NEWPORT — On Friday, Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Labor detailed efforts to clear tens of thousands of claim issues that are holding up Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to Vermonters.
As of Thursday, the State had identified over 34,000 unemployment insurance claims, which combined, had over 50,000 stop-payment issues associated with them.
The Department of Labor and the Agency of Digital Services says they were able to identify multiple approaches to clearing as many issues as possible so that payments could be processed.
By Saturday afternoon, these efforts had resulted in an additional 20,000 claimants having their claims processed.
“Under normal circumstances, it is these issues that ensure the State’s UI program is adhering to federal regulations,” said Michael Harrington, Interim Commissioner for the Department of Labor. “However, given the overwhelming demand on the system, being able to provide timely claims processing while meeting all federal standards became virtually impossible. Ultimately, we needed to put people over process and get people their benefits.”
As of Sunday, nearly 32,000 claim issues had been cleared, allowing claimants to proceed with filing a weekly claim and start collecting benefits.
For the remaining eligible claimants, 8,384 people that did not have issues cleared, Governor Scott asked the Treasury to issue payments to them in the amount of $1,200.
These checks were processed over the weekend and will be mailed out to claimants today.
Checks provided to claimants include two-weeks of federal benefits, $600 per week, which a claimant would have received starting the week of March 29.
This delay is attributed to the processing of claims under stringent federal processes.
Claimants should be aware that checks likely do not provide the full amount owed but serve as an initial installment.
Claimants will receive the full benefit over the coming weeks as part of the regular processing of claims by the Department.