Glitches, problems persist with new Pennsylvania unemployment system

PITTSBURGH — Glitches continue to frustrate people trying to file for jobless benefits with Pennsylvania’s new unemployment compensation system. It’s been online for just over a week, and many users say they’re still experiencing major problems.

“I understand people’s frustration in using the new system. Change is always difficult. We put a lot of helpful info on our website,” said Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier.

The Department of Labor’s Facebook page was pummeled with angry comments during Berrier’s live update Wednesday.

>>>RELATED: Pennsylvania’s new unemployment system launches

“We’re finding in most cases, these are not system errors so we’ve been reaching out to help them learn how to use the new system,” she said.

Blaming “user error” just frustrated people even more. One user typed, “Stop blaming us!”

One of the biggest complaints Channel 11 has found is users keep getting an “invalid” error message when they try to log on with their Keystone ID. Berrier said those kinks have now been worked out of the system.

She urged users to watch the state’s tutorial videos, but a major complaint has also been that people who need help can’t get through to anyone at the state.

“We are very hopeful by early next week, we will be better able to answer all the calls that are coming in,” Berrier said.

The state said it has hired 200 new customer service reps who will start next week to help with the long wait times. Tomorrow, the state will roll out a new text message feature to contact users who take out a ticket for help.

Despite these and other problems, Berrier said she considers the new system launch a major success. She said the state has processed 400,000 claims in the last 8 days and paid out about $300 million in jobless benefits.

CLICK HERE to access the state’s unemployment customer service and FAQ page

How to get help for unemployment issues:

Email: uchelp@pa.gov

Phone: 1-888-313-7284