Mass. Unemployment Site Crashes Again

By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

WAKEFIELD (CBS) — She doesn’t like it, but since an insurance company laid her off in July, Mary Ann Taylor visits the state’s unemployment website every Sunday to file her claim for benefits. “There’s enough stress already being laid off and trying to find a job never mind, ‘Okay, am I going to get through, will I get my check this week?’”

She was left wondering yesterday– when the website wouldn’t let her in. “It is a weekly must. You do have a week to do it, so maybe it being down on a Sunday shouldn’t be a panic situation, but it is frustrating.”

And others were frustrated. Mary from Shrewsbury wrote in to WBZ’s Curiosity’s web page, stating:

“This is the second time in about a month that the website has been offline on Sunday during the recommended filing hours. It’s a disgrace.”

In Watertown, Gertruda wondered, “Is their system down AGAIN!?!”

So WBZ called the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and a spokesperson said it was a firewall problem that caused the trouble Sunday. She also said it’s the third Sunday since late August that the system has failed. “We are currently working on upgrading the hardware infrastructure… and the outcome will be improved performance, capacity, and reliability,” said Alison Harris.

The website points out Sundays are busy because it’s the first opportunity to file — the sooner the filing, the sooner the check.

The unemployment claims site typically handles 130,000 claims on a Sunday. Roughly 99,000 got through yesterday.

It’s also possible to file by phone.

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