A new guideline has been implemented due to the surge of layoffs in several industries caused by COVID-19.
Many businesses in Kentucky have closed down after Gov. Andy Beshear released an order to put a pause in in-service dining at restaurants. Other non-essential businesses such as salons and barbershops have closed down. This occurrence had flooded the state with people trying to file unemployment insurance claims. The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) implements a new UI filing procedure and a new local office phone line for their customers to implement the change.
“My obligation is to keep people safe during this time. I realize many of the steps I am taking to protect Kentuckians during this COVID-19 emergency are affecting employers and workers financially,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.
One of the first changes is the waiving of the previously mandatory one-week waiting period for the unemployment benefits. The new guidelines also include removing the requirements for people who are looking for work while they are receiving their benefits.
The website and phone line were opened on Monday and Tuesday and both crashed due to the number of people claiming for UI. The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet had to increase its staff to 45 employees to cater to all the callers.
What does this mean for you?
The new guidelines will allow people to get two weeks of pay for the first time they request for their benefits. In simplest terms, people who can claim benefits and file for unemployment insurance at the same time.
Those who have lost their jobs and those who are under medical quarantine due to the virus are eligible to apply. The unemployment insurance can run every two weeks for a maximum of 26 weeks or until the time that they find a job again or they’re called back to work again. For those who wish to apply, you can do so by visiting the official website or via phone.
Here is the list of phone numbers in the locations near you.
Bowling Green area 270-746-7425
Elizabethtown area 270-766-5115
Covington area 859-292-6666
Hazard area 888-503-1423
Hopkinsville area 270-889-6509
Lexington area 859-233-5940
Louisville area 502-595-4003
Morehead area 606-783-8525
Owensboro area 270-686-2502
Paducah area 270-575-7000
Prestonsburg area 888-503-1423
Somerset area 606-677-4124
EWDC Deputy Secretary Josh Benton implored people to follow the new guidelines when filing the claim so that their computers and phone lines will be able to cater to the needs of the many. He further added that they will try their best to process all the claims for those who are experiencing job loss at the moment.
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