People trying to get unemployment help in Frankfort turned away Wednesday

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Unresolved issues with unemployment continue to plague the commonwealth.

Hundreds of Kentuckians have been waiting to receive help, some going on 3 months.

They’re lining up outside the Cabinet for Health Services building again Wednesday to demand answers and to try to get the help they need.

At one point, there was a crowd of about 150 people, but the line quickly died down when people learned they wouldn’t get any answers Wednesday for their unemployment claims.

At first, there was only a sign on the glass saying there wouldn’t be any in-person services for unemployment claims today.

Workers did set up a table so people can walk up and write down their contact information.

State officials say they say they will get back to everyone, but people here aren’t optimistic. They tell us that’s pretty much what they’ve been hearing for the past few months.

They say they want to talk to a person, not a voice recording and, after being turned away again Wednesday, people are frustrated.

“I mean, obviously you wanna get paid, but I just kind of want to be stress-free,” Byron Lewis said. “I mean, everybody’s kind of going through a confusing time right now, and then this money on stuff on top of it, it’s not helping. We just wanna be able to pay our bills in peace.”

Last week, Governor Beshear said they would also like to have more localized help for people but blamed the previous gubernatorial administration and COVID-19 for shutting down local employment offices.

At his Wednesday COVID-19 update news conference, Gov. Beshear announced in-person services for unemployment help will be held Monday through Friday next week in Frankfort by appointment only.

An online portal will be launched to reserve an appointment.

On June 29 and June 30, unemployment offices in Ashland and Owensboro will also open for in-person help. Then, on July 7 and 8, unemployment offices in Somerset and Hopkinsville will open for in-person help.

The governor’s office will be releasing more information about the in-person help.

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