Unemployment Tweaking Virtual Call Center After Robocalls Flood Phonelines

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) new virtual call center has gotten over 150,000 calls daily since opening last week. The department and its vendor determined that a majority of those calls were robocalls that initially flooded the center and made it very hard for normal callers, but the contractor has implemented solutions to prevent this. Claimants can now wait in queue and get through to an agent. Director Anne Eustaquio said, “We’re starting to see a large number of claimants file for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, the 13-week extension, as more claimants exhaust their twenty-six weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits. The biggest challenge we have now involves claimants not answering phone calls from unemployment insurance staff due to phone network services identifying the calls as spam or telemarketers.”  

The manual PEUC claim application process takes twenty-one days to complete just as when a new claim is filed. The DLIR believes that many claimants are answering the questions incorrectly and has posted information at the following links to help:   

https://labor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/PEUC-How-to-Apply-.pdf

https://twitter.com/HI_DLIR/status/1313929573239648256.

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