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Albertans struggle to access funding promised by provincial government
EDMONTON -- Frustration is growing among Albertans trying to access the emergency fund announced by the provincial government earlier this week.
The one-time payment is supposed to help Albertans who are self-isolating. But many are struggling to access the website.
“I’m just besides myself about what I’m supposed to do,” said Michelle Peterson.
Petersen and her husband stopped their lawn care business to self-isolate because of COVID-19.
They’re trying to get emergency support from the province, but the application on Service Alberta’s website keeps hitting a dead end.
“Essentially just keep getting booted back and forth between verify your ID to your account needs to be verified,” she said.
CTV News Edmonton has spoken with several Albertans facing similar roadblocks.
They’ve been told the site is over capacity, received multiple error messages, or been told to scan their ID, only to find it doesn’t register.
Earlier this week the government said technical difficulties were making the payment temporarily unavailable.
“I apologize on behalf of the government for the fact that the Service Alberta site crashed a couple of times. Frankly it was never designed for this kind of overwhelming demand,” said Premier Jason Kenney on Friday.
The one-time payment of $1,146 dollars is designed to help Albertans told to self-isolate, or those waiting for employment insurance to arrive.
Service Alberta said as of Saturday, the site has processed 20,000 applications, but a spokesperson said there are still some hiccups.
“Albertans may find that the system is temporarily unavailable as we need to remove the online access periodically on an ongoing basis. We appreciate people’s patience as we work continually to improve the system.”
“It’s beyond frustrating,” said Petersen. “We’re almost depleted of all supplies. We have some but we don’t have what would be considered adequate at this point.”
Petersen intends to keep trying. She’s encouraged that others have gotten through. But after 100 times of trying at all hours of the day, she just hopes after the next attempt she won’t have to try again.