Thousands of West Virginians apply for unemployment, slowing and crashing systems

Photo courtesy MGN.
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WEST VIRGINIA (WDTV) -- Thousands are out of work due to state-wide shutdowns, layoffs and suspensions.

Andy Malinoski, the director of communication for the West Virginia Department of Commerce says they are seeing a surge in applications. He says they typically receive 5,000 applications each month, but since Tuesday, the day Governor Jim Justice announced the shutdown of all restaurants, bars and casinos, Workforce WV have received 7,000 applications.

Unemployment offices are closed due to coronavirus concerns, meaning the only way to apply is online or by phone. But, with the surge in applications, phone lines are tied up and the Workforce application site crashes for many applicants.

Malinoski recommends applicants apply in off-hours when they systems are less encumbered.

He also advises, in preparation for any potential issues, that all applicants will receive the money they are allotted, but if they do not receive a check, that money will be rolled into the next paycheck they receive.