MORRIS COUNTY — The process of filing for unemployment benefits got even more difficult Sunday morning.
“Our application to certify for weekly benefits is not available at this time. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and apologize for the inconvenience. Please check back for updates,” was the message on the website for many users simply trying to log into their accounts on the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce website.
Users were able to check their claim status but unable to log into their accounts. Residents took to Twitter to alert the department the system was down. Thousands of others have been tweeting at the department over the last several weeks begging for help.
It was unclear how long the server had been down.
Filing for unemployment has become nearly impossible for New Jersey residents out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis due to the overwhelming number of residents looking to file a claim.
One Parsippany resident told Parsippany Focus in an email “I applied for unemployment after being laid off from my dishwashing job at a local restaurant. I have not collected one cent as of Saturday, April 25. When I log into the system, I get “Claim Status: Filed; Date of Claim: 03/15/2020; Weekly Benefit Rate: $224; Remaining Balance: $5824; Next Payable Week: 03/21/2020; Last Week Paid:; and Last Paid Amount: $0.” It’s been six weeks now. I need money. I am paid minimum wage and it is tough to save. I live paycheck to paycheck. I keep calling the Unemployment office and can’t get through. What am I supposed to do?”
A historic 576,904 workers applied for unemployment insurance for the first time over the last three weeks starting March 15, as businesses shuttered to stop the spread of the coronavirus. That’s hundreds of thousands more than the claims filed in all of 2019.
According to a spokesperson “Claims will be backdated, so if there is a delay in an application, the person will still receive all eligible benefits.”