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More than 4,700 Kentuckians to lose unemployment insurance benefits this weekend

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 12:11 PM EST
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BATH COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky’s insured unemployment rate has fallen below five percent and because of that, the Extended Benefit program, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor, is ending also.

Kentucky’s insured unemployment rate falling to 4.67 percent is the reason, according to information from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. Because of this, more than 4,700 people will stop receiving their insurance benefits this weekend.

Kentucky labor officials say the state will be barred from distributing funds for a minimum of 13 weeks. Richard Wilke is among those who were shocked to learn of that news-- the day before Thanksgiving.

“It was more disbelief than anything. I got a formal letter saying I had been approved for these benefits, I had planned for these benefits through the end of the year. Of course I am job searching and interviewing. It was like a slap in the face,” Wilke said.

Wilke said he has savings to help him, but when his benefits end, he won’t have any regular income at all until they resume again or until he finds a new job.

Governor Andy Beshear says the U.S. Department of Labor sets the rules for unemployment eligibility and the state is required to follow those rules.

State officials say the loss of the extended benefit program will not affect the ability of Kentuckians losing their jobs to qualify for traditional unemployment insurance.

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