HARRISBURG (KDKA) – There’s now a new tool to help people filing their unemployment claims.

Today, the Labor and Industry Department is launching a new text message feature that will help staff connect with people. The department says they’ll be sending text messages to individuals to let them know that staff will be calling them. They say the goal of this new system is to increase the rate that individuals answer calls from the Labor and Industry Department.

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Since its launch on June 16th, the department says around 400,000 people have filed for their weekly benefits.

However, since then, there have also been a lot of complaints. Some say they haven’t been able to get through, and are skeptical about this new text messaging service.

Jon Delano: “Is text messaging the answer?”
Heather Sgro: “I think it’s another way for scammers to get people.”

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“To prevent fraud, we will not be asking for any personal information over text or have individuals click a link. We will solely be letting individuals that are trying to reach us so that they know to answer the phone,” said Acting Labor and Industry Secretary, Jennifer Berrier.

Some have gone on to tell KDKA that the new system is much more complicated than the old system.

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Berrier says they will also be hiring an additional 200 customer service agents next week.