BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The Maryland Department of Labor launched a new ‘BEACON 2.0’ unemployment website Sunday.
The new portal where Marylanders can file unemployment claims is giving some claimants similar or new problems.
The Department of Labor designed the new website after the original site was plagued with problems.
Claimant Randolph Polley says he hasn’t received benefits since July.
“They’ve just had their heads buried in the sand on this issue for the last 8 weeks,” Polley said. “I’m going to survive, but I think there’s a lot of people out there who may not.”
Polley says the new portal deleted some of his history and all his messages.
“This was supposed to be the big fix: Beacon 2.0. We’re going to be able to do so much,” Polley said, before showing WJZ how none of the phone numbers connect him with anyone who could help.
“I have the luxury of spending maybe 4 hours a day on redial,” Polley said. “‘Exhausted’ is my status–is exhausted, which I am, doing all this stuff for 7 and a half weeks.”
Labor officials denied our request for an interview Monday, but in a statement said they are aware people are having issues. Their vendor is working to fix the issues “as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, Labor officials say over 271,000 unemployment insurance claimants successfully filed their weekly claim certification on the new portal. Claimants have an extra day to file claims, with a 11:59 p.m. Saturday deadline.
Officials recommend submitting questions about claims or the new system using this inquiry form.
“How many other people are going through the same thing I’m going through that really, really, really need the help?” Polley asked.