Virginians face more issues filing claims, applications for jobless benefits

Virginians face more issues filing claims, applications for jobless benefits
Virginians say they can't file claims on the Gov2Go website due to "maintenance" (Source: Provided)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is hoping to have the unemployment insurance application back on the claims filing website by Saturday for Virginians whose benefit year has ended (BYE).

This comes after dozens of people have contacted 12 On Your Side reporting issues trying to file new applications, weekly claims, and get through to the call center.

In April, the VEC limited functionality on the claims filing website, also known as Gov2Go, while it investigated reports of fraud.

“We are investigating each report, but at this point, there is no evidence that our systems were compromised or hacked. Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken steps to mitigate the potential impact from these reports,” the VEC said.

Claimants trying to file applications or claims are now faced with the following message on the Gov2Go account, “This system is temporarily not available due to maintenance.”

One Hopewell man who contacted NBC12 said he did not think too much of it at first, understanding it happens from time to time; he then looked into the issue further.

“I [saw] several people had the issue, and nobody could get in touch, the site has been down for weeks,” he said. “I just said that’s ridiculous.”

The man even reached out through the Gov2Go website and received an email from tech support.

It stated the Virginia Employment Commission is updating the services and is responsible for the “maintenance message”.

The man also tried phoning the VEC call center for answers but has not been successful in getting through.

“For all regular unemployment claims filing press two,” an automated voice message said. Another man sent NBC12 his recent calls log showing more than 130 calls made to the VEC in one day alone.

“I guess when it tries to connect you to a person it just hangs up or you don’t get nobody,” the Hopewell man said.

VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg said in March a callback feature is in place to help.

As of Wednesday, Fogg said the feature is active, but “only offered to claimants once they successfully make it through.”

Fogg added more than 800,000 calls are still hitting the system each week making it difficult for callers to get through.

“It’s very frustrating,” the Hopewell man said. “Especially when you have a person like me - I’ve got bills coming out literally every week, so money is very important.”

According to Fogg, the VEC call center in Grundy was down for a majority of Tuesday due to a fiber line cut in Wytheville.

“Staff continued to work from home and from around the state,” she added.

Fogg added initial unemployment insurance (UI) and initial Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits must be called in.

Meanwhile, several Virginians have also reported issues with filing continued weekly claims on the Gov2Go website. Fogg said they can be filed online or by calling (800) 897-5630.

For questions about claims and other issues call the VEC at (866) 832-2363. Do not call this number to file your weekly claims, according to the VEC.

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