A crush of unemployment claims has slowed the Connecticut Department of Labor's filing system to a crawl.
The state agency posted on its Web site Monday a warning that due to a high volume of claims, users may experience difficulty filing via the Internet or telephone.
A spokeswoman says the Department of Labor issued 156,673 benefit checks during the week of Dec. 13-19. That was up nearly 50 percent from 105,431 last year.
She says the agency has been "incredibly busy" with claims and was "flooded with calls."
Gary Horn, of West Hartford, says he and his wife, who has been unemployed from a playground design company for a year, got through to the Labor Department's automatic filing system after hours of trying.