Three months later, some families still waiting on unemployment benefits

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 20:20:39-04

New problems are piling on top of old for local families still waiting for their unemployment benefits.

Emily Miller, who lost the job that helped her support herself, her husband and her three young children, applied for help from the state of Kentucky on March 23.

Three months and two fruitless in-person trips to Frankfort later, she still has nothing.

“I’m a lot like most people probably are,” she said Monday. “I live paycheck-to-paycheck, so I didn’t have anything saved up.”

The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance has not called or emailed. Her rent is due in two days. Although Miller is working again, she said she still can’t make up for the money she lost waiting.

“I’m paying my rent late this month,” she said. “Another $50 out of my pocket that I don’t have.”

Across the river in Amelia, Ohio, Alex Trip learned a glitch in Ohio’s unemployment system had delayed her benefits. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services scheduled a mid-July appointment to work on her case.

“I’m left stranded here with no help, no money” until then, she said.

A JFS spokesman confirmed on Monday that at least two other people had received rejection letters telling them they did not qualify for unemployment because they applied outside the pandemic window — which was still open as of Monday night.

The spokesman said the issue affected only a small group and had since been corrected.

Trip will have to wait two weeks to learn whether the glitch that affected her claim can be quickly resolved.

Miller is playing catch-up on her bills. She said she hopes the $865 million the commonwealth borrowed from the federal government can eventually help her family.

Kentucky unemployment officials said they would look into her case but did not give a deadline for when it might be resolved.