More than 200 people wait in line to file for unemployment in-person

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are long lines at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission as they continue to process unemployment claims for the first time in-person.

“We got here at 6:20 and they were already lined up,” Betty Jones, who is trying to get seven weeks of unemployment, said.

“I’m 123 in line so,โ€ Dustin Larsen, who filed for unemployment in April, said.

“We’re lucky number 151 and 152. You’re guaranteed if you’re the first 150 in line and they give you a piece of paper,โ€ Amy Coonce said.

Some folks say calling has gotten them nowhere like 91-year-old Betty Jones, who is trying to get paid for the seven weeks she was furloughed.

“I applied March 29. I’ve called and gotten no action at all. They told me they would call me back every day. I’ve got no calls at all,โ€ Betty Jones said.

It’s a similar situation for Dustin Larsen.

“I’ve called in 15 to 16 times and have been told I would get a call back. I have yet to receive a call or email confirmation,โ€ Dustin Larsen said.

OESC has 26 locations statewide.

Interim Director Shelley Zumwalt says it’s busy at all of their sites right now.

“Anytime you see a long line outside a state building. Ultimately, they decide something is wrong there or something has happened but they have adjusted, pivoted and made a lot of changes so that when these people show up at Will Rogers Building, we can be there to serve them,โ€ Interim Director Shelley Zumwalt said.

First time claimants decreased for the week ending June 13 at just under 57,000. Meanwhile, continued claims increased last week, totaling more than 167,000 people.

“We’re not seeing people return to their jobs or jobs aren’t being readily available at the rate we’re hoping for as we start our recovery,โ€ Zumwalt said.

“I hope that everybody that has to go through something like this can hopefully get some answers today. That’s why I’m here today, to find out what happened,” Larsen said.

The locations opens at 8 a.m. and require a temperature check. You will also be given a face mask if you need one.

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