More technical issues hit Pennsylvania unemployment system

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania’s unemployment system is finally back up and running this evening after experiencing technical issues since early yesterday morning.

Since Sunday, people trying to file for benefits on the new unemployment compensation website have been unable to log on. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has been silent about the issues for more than 24 hours, only posting on its social media that they’re closed today to celebrate Independence Day.

Finally, around noon on Monday, a notice was posted on the UC website and social media accounts telling users the system was experiencing technical difficulties and to try back again later.

Erik Hackett is a laid off steel-worker struggling to support his family while he waits to be called back to work.

“I think this system is worse than the old system,” explained Hackett. “You’re using the money you have to pay your bills, and that’s just to survive.”

He says he’s owed six weeks in unemployment back pay — more than 5000. On Sunday, like so many others, Hackett was unable to log on.

Hackett says the problems have been ongoing with the old system and the new. He contacted 11 Investigates out of frustration.

We’ve been emailing the Pennsylvania Department of Labor all day about the problems with the new system.

Finally around 2:30 on Monday, they sent Channel 11 an email saying the current technical issues are resolved and users should be able to log on, but they gave no response to past problems. We asked for an interview to address those. We’ll let you know when we hear back.

The new system went online almost a month ago. Unfortunately, users are still experiencing major problems.