CHEYENNE – The COVID-19 outbreak has had a dramatic effect on every sector of the workforce, and the Department of Workforce Services stands ready to help those impacted.

Wyoming has not escaped the increase in layoffs, business closures and other factors resulting in unemployment. Wyoming had 4,652 new claims for unemployment insurance during the week of March 22-28, which is an increase of 909 from the week of March 15-21. The week of March 15-21 had 3,743 new unemployment claims, which was up 3,234 over the week of March 8-14, in which there were 509 new claims.

Continued claims also rose during the week of March 22-28. There were 6,010 continued claims that week, as compared to 4,199 the week of March 15-21 and 4,201 the week of March 8-14.

“We are seeing the effects of this virus in our Unemployment Insurance filings,” said DWS Director Robin Sessions Cooley. “Because there are many people seeking help, our telephone lines are very busy. In order to help those affected by this pandemic and meet this increased need, we have made some changes to our filing system.”

The new process will reduce the volume of calls to the call center by taking claims on specific days, based on the claimant’s last name. This alphabetical sorting system is applicable only to claims called in by phone or in person at the Workforce Centers. Claims filed online can be completed at any time, regardless of last name.

For claims by phone: (307) 473-3789.

If your last name begins with A-M: file your claim on Monday, Wednesday or before noon on Friday

If your last name begins with N-Z: file your claim onTuesday, Thursday or after noon on Friday.

“As this pandemic progresses, it requires us to think and react quickly,” Cooley said. “We’ve also realized a need for an easier way to reset PIN and password codes for people filing online, so we’ve activated an email to simplify that process.”

Claimants needing a password or PIN reset in order to file for benefits should send us an email. When requesting a PIN/password reset, claimants should include their name, the last four digits of their social security number, and their phone number.

For more information on unemployment insurance benefits, please visit here.