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Labor Department conquering backlog

Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier
Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Idaho Department of Labor reports it has cleared the 42,000 unemployment insurance claims that had been pending since June 6. 

But, the department said the issues that now remain are more complicated to deal with.  Those include things like identity theft or claims that need additional information from claimants or previous employers.

Unemployment insurance staff are continuing to work on the high volument of claims being filed. A higher percentage of new claims are still being filed each week at levels far higher than ever before.  At the height of the Great Recession, the department took on 3,800 claims per week.  This year, the four-week average is approximately 5,000 claims.

Department Director Jani Revier said the agency wants to hire at least10 more adjudicators and 10 more claim specialists.

“We are looking at ways to make the questions easier for claimants to answer and understand as well as automate more processes to make the turnaround faster,” said Revier.

Total benefit payments due to COVID-19 layoffs reached $640 million by July 11.

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