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So many people are filing for unemployment, the state's website can't keep up

The state Labor Department's website for filing unemployment claims can't keep up with the rush of newly jobless workers.

Now, the department is now asking people to file for unemployment claims over the phone or online using an alphabetical system.

The Labor Department is asking people with last names from A to F to file on Mondays, G to N on Tuesdays and O to Z on Wednesdays. Anyone who misses their filing dates is asked to file on Thursday or Friday.

"Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed," the department said on its Facebook page.

The Labor Department had fielded complaints that the website for filing claims was crashing or inaccessible. The department said it was addressing the problem.

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead to a wave of unemployment claims, as businesses see fewer customers or curb their operations.

Responding to complaints, the Labor Department said it had "experienced a massive increase in the volume of unemployment insurance claims, which slowed down the server," and that problem was being addressed.

The Labor Department said everyone entitled to unemployment insurance benefits would receive them in a "timely manner."

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