‘I don’t know what to do’: Some Kentuckians still struggling to get unemployment benefits

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More than a year into the pandemic, some Kentuckians say they are still waiting for unemployment money.

“We’re lost, we can’t... you know, they owe us money. We have families. We worked during the pandemic and been off for a few weeks and we are struggling. No money and we can’t get a hold of anybody,” Bruce Lovins told us in February, when he said the state owed him $3,600 in unemployment.

Now, he’s still facing the same issues. He says he got some of his money, but not all of it.

“We’ve continued trying to get ahold of these people. State representatives, just everybody I can reach out to. You can’t get ahold of anybody, they won’t return your phone calls, won’t return your emails. You just can’t. It’s just ridiculous,” Lovins said.

We reached out to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet for answers. A representative said staff members have worked overtime, up to 12-hour days, and even weekends trying to process claims.

They also said call center hours were recently extended. They went on to say the agency has received about 2.3 million unemployment insurance claims since March 2020 and paid out an estimated $6.3 billion in benefits.

Lovins said he calls several times a week, and still hasn’t gotten through. 16 months into the pandemic, he’s losing hope.

“I don’t have much faith in them anymore. I don’t know what to do,” Lovins said.

People can schedule in-person appointments at their nearest regional Kentucky Career Center locations. New appointments become available at 9:00 a.m. Monday-Friday.

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