IDAHO — It's now been ten weeks since Governor Little declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, but several laid-off Idahoans are still waiting for their unemployment benefits.
Many of them tell us, however, that it's not often clear on the Labor Department's claimant portal exactly what the problem is -- that is preventing payment.
For those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a fairly new program that uses federal dollars to give unemployment benefits.
But since the process is new, there have been several questions — leading to an increase in calls to labor officials, backing up their communications system.
That’s why labor reps have updated the FAQ page on their website.
"It used to just kind of be, just, an all over the board, here's the program for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. But what we've done is we've split it into three groups -- and one of those is for people with pending issues," said Leah Reeder, spokesperson for Idaho Dept. of Labor. "So, we've got people with pending issues, self-employed, and then the low-wage earners. And so we did this in an attempt to try to answer -- more specifically -- people's questions that do have the pending issues. ButI know that doesn't necessarily address the question, 'What is the pending issue?'"
As we previously reported, Reeder said claims are generally worked oldest to newest, but if you were one of the first to apply, and you still aren't seeing benefits, it's likely because there is some kind of intervention needed on your claim
Reeder says they are in the process of hiring a few dozen more employees to meet the need.
To visit their new FAQ page, click here.