More than a year into the pandemic, some Oklahomans are still dealing with issues when it comes to getting their unemployment money on time.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said it does not know how many people this problem is impacting, because it does not have access to that information.
The company that provides the unemployment cards, Conduent, did not immediately respond to News On 6 when asked how many people are waiting for money to show up in their accounts.
Gary Erlandson is an Army veteran and Tahlequah resident who was laid off last March.
His wife Cassondra said he files for unemployment every Sunday, and the money shows up through direct deposit in their bank account every Tuesday or Wednesday. But she said right now some of his money is stuck in limbo.
“It's in between the Way2Go card and our direct deposit for our bank account. It's in between those. It's nowhere at the moment,” Cassondra said.
Cassondra said you’d need to look back at April 4th to understand their situation. That is when she said Gary filed for unemployment; he was expecting to receive the money on the 6th. But she said they did not see the money in their bank account until April 14th.
Now, she fears they are going through the same cycle of delays again. She said Gary filed on the 11th and was expecting money on the 13th. As of Friday April 16th, she said they still do not have the latest round of benefits in their account.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said it is aware some people are dealing with delays on direct deposits.
In a statement, OESC said,
“Our team is aware that some claimants are continuing to experience delays on direct deposits and are in direct contact with Conduent about this issue. We've also received reports that claimants have been told OESC stopped all direct deposits throughout the state and want to clarify that this is incorrect. OESC has not taken any action to stop or delay direct deposits or ACH transfers. The current delay is a result of actions administered by Conduent and we are in close conversations with their team as they work to resolve this issue…”
"They've been a nightmare, honestly, since day one,” Cassondra said, talking about Conduent. The state uses the New Jersey-based company "Conduent" to issue the "Way2Go" cards.
In a statement, Conduent said it initiated additional security measures over the last few days, which resulted in unanticipated delays in direct deposits for some OESC-administered accounts.
The company’s full statement is below.
“In our ongoing effort to further protect funds of Oklahoma unemployment benefit recipients, Conduent initiated additional security measures over the last few days. Unfortunately, these additional measures have resulted in unanticipated delays in direct deposits for some OESC-administered accounts. We apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing, and our team is working aggressively to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”
Cassondra said her husband does get disability checks from the VA, something they can depend on right now. She said they are able to make ends meet for now, but it is not easy.