Jobless Missourians are facing longer waiting times to start receiving benefits. Just a month ago, the Division of Employment Security was saying the time for processing of jobless claims had gone from two weeks to three weeks because of the increasing number of claims being filed. But now the division is telling applicants it will take six to eight weeks to process their applications.
The d ivision says the second 13-week extension of benefits approved recently by the President has piled additional work on the staff that already is trying to keep up with increasing unemployment and trying to process unemployment claims from tens of thousands of people who were without work this summer because of floods.
The wife of one unemployed man has told us he’s been trying to find work for a month…and without benefits, as she put it, “we are drowning.”
Spokesman Wanda Seeney says the inability to turn around claims faster weighs heavily on employees…
“It’s really stressful when you have bills to pay and mouths to feed,” she says, “Yes, we really understand that.”
Seeney says the department has extended its office hours by a half hour every morning and a half hour each evening. It’s brought back retired employees and hired some part-timers to deal with the greater workload. She wishes the division could bring in more people, but it doesn’t have the money to do that.