Vt. Department of Labor rolling out new plan to handle influx of unemployment claims

Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 1:02 AM EDT
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The Vermont Department of Labor says it's rolling out a new plan Thursday to deal with the massive influx of Vermonters filing for unemployment as a result of COVID-19.

Department leaders say up to half the applications have technical errors or missing information. The state's computer which used to handle claims is also three decades old and takes time.

Governor Phil Scott Wednesday admitted the state needs to do better. "These aren't excuses, they're just reasons, and we need to do better," he said. "We're looking for every opportunity to do that. We're going to have a plan in place for us to receive more calls so that people can talk to a real person. I think that's really important."

So far, the department enlisted 45 other state workers to deal with the influx. Labor officials are also working to roll out benefits for thousands of independent contractors from the federal package that passed last week.

The state says it will take several weeks before recipients start receiving checks.

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