(AmericanProsperity.com) – Last week, over 3.8 million Americans filed for new unemployment claims. That’s slightly higher than the 3.5 million economists predicted. Since states forced non-essential businesses to close and issued stay-at-home orders in mid-March, 30.2 million people have filed an unemployment claim.
Inconsistencies between how states manage new filings and long wait times have created anxiety for many. People are waiting to receive money, but none comes in. It may not get better anytime soon, even as some states begin to reopen their economies and discontinue the stay-at-home orders.
Many still can’t file as state unemployment websites can’t handle the volume they’re facing. Others can’t get through on the phone. Some say they’ve called hundreds of times only to get are busy lines or placed on hold for hours before the call drops. Getting answers to questions is not only time consuming, but it’s also hurting families who don’t have the financial resources to pay rent, utilities, or buy groceries without their unemployment payments.
No Money, No One To Talk To
According to the Economic Policy Institute, millions of people across the country are unable to file for unemployment, yet are qualified to receive the benefit. The institute said for every 10 people who successfully filed for unemployment in April, 3 tried to apply but couldn’t get through the system. Additionally, 2 out of those 10 stopped trying because it was too difficult. The institute estimates that 8.9 to 13.9 million Americans could have applied that were eligible but did not.
Compounding the frustration, some people who filed in March have still not received benefits. Yet, others who are filing get approved almost immediately and start to get paid within two weeks. Where you live may have something to do with it. In Pennsylvania, signing up for unemployment on the state’s website takes as little as 25 minutes. Across the border in Maryland, it’s more challenging. Some people reported it took them a month just to file their initial claim.
Borrowers Have Options
If you have faced challenges filing for unemployment, economists say the states are catching up. Some states say they experienced challenges getting direction from the US Department of Labor (DOL) to state unemployment insurance offices. Others have had to learn how to process claims for those who don’t ordinarily qualify for unemployment like the self-employed, freelancers, and gig workers.
There may be some hope while waiting for unemployment benefits to arrive. There are options for borrowers as creditors are working with their customers. Contact your mortgage servicer, auto loan provider, and credit card company. They have special provisions in place to help borrowers during the pandemic.
In the meantime, you should continue clicking, calling, or emailing until you can file your claim. As challenging as it is, you’ll eventually get through. Hopefully, sooner than later.
~Here’s to Your Prosperity!
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