The Idaho Department of Labor has installed new phone software to accommodate the increase in unemployment insurance calls the department has received since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Monday, Nov. 23 claimants needing assistance should call (208) 332-8942. The 800-number will no longer be used.

The department has hired and trained approximately 60 additional staff members to help with the increased unemployment insurance workload. Forty-nine employees will be dedicated to the answering the phones and will be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MT Monday-Friday. Spanish speaking agents will also be available.

Because Labor’s old phone system was not able to handle the increase in calls, the department contracted with a call center to answer claimant phone calls earlier this year. This also allowed Labor staff to handle more complex issues with claims. Other steps taken to increase response times include hiring more staff to work through the backlog and to address the current workload. Significant changes were also made to the Claimant Portal to accommodate the new CARES Act programs and to help claimants better understand the steps involved in filing a claim.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.