Department of Labor and Training overwhelmed with calls, many still can’t get through to anyone

The Department of Labor and Training is overwhelmed with phone calls, as many Rhode Islanders try to get into touch with someone about their frozen unemployment claims.

The DLT announced they unfroze a “multitude of accounts,” over the weekend. A spokesperson will not give a specific number, stating the department does not want to interfere with the investigation.

However, some people who have had their accounts unfrozen said they had to use backchannels to get help. Those that are still waiting say they can’t get into touch with anyone.

“The girl who called me back was one of the numbers where I used someone’s direct line, which is a no, no,” Kelly Prairie, a Coventry resident said.

Prairie was told her account was unfrozen Thursday and received her funds Monday morning.

“They say we are not allowed to do that but it was shared on social media. No one has yet to respond to me from the normal means we are supposed to contact them on”

Kevin Kroll from North Providence works at Twin River Casino and his payments were stopped three weeks ago.

“You call hundreds and hundreds of times just go get hung up on, you can’t even just be put on hold,” Kroll said. “I haven’t been able to pay child support in a couple of weeks and I feel terrible about that. I had to borrow money from a friend just so I could get groceries last week.”

Angelika Pellegrino, a spokesperson, asks people not to go through these backchannels and to fill out the form once, as it will allow people to reach out faster.

Pellegrino said the team is working tirelessly to respond to everyone.

Employees have been getting messages on twitter and personal emails, which are circulating through social media.

Pellegrino insists the best way for a response is to go through the proper channels, by filling out the online form or calling their hotline.

Currently, Pellegrino said they have more than 100 people working on unemployment claims.

“It’s all hands on deck, and we are working to help Rhode Islanders as quickly as possible,” Pellegrino said.

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