Backlog due to the coronavirus crisis has been cleared, processing times are at a good level
We received a record-high number of applications for earnings-related daily allowance due to the coronavirus crisis. By the beginning of September this year the applications numbered 556,318, while the total number for last year was 472,493 applications.
In the early phase of the coronavirus crisis applications arrived in record-high volumes. For example on week 16 the number of first-time applications was 1,500% higher compared to the same period in the previous year.
We had begun to prepare for the worst already in the early months of the year, but in practice it was not possible to increase our capacity at the same rate as the lay-offs and terminations of employment began to flood in. At the same time, our customer service became badly congested.
By the beginning of August we had managed to clear the backlog of applications from laid off people. Back then we estimated that we could shorten the waiting times for all types of applications to under 30 days by the end of August. The estimate held true, and now in early September the processing times are just ten days or less.
It is important to us that our customers receive the best service and get their money as soon as possible. We are grateful for the understanding and patience of our members and will do everything we can, so that the current good status can take any future hits.
In the early stage of the crisis we hired more than a hundred new employees. Some of them continue to work for us full-time and some part-time. During the autumn we have also recruited completely new employees. That way we aim to be ready, if the number of applications begins to increase again in the autumn. We don’t expect quite a similar flood of applications as we received in the spring, but we nevertheless want to stay alert to keep the processing times short even in case the worst case scenarios come true.