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New Kentucky unemployment call center to be built

(AP)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 2:51 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the entire world around, prompting a slew of issues ranging from hospitals at capacity, people’s loved ones being infected, businesses shutting down and employees being laid off.

Governor Andy Beshear announced this week a new Kentucky call center will be opened up to help those who still need financial assistance and help facilitate unemployment issues.

“(The call center) will significantly increase our call capacity,” Amy McCubbage, general counsel for the governor, said. “This is just one of the ways we’re trying to give you a better experience.”

McCubbage said hiring for the center is underway. Once the staff is trained, the call center is set to open by the end of April.

This much-needed project was made possible by federal dollars.

“We get anywhere from 80 to 100 thousand phone calls a day,” McCubbage said. “It’s one reason why we set up telephone appointment system. We know that’s not enough and those appointments get snapped up quickly those are highly successful.”

This week, the United States Congress is set to vote on an unemployment extension. If it passes, checks will continue to be rolled out for those impacted by the pandemic; if not, in Kentucky, next week will be the final week of federal unemployment payments.

So far, there are 60,000 pending claims from January and February; 18,000 of those are valid, according to McCubbage.

“We’re hoping this call center that we’re [building] up over the next six weeks will be a big help and relieve stress on the system,” she said.

Visit kewes.ky.gov for information or to file for unemployment in Kentucky.

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