OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - For the first time in three years, in-person unemployment appointments opened back up across the commonwealth Thursday. The state’s previous administration shut down these services.
Kentuckians are exhausted. They say the state’s unemployment system isn’t cutting it.
Jacquelyn Gesser is among the many Kentuckians who had an appointment booked at Owensboro’s Kentucky Career Center on Thursday.
“I’ve been unemployed for about going on two months now, and I haven’t received any payment at all,” Gesser said. “I’ve tried to reach out multiple times both calling various networks and I have not heard a single human, so I’ve decided to come down to Owensboro.”
Thursday was the first time since 2017 that people could attend an in-person unemployment meeting in Kentucky.
“It’s hard as a Kentuckian to put a whole lot of blame on the governor or on the government in general because I do think that the governor hasn’t inherited this problem,” Gesser said. “This is a system that hasn’t been updated since the 80s or 90s. I’m really hoping that we’ve got a system in place that I can get my payments back that are rightfully mine. That have occurred over the last month and a half. But I’m also trying to get my weekly benefit request put in after the system was hacked.”
Click here to schedule an appointment.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear released the following statement on the matter:
“When you combine years of painful staffing cuts, an out-of-date system designed to tell people no and the effects of a once-in-100-years pandemic, many Kentuckians have been unable to obtain benefits. In addition to taking many new actions to help Kentuckians in need, we are now making good on our promise to begin putting unemployment specialists back into the local career centers.”
State officials say 13 regional Kentucky Career Centers opened for approximately 9,500 in-person appointments, which are scheduled through April 30.
On April 19, another round of appointment slots will be available for scheduling.