Frustrations are building up with unemployment claims

Coronavirus

Joblessness is being felt all around the region with more than a million unemployment claims being filed in Pennsylvania.

Frustrations are mounting while bills are piling up. Here is how local residents are dealing with the process.

Hundreds of thousands of people unexpectedly had to stop going to work.

So now not only are they left with the question of when they will go back, but also when will they see any income coming in from unemployment.

The fear of not seeing any form of income is not only being shown by those who can’t work, but also through business owners who can’t open their doors.

“If you don’t have employees there’s a lot you can’t even get help for and unemployment is one of them. They say it’s coming, but it’s not coming as fast as my bills are coming. This is killing me and after 20 years of creating this business and loving it I am seriously afraid I am going to lose it,” said Kelly Giewont, small business owner.

Here is what’s happening to those who were let go and trying to get through to claim unemployment.

“Online is down, the phone is busy or tells you that the phone number doesn’t exist currently. So you call back and if you’re lucky enough to get through. You’re on hold for maybe an hour and a half before you talk to someone and then they tell you they don’t have any information. They haven’t processed your stuff,” said Kim Schubert, unemployed worker.

After hearing a cry for help from so many, Representative Ryan Bizzarro wrote a letter to the Department Secretary asking questions about what is being done to compromise the high demand of needed assistance.

“People are nervous. They’re nervous they’re not going to get paid. They’re nervous that they aren’t going to be able to feed their family, pay their mortgage, tensions are high. We have to do something to alleviate some of those concerns that are happening now,” said Bizzarro.

One restaurant worker continues to wait for the check to come through, there’s one thing he’s looking forward to even more.

“The light this has shed on everything and how much more I can value what I do. So I don’t have to walk in with groggy days or anything anymore I can be thankful and appreciative of the opportunity I have,” said Jacob Jones, business owner.

Representative Bizzarro explained that right now the department only has about 200 employees working on all of those claims.

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Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

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