Lt. Gov. Husted asks for patience when applying for unemployment benefits

Nearly 140,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment just last week compared to fewer than 5,000 the week before.

The sheer number of people applying for benefits has made it tough for most to get through.

Like thousands of Ohioans, Linda Patterson is now out of a job.

She's struggling now, not just because she is no longer working, but she hasn't been able to get through to apply for unemployment benefits.

“After I would answer their questions press one for English, then it would knock me off. It said due to an overwhelming amount of calls, that my call can't be processed,” Patterson said.

After she tried to call, she went online.

“Sometimes I would wait 2-3 minutes for a page to [load] so I could get to the next part of the filing. Right when I think 'yes, I'm going to get this', then boom, I'm off,” she said.

Unfortunately, Patterson isn't alone.

“There was an issue this morning with the website and the call center for unemployment benefits we put our best tech team on this to get this up and running. As you can imagine the demand, this system was not built for a crisis it was built to take care of what we could expect on a regular or robust basis but what we are experiencing now is unprecedented,” Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted said.

Husted admitted there are issues for folks trying to apply, and says it will get worked out soon.

“We ask for people to be patient know that we understand the frustration that can come with this and I'm hopeful that it will be more functional more dependable here in the coming days,” Husted said.

“I’m trying my best to stay calm. It's hard to stay calm when you are already kind of worked up about this virus and going on unemployment. I'm kind of concerned about that and how am I going to make it,” Patterson said.

To try and help as many people as possible, the call center hours have been extended.

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