SPOKANE, Wash. -- Unemployment numbers continue to soar across the country. Without benefits, many are unable to cover their bills. That includes one local woman who recently had a claim denied for what she describes as an 'outlandish' reason. 
 
She tried to get through to the unemployment office on her own for days. With no luck and bills piling up, she said, 'Help me, Hayley.' Hayley learned effective Wednesday, it will become easier for people to get through. A spokesperson says they will now have agents to take calls Monday through Saturday from 7 AM to 4 PM. Sundays are reserved for agents to return phone calls.
 
Debra Jeffries is hopeful the additional time for calls will help her finally get in touch with someone to straighten out her mess. 
 
"I love my job," she said. "I work for a great (company) but we are shut down right now. They say we are not essential for construction."
 
For more than 11 years, Debra has made a good living. She assumed due to the circumstances, she would have no problem securing unemployment. Then a letter came telling her she'd been denied.
 
"The letter said myself, my employer or someone else told them I was working illegally in the United States," she said. "It's almost unbelievable."
 
Debra was born, raised and still lives in the Spokane area.
 
"I've never even been out of the country," she said. "I don't know where they got their information."
 
She says when she first heard about the problem, she figured it was a glitch on their end or a simple mistake. Days later, she received word that she needed to send documents she does not have to the Employment Security Department.
 
"They want a copy of my employment authorization card and any other documents I have from US Citizenship and Immigration Services," she said.
 
Debra told Hayley she is filled with worry as there doesn't seem to be a solution in sight. 
 
"I'm my own wage earner," she said. "Without unemployment, I can't pay anything. Hayley always seems to have the direct answer for people that need help."
 
Hayley spent her day Tuesday tracking down answers from the state. She learned they are working to increase staffing to handle the overwhelming increase in calls for help with unemployment. Starting Wednesday, callers like Debra will have more hours to try to get through to someone.
 
A state spokesperson said while he could not comment on Debra's specific case, he believes it could be an easy fix with an agent. Debra hopes to avoid what could be a lengthy appeals process.
 
The spokesperson says there are a few ways this could have happened including an accidental checking of a box. He urges anyone in the same position to use extreme care and double checking forms before submitting them. 
 
It's also possible Debra's social security number was compromised. Experts recommend never giving out your social and keeping documents containing it at home, in a secure location.