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State will hold virtual town halls on how to file jobless claims after call center is swamped

State officials will hold town halls in the coming week on how to apply for unemployment assistance as a growing number of Bay Staters lose their jobs.

Department of Unemployment Assistance officials will guide residents through each step of filing a claim during streamed meetings and answer questions from callers, according to the agency’s website.

The first will be Monday at 9 a.m. A Spanish-language session will be Tuesday at 9 a.m. Meetings will be held through the week, except Thursday.

Participants can watch and sign up to ask questions here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-department-of-unemployment-assistance-dua-virtual-town-halls.

The number of people calling the state about filing claims was so large last week that it overwhelmed a telephone center. Secretary Rosalin Acosta called the volume of claims filed with her department unprecedented.

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Acosta said the department would redeploy hundreds of its employees to help get the call center up and running quickly. Tens of thousands of workers have filed for benefits online. More information is on the state’s website at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance.