UPDATE: Online unemployment application working after system outage
Michigan's online unemployment application is working again after being down for much of Monday.
The application was part of a state system failure for online applications in many departments, including the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Monday was the first day Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 could start filing for unemployment benefits.
"It's frustrating that the website isn't really able to load," said Bella Belnap, who owns a hair salon. "I'll refresh. I'll get a login screen and then it will just go blank constantly. "
With more than one million Michiganders filing for unemployment in the last three weeks, Belnap said the state should've been ready.
"They were having difficulties for awhile, which I understand is an overwhelming amount, but at the same time, if you offer it you should be prepared a little bit more," she said.
Jason Gibbs was one of the lucky ones who was able to file a claim Monday.
"It was tough. It took me almost three hours to complete the application," said Gibbs.
He said the process wasn't easy and it took several tries before he was able to hit submit. Even putting his name in was a struggle.
"It was definitely frustrating. It took me four or five times before it got to the line where Joshua stayed and I could put Gibbs in," he said.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development encourages people to use off-peak times 8 p.m. – 8 a.m. to file their claim.
It also encourages people to file a claim based on the following schedule:
Last names beginning with letters A-L: file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
Last names beginning with letters M-Z: file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.