Virginia unemployment system upgrades delayed again
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Major upgrades from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) are being delayed again.
The overhaul of the outdated unemployment system was supposed to take place on November 1, but it is now postponed for a whole week.
The multi-year improvement project was supposed to be completed in mid-2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. According to the VEC, this latest setback is due to the fact that the upgrades would have interfered with the agency’s time frame to process its tax cases.
Whiplash causes headaches for many, including Ray Ickes of Virginia Beach.
“It’s very frustrating,” he says.
Ickes awaits answers from VEC on his unemployment status for almost three months.
“The problem is, when you call you are talking to a bunch of computers,” Ickes said. “You don’t even tell anyone real. “
The former 7-11 employee said he was fired in late July and has since rebounded around Virginia’s unemployment system.
“I think it’s disorganized,” Ickes said.
The long-awaited upgrade of the agency’s obsolete system was stuck until November 8. This was supposed to be the new launch date after two more delays in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for VEC said the delays were needed to give them more time to train staff and perform tests to make sure the new system is working.
The overhaul can’t come soon enough for Ickes.
“You have to go through so many different types of screens to even apply,” he said. “It could be more user-friendly. “
The new unemployment system will streamline the process when filing a claim and allow people to access more information about their benefits. This will help eliminate the need to call the busy customer service center and wait on hold.
Ickes remains optimistic as he continues to weigh different job prospects.
“I hope that people in the future who will have to apply will not have to go through the trap to try to get their money,” said Ickes.
System updates are also aimed at reducing fraud issues.
During the changeover, the customer call center will be closed. Appeals made through the website will not be interrupted.
The system should be operational again after a week, on Monday November 15th.
During the temporary closure, people will have to file their claims by 2 p.m. on November 8 in order not to miss any payments.
For more information on changing the system, click here.