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Kentucky offers in-person unemployment assistance in Hopkinsville, Somerset

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — People can make appointments for in-person unemployment insurance services that will be offered next week in Hopkinsville and Somerset to assist Kentuckians while ensuring the safety of those needing assistance and limiting the spread of COVID-19.

While in-person UI assistance continues to be available to claimants by appointment in Frankfort, people can schedule appointments for July 7 and July 8 in Hopkinsville and Somerset during the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. The in-person events will be at the following locations:

  • Christian County Middle School
    215 Glass Avenue
    Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240
  • The Center for Rural Development
    Ballroom
    2292 South Highway 27
    Somerset, Kentucky 42501

Claimants must bring two forms of identification like their driver’s license or other photo ID and social security card for identity verification.

Appointments can be made at kcc.ky.gov and going to the “In-Person UI Services” View Services button.

Kentuckians who need additional assistance with their unemployment insurance claims can also visit kcc.ky.gov and use the Chat Now button or call (502) 564-2900.

The commonwealth has processed 90 percent of claims, paying out more than $2.7 billion since March, but no one in state government will be satisfied until all Kentuckians have received the unemployment benefits for which they qualify.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced significant action this week to reduce the number of unemployment claims including:

  • Hired a globally renowned firm, Ernst & Young, to provide 300 employees to resolve outstanding claims quickly that resulted from the COVID-19 global pandemic and help overcome years of funding and personnel cuts to the Office of Unemployment Insurance.
  • Issued an RFP to secure a new unemployment system to replace the 20-year-old system in place.

The previous actions taken by the Governor to improve the system include:

  • Reorganized the unemployment office and moved it to the Labor Cabinet.
  • Increased workforce that is processing claims from roughly 40 to 100.
  • Appointed the Labor Cabinet secretary to oversee the Office of Unemployment Insurance.
  • Announced in June that a contract would be needed with an outside vendor to process claims and answer more public questions.
  • Asked the Labor Cabinet to add more in-person services, including out in the counties.

Gov. Beshear took those decisive steps to help Kentuckians after years of actions that starved the unemployment system including:

  • The system created in 2000 was designed to tell Kentuckians filing a claim “no.”
  • The state’s unemployment office budget went from $41 million in 2010 to $25 million in 2018.
  • The former administration in 2017 cut more than 30 of 51 local unemployment offices and 95 employees.
  • These changes either forced Kentuckians to drive longer distances to the few remaining regional offices or call the Frankfort office, which had 12 employees.

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