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Starting Today: Additional Customer Service Improvements for Unemployment Compensation

05/10/2021

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier reminds claimants and employers that the next phase of the unemployment compensation customer service improvement initiative began today. Approximately 230 new customer service representatives began answering incoming calls to the Unemployment Compensation Service Center, while existing highly trained staff members have been shifted to exclusively work on resolving outstanding claim issues. 

The additional staff will allow for individuals receiving unemployment benefits to more easily reach a customer service representative by phone, while also increasing the speed at which staff members can resolve claim issues. This is part of a larger effort to improve the customer experience and prepare people receiving unemployment payments for the transition from a 40-year-old mainframe system to an easier-to-use modern computer system in June.  

"Starting today, we hope that individuals calling us see a difference in their hold time, with the time decreasing over the next few weeks as we ramp up staffing," said Acting Secretary Berrier. "Behind the scenes, we'll be seeing faster claims processing times as our highly trained claims specialists can now dedicate their full attention to resolving outstanding issues. This is all part of our efforts to serve individuals receiving unemployment benefits with the best possible customer service."" 

The benefits of the improve customer service initiative include: 

  • More customer service representatives will be answering calls and providing answers to basic questions.
  • If a caller has a more complex question or needs assistance with their specific claim, the customer service representative will create an "inquiry" that will be sent to the claims staff.
  • The claims staff will work on inquiries in the order they are received, and callers will be provided with a tracking number that can be used to see where their inquiry is in the queue.
  • Callers will choose to get a phone call or email from claims staff, or to simply have claims staff resolve an outstanding issue.
  • An additional 200 customer service representatives are completing onboarding and training and will begin answering calls on May 17.
  • L&I will continue adding customer service representatives until all calls to the Unemployment Compensation Service Center are answered or until 1,000 total customer service representatives are staffing the phones. 

Hiring for the customer service improvement initiative is ongoing. Individuals interested in working for the Unemployment Compensation Service Center are encouraged to reach out to their local PA CareerLink location for more information. 

In addition to calling, unemployment program enrollees can also reach the Unemployment Compensation Service Center by emailing uchelp@pa.gov or using the live chat service. L&I also offers a variety of self-assistance resources on its website, including FAQsvideosinfographics, and guides

For the latest updates on unemployment programs, visit L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or following L&I on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah DeSantis, dlipress@pa.gov 

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