Some Kentuckians still waiting on extra unemployment help

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Unemployment issues continue. Some Kentuckians who’ve qualified for an extra $400 haven’t gotten it, or only got one check out of three.

The money comes from FEMA. Remember, the federal government was offering $600 on top of state unemployment. But those dollars ran out. This is a new program, and the state has to handle it differently.

“It has been approved for the three weeks that the $600 ended for, so it is for that period of time. And as anybody who qualifies for those full three weeks should receive it for the three weeks provided that all the right steps have been taken,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “We will have to go back for a potential three more weeks, which would be the maximum that would be authorized and we’re taking a look at that. So as long as they still qualify, ultimately there should still be three weeks' worth, and because Congress has not acted we have to do this looking backwards, even now, what, about a month for the weeks they respond to.”

Many are still checking their mailboxes hoping to see a check from the state of Kentucky for their $400. It’s part of the unemployment benefits. But the money Kentucky got, was for three weeks of payments.

“So it’s going out in three phrases based on its size. One [payment] has already gone out. One is going out tonight and the other is in the next several days. So our hope is that it is all out, well we’re near the end of this week, by the beginning of next week,” Gov. Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear says to receive more, the state must apply.

“We will have to go back for a potential three more weeks which would be the maximum that would be authorized and we are taking a look at that,” Gov. Beshear said.

“Everybody wants to know why he would not go ahead and apply for an additional three weeks,” Katie Cooper said.

Katie Cooper says she needs that money. She works in the restaurant industry, and her hours have been cut. She says the wait is painful as her and others need the money to get by.

“Some people are depending on that to keep their house, their car, feed their children and without that money they might lose everything is they haven’t already lost everything they own.”

“When they don’t send me my money i am at a loss right now," Ciara Jones said.

But for others, the situation is even more serious. Ciara Jones was laid off from her job in northern Kentucky. She is like thousands trying to navigate the unemployment system with no returned calls or emails from Frankfort. She tells us she and her son have no more money for a hotel and she is now living in her car.

“This is what is causing a huge inconvenience , this is bigger than that," Jones said. "So now when I have these different people call me, so when I tell you nothing is being done, they will have these random people call me to ask me what is going on and asks me for information and then nothing ever happens.”

Jones says she is speaking out tonight in hopes somebody from the state will see her story and help..

The governor has not built a timeline on when the state may apply for more FEMA money. He says some of the funds are held up because of Congress, and says he hopes the checks for those extra dollars are sent out by the beginning of next week at the latest.

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