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‘They’re operating on really old stuff,’ KDOL is working to find quick solutions for unemployment issues

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly said an outdated system is to blame for many of the problems Kansans are experiencing while filing for unemployment.

These problems are similar to those experienced in other states around the country according to Governor Kelly.

This week, Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) officials said they are having IT issues with the website and problems with the phone lines. Delia Garcia, secretary of KDOL said the lines are hanging up on some callers.

“Sometimes when you get a call accepted, and it was hung up automatically, that was not on your part,” said Garcia. “I apologize for that and we are working on a remedy for that now.”

Another issue many are complaining about is the lack of access to the website overnight. Officials said that time period is used for much needed maintenance.

“Some of the features throughout the night might not work because we have a maintenance window,” said Garcia.

The window is between 10:15 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But, you will still be able to access answers to frequently asked questions and tutorials on the website during that time period.

The tutorials give you a step by step guide of the process to apply, what to expect after your application is submitted, and other common concerns.

Despite the work being done to alleviate many of these problems, some Kansans trying to apply for benefits said the most common issues continue to be long wait times on the phone and busy signals.

Officials said those are continuously being worked on and Garcia said even more employees are being added and trained this week. This comes after the state doubled it’s department of labor employees last week, brought in staff from other agencies, and put more laptops into play for remote work.

Officials said for some of the issues, there’s no easy fix.

“They’re operating on really old stuff,” said Governor Kelly. “When you talk about 12 times as many applicants coming in at one time, 877,000 phone calls in one day. That is going to overwhelm a good system, much less the system we are stuck with.”

Governor Kelly and officials with the department of labor said all hands are on deck and they are hoping to make the process on the phone and online as easy as possible for people seeking unemployment benefits.

To apply for unemployment, find answers to frequently asked questions, or watch a tutorial from the Kansas Department of Labor, click here.

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