Va. Employment Commission experiencing technical problems - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Va. Employment Commission experiencing technical problems

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - We have a follow up on the Virginia Employment Commission's huge work load. 

A spokesperson for the VEC says the agency is experience technical difficulties with its customer contact center. 

They say it's most likely due to the high volume of calls they're getting from people trying to get unemployment benefits. The VEC is working with the software vendor to resolve the problem.

The office is closed Wednesday, but technicians will be there fixing the problem. If you need to file a claim with the VEC, you're encouraged to go online at vaemploy.com.

Many people filing for unemployment in Virginia have been caught in a benefits backlog.  

To help with the increased demand, the Virginia Employment Commission is expanding its hours this holiday season.  Not only is it hard to find a job these days, seeking out Virginia unemployment benefits may be just as difficult.  

Some have run into a technical roadblock after dialing the 1-800 customer claims number.

Virginia Employment Commission's Deputy Commissioner Nicholas Kessler says they're trying to get the system working properly.  

"We've had significant backlog in those systems because of the number of people that are applying these days, says Kessler.  

Daily, calls to the VEC Customer Contact Center are in the tens of thousands.  

Kessler says the increased workload comes at a time when there are fewer people to handle the claims.  

Back in March, the VEC had to reduce its staff by 250 people because of federal funding shortfall. Nine months later, the impact is still evident.  

"Even when it's working fine because of our staffing levels and because of the number of claims there still are going to be some delays", says Kessler.   

To help with the high service demand, the VEC is extending its customer contact center operating hours. It will now be open on Saturdays from 8:15am until noon.  That's in addition to the regular Monday through Friday hours. Call 866-832-2363 for assistance.  

Kessler encourages people to use the VEC website to avoid delays.  

"These are benefits that when Virginians are entitled to them we want to serve them we want to get people the benefits they are entitled to and our staff is working hard under very trying circumstances", says Kessler.

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