24-Hour Unemployment Line

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Everyone on unemployment has a story.

Unfortunately, many of those stories are those of frustration.

"I haven't gotten paid yet," says father-of-three Aaron Matthews. "I've been calling the last week and a half, trying to get it straightened out. I still don't have my payment."

"You can't get through," says Eaton Rapids resident Tom Norris. "You can't get through at all. They tell you all circuits are busy."

And for those filing for unemployment for the first time, the process can be confusing on top of everything else.

So Thursday, the state is trying to make things easier.

"We're announcing a new service to first-time people who've just become unemployed and are filing for the first time, they can now file by telephone twenty-four hours a day," says Susan Corbin, DELEG Deputy Director.

Corbin says you can also change your payment options, from check to debit card to direct deposit, by using the new 24-hour line, which actually is open from 7 a.m. Monday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

"Anything we can do that makes it more convenient for people to file for unemployment, we should do that," Corbin says.

There's no denying extending the phone claim hours will help, especially with our rising unemployment rate. But is it enough? Some unemployed aren't so sure.

"They need to have more people working here. If they need to, move to another building," Norris says.

"That should help a little bit," Matthews says. "I won't have to worry about 'oh, did I forget to call?'"

DELEG always encourages people to file online if they can, to avoid the phone hassle altogether.

But if you can't, the added phone hours make for one less thing to worry about during some very unsure times.

If you've already filed for unemployment, there are no changes to MARVIN.

The 24-hour number is the same as the normal first-time number: 1-866-500-0017.

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