LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Following a four-day shutdown because of fraud, Kentucky’s unemployment system now requires claimants to have a state-generated PIN number to log back into their accounts; some told WAVE 3 News they have jumped through hoops trying to obtain their PIN.
Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters during a press conference Monday the state mailed out PIN numbers to the 300,000 unemployed Kentuckians with open accounts.
However, he added the state would launch a temporary phone line for claimants who need to request their benefits soon and have not received their PIN in the mail yet. Unemployed Kentuckians can call (502) 564-2900 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. for the next 10 days to obtain their PIN, which is needed to re-register their accounts.
“A valid email is required to verify your identity in the new registration process,” Beshear said. “You’ll also need the new eight-digit PIN. That’s what you’ll have to create to make the new account. It makes it long enough and too complicated for the cybercriminals to do it.”
The phone line launched Tuesday, and it came with some problems, claimants like Christi Dickerson said.
“I haven’t been paid since Dec. 20, so I’ve had a lot of issues with them, and it’s impossible to get ahold of anyone, so no, I absolutely did not expect anything but confusion again,” Dickerson said when referring to the new PIN requirement.
Dickerson said she had to call the number a few times before getting through and being put on hold for around an hour.
Once she obtained her PIN number, she entered it into the unemployment system to re-register her account. Then, the system told her she would receive an email confirmation code to verify her identity; it took hours to arrive in her inbox, and once it did, it had already expired, she said.
Others told WAVE 3 News they were not able to get through to the PIN phone lines; the automated system told them all of the agents were busy and to call back later before hanging up, some claimants said.
“Now for seven to 10 days, that’s the only thing they’re going to be working on,” Dickerson said, “and that’s just another week with no pay for people who have already been going so long.”
Claimants who have not received their new PIN in the mail and need to request benefits soon can call (502) 564-2900. The phone lines will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. for the next 10 days. Beshear advised claimants to call in the middle of the day when the office will have the highest number of staff members, 150 employees, answering the phones.