Unemployment applications overwhelm state systems

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Shutdowns and cancellations have left people across the county without a job. Many people are now finding themselves applying for unemployment, but the process can be frustrating

Kimberly Berry, director of Michigan’s unemployment insurance agency says the influx of applications has never been like this before.

“This is unprecedented numbers for us even during the recession in 2009-2012 it was not this busy,” Berry said.

Steven Orta, is feeling the frustration of a slow process first hand finding himself unable to reach the unemployment call line.

“I’d say 10 times a day I call,” Orta said.

His wife, Elizabeth Orta, says she worries if things don’t get better soon, they might not be able to keep paying the bills.

“I can’t even imagine what its going to be like, because I mean we have mortgage payments to pay… and car insurance… and car payments… and phone bills… and we have kids so lots of extra things to pay for,” she said.

In a statement today the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency says people should apply of off peak hours from 8 PM-8-AM to get help quicker.

Berry acknowledges these are trying times, but encourages people to not give up. \

“Please do not give up on the process the unemployment insurance agency is here for you to assist you,” she said.

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