DC residents left jobless amid coronavirus threat face claim frustrations
WASHINGTON - Workers who’ve been laid off due to the coronavirus have inundated unemployment offices in Maryland, Virginia, and the District.
The numbers are soaring as orders to close restaurants, bars, and “non-essential businesses” put people out of work.
In D.C., there are only two ways to file – and a lot of unemployed workers say the process is cumbersome.
Mayor Muriel Bowser says the number of calls the unemployment office is receiving is creating a backlog, and she suggests using online resources to file.
"We are going to invite people not to call or if you do call you will have an extensive wait--literally there are thousands of people trying to call us at the same time it is best to go online and everything can be we think can be handled on line and you cannot use a mobile device you have to use a desk top or laptop,” she said.
The online process, FOX 5 has found, is a fairly simple point-and-click process that sends the user to a screen where they’re asked for some personal information.
But what if you don’t have access to a laptop of a desktop? The backup might be a library – but they’re all closed as the District tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
With the walk-in office in Northeast closed, the only option is to call, and those wait times are reportedly adding up to hours.
And when you have been able to file, you must check back to see if your claim is accepted.
The money then comes via direct deposit, with the top sum in the District a little over $400 a week.
A number of adjustments to unemployment benefits have been made in Virginia and Maryland – and by the mayor in D.C.
You can find more about applying for unemployment in the DMV by clicking here.