Records show 30+ work orders for computer errors, delays with NC unemployment system

Public records show the North Carolina Department of Commerce made dozens of work orders to fix the problems.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A WCNC Charlotte Defenders investigation is revealing a long list of technical problems with North Carolina’s unemployment system — everything from computer glitches to incorrect payments. 

Public records show the North Carolina Department of Commerce made dozens of work orders to fix the problems. It comes as people say they’ve struggled to access their own accounts.

Sophie Shamsiddeen and Verna Huntley-Alexander said they faced delays accessing their accounts because of computer issues with the unemployment system.

“The website went down,” Huntley-Alexander said. “I cannot access my account.”

“There was a system glitch,” Shamsiddeen said.

The Defenders team also waited a long time for the North Carolina Department of Commerce to release public records that shed light on the problem. 

In the critical months between March and May, documents show the department submitted more than 30 work orders to fix computer errors or IT issues with the unemployment system.

“It’s very frustrating,” Huntley-Alexander said. “It leaves you almost at a point of despair.”

“I’ve had many many, many breakdowns,” said Shamsiddeen.

Huntley-Alexander, who was furloughed from a part-time job at a non-profit, exhausted her regular unemployment benefits in June. She then applied for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, but by July hadn’t received payment. 

Instead, she tells WCNC Charlotte she got a message on her account saying the system would be down from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. She said she saw that same message no matter what time of day she checked.

“I get that same screen,” Huntley-Alexander said. “It’s been down all week.”

Shamsiddeen shared a screenshot of a different problem with her account.

“I kept receiving an error every time I attempted to apply for the