Many Still Experiencing Difficulties When Trying To File For Unemployment

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- New numbers this week show that roughly 6.6 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment during this global pandemic.

Many of those people are right here in our viewing area.

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But then there are also those who’ve tried to file for unemployment but are having a hard time getting through to anyone, including Charlie McCarter of Starkville.

In fact, there have been instances where McCarter said he’s called and stayed on the phone for over an hour, and still didn’t get anywhere.

“It’s been kind of frustrating because of the fact that they don’t have anybody answering the phones,” said McCarter. “The phones are always busy, the numbers they give you are disconnected or there’s nobody answering.”

His call log shows the more than 150 times he’s spent trying to speak with a representative.

McCarter went to the Win Job Center in Mayhew where flyers saying “we’re experiencing a higher than normal volume of calls” are posted on the front of the building.

The flyers do give additional numbers to contact.

However, McCarter said those numbers still lead to nowhere.

“The number that does work, they have employees that answer the phone, but they’re pretty much telling you what you already know,” McCarter expressed. “The contact numbers that you can call to try and see if you can get in contact with somebody, and that’s pretty much it.”

The Starkville native said he first filed for unemployment nearly 20 years ago and needs access retrieving his account.

Whenever he calls, workers tell him they’re teleworking from home and don’t have their computer to access his information.

“They say I would have to talk to somebody, but it’s nobody answering the phone to get to the next step,” said McCarter.

And just like that, McCarter said he’s ends up back at square one.

“I really think they should’ve really thought this situation out first,” McCarter expressed. “I don’t know how the president said we are going to do a shutdown, and to go file unemployment, but you send everybody home at unemployment, it doesn’t make since. Why would you do that and you know that’s where everybody is going to and that’s what everybody is depending on.”

McCarter has been laid off for a week now, and just like many others, he’s trying to receive unemployment benefits to get through this tough time.

In the meantime, McCarter said he’s going to remain hopeful that the right person will soon be on the other end of his call, leading him in the right direction.

“I really think this is something they should be getting on right away and looking into and seeing what’s going on, and trying to get as many more people into the call center to help out, I’m assuming that’s the issue.”

Last week we reported on others who are also having similar difficulties while trying to file for unemployment benefits.

We reached out to the Governor’s Office to see what’s the issue and if anything is being done.

We’re still waiting to hear back from them.

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