Preliminary numbers: 98K unemployment claims filed in one week

Nearly 100,000 Alabamians have applied for unemployment

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Department of Labor preliminary numbers show about 98,000 unemployment claims were filed between March 29 to April 4.

This is an increase from the about 74,000 claims filed March 22-28.

ADOL has said the system is overwhelmed, leaving some people to wait days before they can file a claim. The labor department says they are making IT improvements and using staff from other divisions to help people file. They are also looking at using an outside call center to help handle the influx of people.

For Rainbow City resident Jennifer Lancaster it took her husband nearly a week to file a claim because the state’s system is backlogged. Now they are waiting to receive the benefits.

ADOL said it could take up to 21 days before someone receives the money.

“It’s been frustrating," Lancaster said. “Wondering where rent’s gonna come from, utility bills, where it’s gonna come from and if the money’s gonna come in or not.”

Lancaster relies on faith and family.

“Trying to allow family to help us with groceries and just calling utility companies, rent, car payments, you know, just calling all these different companies to try to get extensions," she said.

Preliminary numbers show about 187,000 unemployment claims were filed in Alabama since the beginning of March.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.