Kansas Department of Labor website working better

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Labor’s website is stable and seems to be working better than it has in weeks.

However, the department has temporarily disabled the ability to check your claim status. On Tuesday, the system was shut down twice to make updates. 

“So the mainframe system that we are primarily operating off of was created in the 1970s,” said Laura Klein Searles, Kansas Department of Labor unemployment director.

Searles said the labor department was planning to buy a new $30 million system when the coronavirus hit.

“The majority of states are like Kansas where we are working with these outdated IT systems,” Searles said.

So which state has the best technology to handle unemployment.

“Missouri is one of the full successes across the nation who has implemented a fully modernized system, so kudos to Missouri.”

Even Missouri’s newer system has had problems with the unprecedented number of filings. Those problems paled in comparison to Kansas.

Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday that the department has received more than 130,000 initial unemployment claims over the past three weeks.

Meanwhile, you can still file by phone toll-free at 1-800-292-6333.

  • Kansas City: 913-596-3500
  • Topeka:785-575-1460
  • Wichita:316-383-9947
  • Speech and/or hearing disabled Kansans can access the Kansas Relay Center by calling toll-free 800-766-3777.

The department has 150 people taking calls but those waits can be long also. It is up from 20 people.

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