DOES Director Responds to Labor Committee's March 11 Letter on Addressing Unemployment Insurance Issues

On March 11, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, chair of the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee, sent a letter highlighting four ways for the District to resolve unemployment insurance issues. The letter to Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes came after the Department's performance oversight hearing, where councilmembers heard from dozens of witnesses who could not get issues resolved with the Department.

Director Morris-Hughes responded on April 7. Here are some important points:

  • While the Director would not promise a claims processing "blitz," DOES has hired 100 new contract staff adjudicators who will be concentrating on processing all remaining claims.
  • Again, there will be no "blitz," but staff at DOES will work to send robocalls and text messages to claimants regarding their right to request higher weekly benefit amounts.
  • Interstate Program Coordinators will continue to reach out daily to their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia regarding DC claimants experiencing difficulties in those jurisdictions.
  • DOES is reviewing the Biden Rescue Plan in order to develop clear guidance and timelines for the new benefit extensions and has issued a fact sheet on the federal plan.

You can read Director Morris-Hughes' entire letter here