COVID-19 & State Agency Call Volume

By March 31, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

Many state agencies across the nation are experiencing a high volume of unemployment claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge in claims means that state agencies are also experiencing an overwhelming amount of calls to their phone systems too. State agencies advised that congested phone lines can prevent their claim specialists from calling out to resolve issues with individual claims. When a state agency notifies an associate that there is an issue with their claim, the associate needs to wait for an agency claims specialist to call them.

Associates should file for benefits online and visit their state’s website if they have any questions. Most state agencies posted many helpful resources for associates filing claims online on their websites – such as online tutorials, FAQs, etcetera. For a complete list of claimant resources, please visit our COVID-19 website at

Additionally, federal lawmakers agreed to a significant expansion of the nation’s unemployment insurance program with the CARES Act. However, state agencies stated that it will take time to implement any CARES Act programs at the state level. In the meantime, associates should apply for benefits, even if they are not sure they qualify.

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any these updates. You can also review these updates on our website too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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