MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Monday marked Day 7 at the Reed Center for Oklahomans needing help filing their unemployment claims.
Perrin Smith is just one of many Oklahomans who says he’s spent hours listening to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission ‘on hold’ music.
Smith says he’s trying to file for his unemployment extension, which was supposed to last him through July 11. He stopped seeing money on July 1.
“The people there [are] trying to do their best with limited means but it’s still frustrating as a user going, OK, who do I talk to?” said Smith.
On Monday morning he went to try and get a pass for the event at the Reed Center.
“‘Sorry sir, there’s no space, not even for walk ins,” he recalled.
While we were talking to him, after an hour and a half on hold he finally got through to an agent.
“Hi, my name is Perrin Smith I’ve been on hold for an hour and a half, how are you doing today?” he said on the phone.
Unfortunately, Smith says he got the runaround and was told to just try again.
Tackling the phone system is something Interim Exec. Dir. Shelley Zumwalt says they’ve constantly been trying to improve.
“We’re training 50 new people right now, it’s an eight-week training. There’s nothing I can do about that but then next week we’ll start training 50 more people. That puts 100% more people on those phones that have knowledge that can resolve your claims,” said Zumwalt.
Others still in line, hoping they can get their issues resolved.
“I just thought things were going to get rough, pretty tight, because I had saved up and I was working through my savings,” said Raymond Heinken.
Zumwalt says even though they are packing up the event Tuesday to head to Tulsa, she’s still working around the clock for the entire state.
“We’re spinning the wheels as fast as we can. It’s just some of these processes take time to come to fruition,” she said.
Insurance agents with ‘Health Markets’ were also set up Monday, helping those who may have lost health coverage.
Tuesday’s event at the Reed Center is full.
The east office will be open in the metro Wednesday starting at 8 a.m. to try and help those who weren’t able to make it in.
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