Unemployment filers encounter more online trouble

Posted October 12, 2009 10:29 a.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2009 5:21 p.m. EDT

— Unemployed North Carolinians were having trouble Monday filing weekly benefit claims online with the state Employment Security Commission.

The incident was at least the fourth time this year the ESC was having trouble processing online benefits claims.

The ESC said Monday that it is "experiencing technical problems with our Internet systems. Customers might not be able to login or access some online applications, including filing claims."

ESC spokesman Andrew James said the ESC paid out a record $37 million in jobless benefits for claims made Sunday and had processed about 69,000 claims by late Monday afternoon.

Problems filing claims on the ESC's Web site were first reported in January, then twice in August.

In January, ESC officials said they had added servers to handle more traffic as the unemployment rate goes up. In August, North Carolina's unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent.

The ESC urged people to file benefits claims by phone.

To file a new initial claim, call 1-877-841-9617. To file a weekly certification, call 1-888-372-3453.

Weekly claimants with odd-numbered Social Security numbers should call Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. Weekly claimants with even-numbered Social Security numbers should call Tuesday through Saturday.