Rebound Idaho: Navigating the wait for benefits... is it time to get back to work?

As one Idaho couple waits for benefits, they're also trying to find employment.
Posted at 9:26 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 00:36:19-04

IDAHO — As several laid-off Idahoans remain "in the lurch," waiting weeks if not months for unemployment benefits, it’s getting to the point for some where waiting is no longer an option.

That’s why our #ReboundIdaho team is looking into some local avenues for getting you back to work.

If you’re still waiting on unemployment benefits, you’re not alone.

“And now it’s like, our livelihoods are in someone else’s hands, that we can’t even reach out and talk to," said Jake McCormick of Caldwell. "And I know that we’re not alone — but it feels like we are.”

McCormick said he and his wife Jen were both laid off from their technician and service writer jobs in Caldwell two months ago. They applied for benefits promptly after.

Still, nothing.

“It’s just -- it's so frustrating," said McCormick.

Even representatives of the Idaho Department of Labor (IDOL) admit they’re overwhelmed right now.

“We actually temporarily don’t have email [communications] available, only because we have to catch up to the folks that have emailed us," said Leah Reeder, spokesperson with IDOL.

They're urging patience from their claimants.

"And I almost hate saying this, because it’s still not helping with the immediate need of money in their pocket right now, and I do understand that, but if they continue to file their weekly reports, when they’re allowed benefits, if they’re allowed benefits, they’ll receive a lump sum payment for all the weeks that they had been claiming those benefits and were otherwise eligible," said Reeder.

But what if you’re in a situation like the McCormick's and simply don’t have the financial flexibility to be patient any longer?

I introduced them to folks at staffing provider Express Employment Professionals, which has offices across the state of Idaho, including three in the Treasure Valley. They help business clients find good employees at no cost to the job seeker.

“[I would] much rather be working and taking care of things like we always have," said McCormick.

The account manager with the staffing provider told me he is looking for hard-working people, and extended an invitation for a phone call with the McCormick's.

If you’re also interested in taking this route, you can apply at

And since we’re the subject, here are some Idaho companies hiring:

  • Valor Global is in search of 300+ contact center agents in the Meridian area to work from home, full-time with full benefits.
  • Amalgamated Sugar is hiring in the Boise, Nampa, and Twin Falls areas for engineers, mechanical supervisors, HR, and other positions.
  • If you wish to cast a wider net, Idaho Department of Labor has a statewide "job seeker" tool at
  • Idaho Job and Career fair is partnering with Jobu Jobs to host a free Virtual Job Fair on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We’ll keep you updated on the McCormick's journey rebounding from this.

It should be noted: getting hired into a new job will make you ineligible for unemployment benefits -- but is a great option otherwise.

For tips on virtual interviewing, click here.

For additional Idaho companies hiring, click here.