The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently announced plans to add at least 500 new customer service representatives to improve upon the existing backlog of claims.
The move comes one week after Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny/Washington) live-called the Unemployment Compensation Call Center and received a busy signal to lead off questioning during the department’s budget hearing before the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee.
Many Pennsylvanians are spending days waiting for someone to answer the phone and then another two to nine weeks before they receive a response to questions.
“I’m certainly glad the Wolf Administration heard our message last week that the current level of service at our unemployment system is disgraceful,” said Appropriations Committee chairman Stan Saylor (R-York). “Candidly, however, they should have taken these steps a long time ago.”
“To the individuals on unemployment programs who’ve struggled to reach one of our customer service representatives, we’ve not only heard you, we listened,” said Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “Adding at least 500 new customer service representatives accomplishes two important goals. It will make it easier for people to reach us via phone and will enable more experienced staff to focus solely on resolving and processing claims.”