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Monday, June 29, 2020

Rep. Roberts and Rep. Wheatley Send Request to Gov. Beshear for NKY Unemployment Office

Rep. Roberts and Rep. Wheatley send Gov. Beshear a request for an unemployment office in NKY.
(Img: Lisa Cooper, NKADD, Representative Buddy Wheatley, Erin Bates, Brighton Center, Representative Rachel Roberts, Tara Johnson Noem, NKADD)

Representative Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) and Representative Buddy Wheatley (D-Covington) have requested a temporary, or even possibly permanent unemployment office in Northern Kentucky to assist people still waiting for benefits due to job losses during COVID-19.

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The request, sent to Governor Beshear last week, is for an office that is staffed with unemployment adjudicators who can offer assistance to the self-employed and others finding themselves in difficult times due to the pandemic.

“During the past three months, I have heard from constituents who are having difficulty receiving unemployment insurance payments, despite the expanded coverage during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Rachel Roberts. “I have been contacted more on this issue than any others during this unprecedented time; people who work for small businesses who have never filed for unemployment before or work in both Cincinnati and Northern KY are having the most trouble and need personal assistance.”

Representatives Roberts and Wheatley met with NKADD staff and officials at the Kentucky Career Center in Covington on Wednesday to discuss the feasibility of offering in-person unemployment assistance. “The Career Center offers wonderful career counseling services to citizens, and has been a huge help to many people attempting to navigate Kentucky’s unemployment system. Navigating the unemployment for the non-traditional employee is especially difficult and can require one-on-one attention from adjudicators,” said Representative Roberts. “Our request to Governor Beshear is coming at a time when he has made major changes to the state Office of Unemployment Insurance. We look forward to discussing our needs in Northern Kentucky with him soon.”

“Our close proximity to Cincinnati presents its own set of challenges,” said Representative Buddy Wheatley. “Many people in Northern Kentucky are struggling with the system and need the help of a live person. Representative Roberts and I want ensure our constituents have all of the state's available resources for assistance.”

“Governor Beshear announced this week that there will be in-person unemployment help in three cities during the next three weeks,” said Rep. Roberts. “Past administration budget cuts reduced the number of trained unemployment staff in the Commonwealth, which has led to unprocessed unemployment claims during this extremely high usage period.

According to Governor Beshear when he spoke about during a press conference on Monday, Kentucky saw nearly 25,000 new claims for unemployment insurance during the week of June 20th, which is a decline from previous weeks but still very significant.”

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