Website glitch causes headaches for some unemployed New Mexicans

Posted at: 04/07/2013 10:53 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was a close call for some unemployed New Mexicans trying to sign up for benefits Sunday.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned the state’s unemployment site had an error, which had many people nervous they wouldn’t get their money.

The website didn’t start working until 4 p.m. The deadline to claim unemployment for this week was 7 p.m.

KOB received dozens of calls and emails from people who were worried they wouldn’t receive their unemployment benefits.

Ted Lerma spends every day looking for work.

“Airport parking. Anything I can get my hands on. Anything to pay the bills and I can’t even get a dishwashing job,” said Lerma, who’s been unemployed for 9 months.

On Sunday, he spent almost the entire day trying to access the unemployment site so he could get his $185 weekly claim.

But this isn’t the first time he’s had issues.

Since the site relaunched in January, there’s been problems.

“The new website that they have, they said it was going to make it easier. It’s actually gotten worse. It hasn’t gotten easier,” added Lerma.

KOB wants to know if it will happen again.

The spokesperson for workforce solutions said, no.

“Were there some conversion issues? Yes. Are we still working some of those? Yes,” said Joy Forehand, Workforce Solutions spokesperson.

But Lerma doesn’t buy it.

“I would rather have a job then having to go through this every week. You know, it’s giving me white hair,” added Lerma.

Workforce Solutions said Sunday’s problem was the result of a technical error.