Updated: April 09, 2020 10:12 PM
Created: April 09, 2020 07:56 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Workforce Solutions has been overwhelmed with New Mexican applying for unemployment benefits.
The department recognizes that wait times have been long, and they are working to address the issue.
"We've been asking people to call in on a basis that tracks the last digit of their social security numbers, so zero to three Monday, four to six Tuesday, and seven to nine Wednesday," said Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley. "We've also been working very hard to not only get more people on the phones but increase our hours. So yesterday we actually started increasing our hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We finally have enough people on the phones to be able to make that work."
McCamley said the department took 3,5000 phone calls on April 1. After the department extended hours, workers were able to take 4,200 calls.
McCamley said they are on track to talk with 20,000 people this week.
"People are getting their benefits, you'll see that the trust fund itself has declined, which means that money is going out, and people are getting it in their bank accounts, and they're getting it on a debit cards," McCamley said. "And once again, we're doing everything we can to help as many people as possible get those resources, so they can stay safe."
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed major flaws in the unemployment filling system, which she said is a national issue, during a briefing Thursday.
"I don’t think this is an effective tool to provide the benefit that we all pay into-- that is intended to keep family’s whole," she said. "These systems are a mess, ours included. We are making the kinds of adjustments, we are changing things in a way that makes us a more user-friendly."
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company