"So they shouldn't worry?"

John Glennon, Chief Information Officer, MA Division of Unemployment Assistance

"They shouldn't worry."

The unemployment phone lines will be open tonight and the result of the week until 10 pm--three hours longer than usual. So if you're trying to call, you've got some leeway. And if you continue to have problems let me know.

(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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