More problems reported with unemployment benefits website
Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Unemployed Hoosiers are reporting more problems with a state website. A glitch in the computer system is keeping the unemployed from meeting their filing deadline to get benefits.
Cicero resident Diane Duchene told Eyewitness News she's been trying to file her unemployment benefits since 10:30 am Sunday. Duchene showed our news crew how the site hangs up when she tries to access it.
"Right here, it'll tell me it's trying to connect and nothing. I don't get anything," she said. "I finally got halfway through and got to the spot where you put on there where you looked for work and it just hung and, finally, just shut me off."
Unemployed Hoosiers must file every week by noon Sunday in order to receive benefits by Monday. For many, that didn't work last weekend. The state's website was slow, timing out or kicking users off.
"I thought it was me," Duchene said. "I thought it was my computer until I went to Facebook and saw everybody else having the same problem."
The problems prompted the Department of Workforce Development to extend the deadline to 5:30 pm, but that still didn't help some users. They weren't able to get through until Monday.
There are others, like Duchene, who still haven't gotten through at all.
"I try, and it says it's connecting, and it just comes back and it doesn't go anywhere," said Duchene. "I tried Indiana.gov and click the link there, and it just hangs."
"No access whatsoever. There should be a login button down here. Nothing," said Lori Wirey. "At first, it would come across the screen saying that maintenance was being done."
DWD confirms a slowdown because it's the beginning of a new quarter, which means Hoosiers on unemployment must re-apply for extensions. That led to a system overload.
"So people were going in to file their weekly vouchers, plus those on the federal extensions, had to go in and file a new claim, so with that increased volume in the system, it did slow it down," said spokesperson Valerie Kroeger. "When we saw that the system was running slow, we decided to go in and reboot the system, just like you would with your home computer."
In early November, Eyewitness News reported similar problems with Indiana's Department of Workforce Development website. At that time, many users reported being denied access to the site, or if they were able to get in, they were told they didn't exist in the system.
"I finally did get it in at midnight last night, it did let me go through. It gave me my confirmation number and then, right after that, nothing again," Wirey said.
But Wirey says a confirmation number doesn't confirm that the money is available. She's been trying to verify that the money has been loaded onto her card, but has run into another major roadblock. When she calls the verification number, it gives her a busy signal.
"I'm without any money. My bills are due. I had to cancel my doctor's appointment. What do you do? And I'm not the only one," Wirey said.
Duchene is also concerned about being able to pay bills on time.
"I stuck them in the mailbox, so they wouldn't be late," she said, hoping her benefits come through before something bounces. "I don't have the email, I don't have my money. I can't find a phone number."
Marc Lotter with the Department of Workforce Development told Eyewitness News at the time of the last outage that plans were in place to install a new database. It isn't clear if that's been implemented yet.