As numerous Kentuckians shut down their businesses and employees get laid off to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear has encouraged residents to enroll in unemployment insurance to make up any potential lost income. Below includes information on who is eligible, how to apply and how much a person can expect to receive.
Q: What are the qualifications for enrolling in unemployment insurance?
A: Kentuckians who have been laid off because of the coronavirus or those who have cut hours are eligible, as are the quarantined. The requirement to seek work while on benefits has been waived, Beshear has announced numerous times during his daily press briefings. “There is no stigma to public assistance as we move through this. Everybody is going to need help,” Beshear said Monday. Not everybody will immediately qualify for unemployment, such as independent contractors. However, Beshear said he is working on expanding the eligibility pool.
Q: Where do I go to file for unemployment insurance?
A: The Daviess County unemployment office at 3108 Fairview Drive in Owensboro is closed to the public. Residents in the Owensboro area are instructed to call 270-686-2502 or go to kcc.ky.gov to file for unemployment insurance. You will need personal information, such as employment history and wages earned. Individuals are instructed to sign up on a certain day based on the first letter of their last name to stop the system from becoming overloaded with claims.
Sunday — A-D
Monday — E-H
Tuesday — I-L
Wednesday — M-P
Thursday — Q-U
Friday — V-Z, or if the resident’s normal day was missed.
Q: How long do I have to wait to receive my unemployment insurance check?
A: Under the normal process, people who apply for unemployment receive their first check about two weeks after they first apply, but only get paid for one week. However, Beshear has asked the state to waive the “waiting week” that prevented people from getting benefits while their claims were processed.
Q: How much money can I expect to receive?
A: Kentucky unemployment recipients can receive between $39 and $552 per week in benefits and can receive that payment for up to 26 weeks, or half a year. However, President Donald Trump recently signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which goes into effect April 2. The new law provides an additional $1 billion to all states to expand benefits. Base benefits are calculated based on 1.1923% of your base period wages. An approximate calculation for benefits can be found at http://apps.kcc.ky.gov/career/WuiCalculator.aspx.
Q: Is there any way I can financially help those who are unemployed or financially struggling?
A: Gov. Andy Beshear has created a fund that will go to Kentuckians who have been impacted by the coronavirus. The donations are tax-deductible and can be donated by going to https://secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/PPC/KYCOVID-19Donate.
Q: What about food stamps and other benefits?
A: People who have lost their jobs and benefits can apply for Medicaid, and other benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by going to https://benefind.ky.gov/ and calling (855) 306-8959. For those already on benefits, Beshear announced those benefits will be extended by three months.
Q: How many people have filed for unemployment insurance at this point?
A: In his Friday press briefing, Beshear said 1,957 people had filed for unemployment insurance by March 20, 2019. For this year, he said that number has increased about eight times, which is 15,656 people in a state of about 4.4 million.
Q: I still have additional questions, is there anywhere else I can go?
A: https://kcc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx or call 270-686-2502.
Trey Crumbie, 270-691-7297, email@example.com.