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Filing for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic

KMVT spoke with the Idaho Department of Labor in Twin Falls to help alleviate the stress of those who are planning to file.
KMVT spoke with the Idaho Department of Labor in Twin Falls to help alleviate the stress of those who are planning to file.(KMVT)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:00 PM MDT
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As the spread of COVID-19 continues, businesses have been shutting down. Thus, tons of their employees have been laid off, and are now having to file for unemployment.

And for some, it's their first time.

KMVT spoke with the Idaho Department of Labor in Twin Falls to help alleviate the stress of those who are planning to file.

First, you go to Labor.Idaho.Gov and on the front page under "Unemployment," you click "File for Unemployment."

Megan Beyer, the regional manager, said you would need your ID or driver's license, alien card, last two years of work history, and DD 214 for veterans.

She said even if your employer might rehire you, still file for unemployment. Once you file, your claim will be processed in the time that they receive them.

It's imperative, she said, to file "as soon as you know you're going to be laid off, or you no longer will be working in those capacities."

The entire process can take up 30 to 45 minutes.

If you're still having problems, Leah Reeder, the technical services specialist for unemployment insurance/benefits at Idaho Department of Labor, said the staff could help over the phone (208-735-2500), or they can even take your claim over the phone.

Another option is visiting their "COVID-19 FAQ" on their website page so you can avoid the 40-minute wait, and if that still doesn't help, you can take advantage of their chat services online, with an estimated wait time of 15 minutes.

"All hands on deck and we're increasing staffing as quickly as we can," Reeder said. "So we're hoping to have that resolved so that the whole time is not so long."

Reeder also stressed to avoid filing for unemployment on your tablet or cell phone, as it would cause some mishaps. It's always best to use a desktop.

"We want people to know we understand it is an emotional time and this is a hardship in a lot of cases for families," Beyer said.

She also wants those in the community to know not to get discouraged as some employers are still posting job listings. For instance, there is a high demand for customer services, bookkeepers, receptionists, maintenance, and of course, health care positions. Target and Fred Meyers are hiring as well.

But should you need further assistance, like housing, food, financial, medical, and mental health, Beyer recommends visiting www.livebetteridaho.org.

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