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Ohio's new unemployment filing guidelines aim to help more people

The unemployment office is making changes so more people can get help.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Furloughed worker Sherry Russell tells 3News she’s having trouble getting through on the phone.

“Please press one for English, then you press 3, then you press 2, then he starts his 10 minute shpeal ‘we’re too busy blah blah call back’,” says Russell.

Ohio’s Department of Job & Family Services is now asking for people to file their claims on certain days based off of your last name to better handle high call volume. Last names starting with letters A - H are to file on Sunday, last names I - P are to file on Monday, and last names Q- Z are to file on Tuesday. Wednesday through Saturday is fair game for everyone.

Kimberly Hall, the Director of Ohio Department of Job & Family Services

“It could be challenges with the hours worked or the wages earned. There are any number of validation elements which is what makes this such a complex process to administer,” says Hall.

“Hundreds of thousands of us are trying to call in every single day because there’s an issue. Why does everybody’s account have an issue,” questions Russell.

When Russell tried the online system, she received an email saying there was a break in her claim.

“No, there was not a break in my claim. You sent an email and told me to only respond if I was backdating. I’m not backdating because I’m not entitled to backdate. It cannot all be computer and phone issues. This is human error,” says Russell.

The new system to request help based on the first letter of your last name goes into effect this Sunday.

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