Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increased 1,200%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 841-5509 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

BOISE – Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 13,341 new claims for unemployment insurance benefits during the week of March 15-21, 2020, up 12,310 for a 1,200 percent increase over the previous week.

“Our priority is to get benefits out to those who are eligible as quickly as possible and help Idaho employers who are hiring find the staff they need as soon as possible,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier.

Revier is also encouraging Idahoans to be patient.

“We’re doing everything we can to increase access for people needing to file for benefits or look for work,” she said. “We have all hands on deck to get to claimant phone calls as soon as possible.”

People filing for benefits can take two steps that will help speed about the process. The first is to read the answers to frequently asked questions at labor.idaho.gov/dnn/Unemployment-Benefits/Questions-Answers about filing for unemployment benefits before they try to file online. Pulling together the last two years of their work history beforehand will also help speed up the process.

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Note: The Department of Labor is continuing to analyze the data regarding the claims. More detailed information will be reported next week.

18 thoughts on “Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increased 1,200%

  1. Jeff Kaye

    Where is the chat online area on the website? I can’t find it. I’ve been on hold for hours today.

  2. Erica

    School is closed for a few more weeks for all 3 of my children so I am now unable to work due to no day care available either. I have nobody now to care for the kids due to the Coronavirus, am I eligible for unemployment? I have not lost my job, my employer is holding it till I return, when all this is over.

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      This FAQ may answer your question:
      What if I leave work because my child’s school has temporarily closed, and I feel I have to stay home with the child?
      An individual who leaves work voluntarily without a reason attributable to the employer is generally disqualified from receiving UI. The reason the individual in this situation left work would not be considered attributable to the employer. Consequently, the individual would likely not qualify for UI. If you are unable or unavailable for work, you would not meet the able and available requirements to qualify for benefits.

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      Our phone lines are overwhelmed with the number of calls we are getting. We have additional staff answering calls and are answering them as quickly as we can. We do not have a time estimate however. We appreciate your patience as we try to help everyone. LiveBetterIdaho.org has additional resources to help you.

  3. dwayne j halbert

    How do we apply for the extra $600 a week or do we automatically get that on our unemployment

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      We are working with the U.S. Department of Labor on further details so we can implement these changes, which could take several weeks. You will be made aware of any changes that will potentially affect your unemployment benefit claim.

  4. Drew

    MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER ARE SELF EMPLOYED AND TOLD TO VACATE THE SALON DUE TO MANDATORY STAY HOME ORDER. WE OPENED A CLAIM BUT SAYS Monetarily Ineligible. HOW & WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO DRAW.

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      Part of the CARES Act may cover individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment. We are currently working with the federal government on implementation. Please continue submitting weekly reports.

  5. Taylor Johnson

    Hello! My claim says “Pending Issue Stopping Payment”. Could this be because it was a claim for a waiting week, and the system isn’t caught up yet since waiting weeks were waived? I have tried to contact by phone, chat, and email, and have been unable to get ahold of anyone. Could you please contact me? Thank you!

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      If there is a pending issue, a claims representative will contact you by phone or email for additional information. It is not necessary for you to call or initiate a click to chat session with us to have the issue resolved. Continue to file your weekly certifications.

  6. gracetuker66@gmail.com

    I have been callign for a week without even a dialtone, why isnt there a “hold” option? I have also been emailing but to no avail? I have issues with my claim and cannot edit it..I need help and the offices are closed. What am I supposed to do ?

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      If you have a pending issue, a claims representative will contact you by phone or email for additional information. It is not necessary for you to call or initiate a click to chat session with us to have the issue resolved. Continue to file your weekly certifications.

  7. Traci Johnson

    I have been furloughed by my job. I will return when they are safe to reopen. Do I still need to look for work. My husband is 65. He has only one lung due to lung cancer. He then has battled thyroid and melanoma cancer. I is severely immunocopromised. I cannot put him in danger by leaving my home to work and possibly giving him the virus. What do I do?

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      If you are unemployed due to COVID-19 related reasons and will be returning to work with your employer, you are not required to seek work or register for work with us. Answer ‘yes’ to the question asking if you are returning to work on your unemployment application. You are still required to submit your weekly reports and to maintain contact with your employer.

  8. cassandra

    i cant file my wkly because the website has been down since the day after I filed. I have received both of my letters of approval and have no way to file my wkly claim..what do I do?

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      The Claimant Portal has not been down. It does not work on Internet Explorer. Perhaps that was the issue?

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