KDOL website errors prevent some Kansans from filing for unemployment

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 7:27 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Many Kansans looking to file unemployment claims Monday were greeted with error messages across the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) website.

One viewer sent 13 NEWS a video showing the messages spread across multiple sections of the site.

Another said they were unable to get through on the phone.

When we contacted KDOL about the issue, they referred us to a statement on their Facebook page, which at the time read: ”KDOL is experiencing technical difficulties at this time, and we apologize for any lag or delay this may cause.”

We asked what those technical difficulties were but KDOL referred us to the same statement.

As of 7 pm Monday, the post has been updated to read “KDOL systems are back online. We apologize for the inconvenience”.

It is unclear when the post was updated.

Probelms with contacting KDOL is an issue that’s too familiar for Farris Wood.

When he was laid off at the end of March, Wood quickly applied for unemployment.

His initial payment was three weeks late.

It kicked off a months long struggle to get his payments in a timely manner.

“It’s just been a constant headache trying to get through to them get it going stop get it going stop it’s just been a headache,” he said Monday.

“There for awhile I could get in, I could log in on the site and file and then [the payments[ would stop again and it would stop again so I’d have to go back call [KDOL again and I finally ended up running down [to KDOL] like three different times and they’d take my name and my social [security number] and have somebody call me but you’d never know who it was.”

Wood said in late fall, a KDOL employee suggested he stick with contacting the department by phone.

He said the situation did not get any easier because he had to plan his whole day around calling KDOL.

“I’d have to wake up early, have my coffee, I’d have to time it out on my phone eight o’clock sharp and I’d hit it and sometimes I’d get in and sometimes I wouldn’t but if I didn’t get in right then it was hopeless the rest of the day I’d try and try and try I mean 25 times a day maybe,” he said.

“You’d just be stuck all day calling, calling, calling and it’s be the same thing over and over.”

He said the time spent trying to get through to KDOL took away meaningful time from the job hunt.

“It was just a constant headache a lot of stress you’re trying to get work trying to get back to work you don’t know what’s going on and they keep issuing these covid restrictions I mean you just can’t get anywhere.”

He said he needed to change his lifestyle to survive.

“You pinch pennies, you live a tight budget, your meals are pretty basic, cheap you do what you have to do.”

When we asked the KDOL about irregular payments, they referred us to a statement they gave to us on Friday which read in part:

“KDOL has made progress eliminating the backlog of Regular UI claims, but we are limited in what we can do to speed up this process.”

It continued, “With our partners, we’re able to drive the adjudication backlog to approximately 3570, and we continue to believe that will be able to make significant progress by the end of December”.

Wood’s recently found work and said he hopes his days of dealing with KDOL are over.

“It’s not good working them,” he said.

“I mean, wow, I know I’m fortunate I got something but man you don’t want to go through it.”

Wood said he is still owed two outstanding payments

KDOL also said they could not comment on individual claims without a waiver.

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