NORFOLK -- Unemployment benefits could be delayed for thousands of Virginia residents.

It's all because the phone system went down and recipients couldn't get through using the 1-800-897-5630 to certify their claims. That sent hundreds of people scrambling to local offices across Hampton Roads while technicians with Verizon worked to fix the glitch.

Recipients already have about a two day wait for their funds after they file. Commission officials say this affects about 3,500 people across the state.

The Norfolk office on Virginia Beach Boulevard usually sees about 1,500 people a week. It saw about nearly half that just on Monday. Manager Hosey Burgess says people are encouraged to go online to to certify their claims.

By midday Monday, the phone system was fixed but getting through was hit or miss because of the high volume of callers.

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