Labor Department Clears 85 Percent of Pending Unemployment Claims

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, or Georgia Smith,

The Idaho Department of Labor has cleared about 85 percent of 42,000 pending claims, as of June 6, and expects to work through the remaining 5,500 pending claims by mid-July.

A total of 120 Maximus call center agents are now working with department staff to answer phones and re-set passwords among other tasks. With increased staffing, wait times have been cut in half and most calls are now being answered. Call volumes have significantly decreased as backlogs reduce.

Idahoans are also being reminded to be on alert for fraudulent claims filed under their names. People who receive a claim notice from the department – but did not file a claim – should notify the department by email at Never include any personally identifiable information – especially Social Security numbers – in an email. To date, about 7,500 claims are pending awaiting verification for identification.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 157,143 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 14 weeks since the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration – 2.7 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019 in just three months. Seventy-five percent of the initial claims filed were in the first six weeks.

Total benefit payments attributed to COVID-19 layoffs reached $522 million as of June 20. Regular insurance benefits account for $132.7 million of the total, with Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits at $6.8 million, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits at $27 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments at $355.4 million.

Claimants with pending issues will receive a call from a claim specialist. People who need assistance with their claims should call (833) 410-1009.

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