The state of Kentucky is only able to process approximately 13,000 unemployment claims each day as their backlog of applications grows due to the coronavirus outbreak. Those who were financially affected by the outbreak experienced significant hardship getting proper wages and benefits. 

State unemployment office needed to hire additional workers for backlog of unfulfilled applications

The unemployment office became so overwhelmed that the state’s lieutenant governor had to hold a briefing in coordination with other state officials to address the situation. After the lieutenant governor reviewed the number of claims filed due to the mass layoffs caused by coronavirus, she stated that the week of March 8th alone had more claims than the entire year of 2019. The current capacity for the office only allows them to handle about 13,000 of the applications each day, which means that the backlog will not be cleared anytime soon. 

Because so many people in the state became unemployed all at once when the virus struck the area, along with mandatory shutdowns were ordered by the governor, it is unclear when workers will receive their benefits. The state government has even hired many more workers to handle calls, which increased its capacity tenfold. They went from just a few thousand per day all the way up to about 25,000 each day as of the time of the news report. Approximately 1,000 new call center reps were hired to meet this additional demand in volume, and new employees were still being hired and trained daily. 

The governor commented that all workers will eventually be accommodated and he is willing to work as hard as he needs to in order get everyone their benefits. However, he also asked that people who have already submitted applications refrain from doing so again, as duplicate applications will add to the backlog of work. He commented that people only need to reapply when their benefits expire, and people should not be submitting extension applications in advance. 

The aftermath of a job loss

Sudden job losses create all kinds of problems for workers who find themselves in a situation where bills need to be paid and they need to support their families. Employers can only terminate a worker for neutral reasons such as financial issues or poor job performance. If an employer has ended your employment for any reason that is discriminatory, or they have not paid your proper wages after your position was eliminated, it is recommended to speak with a local lawyer to get help. 

Speak with an employment lawyer in your area

There are attorneys in Kentucky who are able to assist victims of employment discrimination, wage theft, and related issues. To learn more, use the directory on to find a local lawyer near you.

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