Frustrations piling up as unemployment offices in Kansas, Missouri get overwhelmed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Unemployment offices are feeling the strain in both Kansas and Missouri, and so are the people applying for help.

The Kansas unemployment call center received more than 200,000 calls Tuesday. It’s just as bad in Missouri.

When Tammy Kincaid, of Gladstone, lost her job last week, the first thing she did was go online and file for unemployment in Missouri. It didn’t go well.

“When I tried to create an account I was blocked because it said there were too many attempts to create an account,” a puzzled Kincaid said. “It was the first time I was on there.”

So the 52-year-old did what most of us would do, she tried calling the employment office.

All she got was a message saying her call didn’t go through.

When FOX4 Problem Solvers called we got an automated response saying a representative would help us, but no one ever did.

Kincaid has been calling twice a day since Monday, and she’s worried.

“I have a small check from last week, but there is absolutely no income coming in,” she said.

Problem Solvers also heard from Kansans via Facebook who were having problems filing in their state.

One woman wrote: “185 calls to the Topeka Kansas unemployment today. Never got through. Been like that for three days now.”

Or this complaint about Kansas: “There is no way to get in touch with them. They do not even answer questions on Facebook.”

Kansas Secretary of Labor Delia Garcia said her staff was able to answer 100,000 of the more than 200,000 calls received Tuesday. Garcia advised people to file online.

If you need to call don’t hang up, just keep waiting. If you hang up, she said, it slows down the system.

In Missouri, Labor Department spokeswoman Delores Rose encouraged people to use the online filing system and not try to call. If you have problems, she recommended emailing the department at esuiclaims@labor.mo.gov.

As for Kincaid, help is on the way. The Missouri Department of Labor promised FOX4 someone would give her call.

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