Posted at: 01/07/2013 6:16 PM
By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4
KOB Eyewitness News 4 is continuing to get to the bottom of a big problem for thousands of unemployed New Mexicans.
They can't get their benefits because of a new online claim system. KOB 4 has been flooded with calls about the problem.
Workforce Solutions said the system is working the way it's supposed to.
The problem, KOB has been told, is that the system is so confusing to many people; hardly anyone really knows how to work it.
For Olivia Chavez times are tough. "You have to pick and choose what you're going to pay. Are you going to eat or go to the doctor," said Chavez. She also said spending hours today trying to navigate the new Workforce Solutions website doesn't help.
KOB stood with Chavez when she called for help. She got disconnected because Workforce Solutions said almost 65,000 people called Monday.
KOB asked Chavez if she ever received instructions on how to use the new system. “I didn't even know there was going to be a new system," Chavez replied.
KOB heard that from dozens of people, so we went to department secretary Celina Bussey.
KOB asked Bussey if perhaps there should have been a mailing to claimants. “Actually, we have been posting information on our website for weeks and weeks now about the implementation of the new system," Bussey replied.
Bussey said the system is working but KOB saw her feel peoples' frustration first hand. During our interview someone approached the secretary asking for help.
Bussey recommended people keep on calling until they get connected. Chavez said she will, but hoped she won't have to do this for much longer.
"My hope is to still get out there every day and continue to put in applications, continue to search the papers and websites and hopefully something will come along," said Chavez.
Workforce Solutions said there will be an adjustment period for people to get used to the new system.
They said once you get it down, it should take no longer than it used to with the old system.
By the close of business Monday, Workforce Solutions said they helped almost 20,000 people get their benefits.