Right now the state of Idaho is among many states facing an increasingly large number of newly unemployed people looking for help. The number of people looking for help from the Idaho Department of Labor is overwhelming the phone lines. Those in need of help are encouraged to file a claim online. Information and answers to questions can also be found online rather than over the phone.

Jani Revier, Idaho Department of Labor director, stated in a  press release that most people calling the department are getting a busy signal and will not get through due to the high call volume. You don not need to call the department to file a claim. Filing online also opens up the phones so the department's claim specialists can call out to individuals with current claims and issues. If you have filed a claim and there are issues you need to wait for a call from the department specialist. If the phones are bogged down, that limits their ability to make those necessary calls.

The labor department website also has information about unemployment insurance, COVID-19, along with information for job seekers. Revier says 'Help is on the way, and we are working to implement the changes as soon as possible. People need to be patient as we work through the details with our federal partner” in reference to the recent plans for expansion of the unemployment program, the CAREs Act.

Even if you aren't sure that you qualify for help, you are encouraged to apply online. People filing for benefits need to watch the videos, read the frequently asked questions, and read the user guides on the Claimant Portal web page before they file online.

If you don't plan to file an unemployment claim and are instead interested in working, there are still many businesses looking to hire employees. Details on job openings are also available on the labor department website.

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