Computer glitch snarls unemployment claims

RALEIGH Anyone trying to access the site got the message: We are experiencing technical problems with our Web site. Some customers may have difficulty accessing online applications. We are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

It meant thousands of unemployment filers couldn't register their weekly benefits claims.

"I tried to file for my check online and I couldn't get on there. And I needed my money," said unemployed construction worker Edward Ware.

Agency Spokesman Larry Parker told Eyewitness News that the portals that control the weekly certifications - that determine if a filer is actively seeking work - went down. By Monday, he said everything was back up and running - just very slowly.

He said that anyone who was supposed to file Sunday will be paid Tuesday as long as they get into the system by 9 p.m. Monday.

Part of the problem with the website is the overall economy. Thousands more than usual are using the site to file claims.

"About 18 months ago a heavy day for us would have been 23,000 people accessing the website to file their claims," explained Andy James with the NC Employment Security Commission. "Over the weekend, we had over 130,000 people try to do the same thing."

Officials hoped to have all the problems sorted out by late Monday. They say once it's fixed, the problems should not repeat.

Anyone who can't get into the website and is trying to file a weekly certification can call (888) 372-3453. To file a first time claim, call (877) 841-9617.

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