LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s Office of Unemployment Insurance began the first round of in-person appointments Thursday, more than a year after the pandemic began.
“I’m just glad to be standing here right now,” said Sonia Reed, who has been unemployment since March 2020.
Reed told WAVE 3 News she has had problems with her unemployment claim since she first filed.
“That’s what this is for,” she said, pointing to a folder. “Letters that I’ve sent, the multiple filings that I’ve had to do, questions about my account, the whole nine yards. I’m hoping I can get it straightened out today.”
Reed stood in the line outside the Kentucky Career Center in downtown Louisville alongside dozens of others who managed to book an in-person unemployment appointment. Nearly 9,500 Kentuckians have an appointment scheduled between now and April 30, according to OUI.
Martin Fendley was close to giving up on his claim after spending months trying to reach someone at the unemployment office.
“This came along and I figured why not give it another shot in person, because it’s almost impossible to get anyone to call you back, so here I am,” Fendley said.
He was laid off last March from his job as a church musician and was told he didn’t make enough money to qualify for unemployment. Fendley has had no form of income other than the stimulus checks since he lost his job, so he’s banking on unemployment to get him by until he can find work again.
“As a church musician, a lot of the churches are still closed or are doing remote and not hiring,” Fendley said. “I hope something can happen, I feel positive, but I’m not getting my hopes up.”
However, some were more positive once the appointment was over. Dan Russell told WAVE 3 News his appointment went well, he was told he will have his claim fixed, and he was given a name and phone number of the person who helped him.
“Last week when I got my in-person appointment, that felt good, and then after going through it, it’s like a weight has been lifted off of me,” Russell said. “Everybody who is still waiting for their appointment, just keep the faith. Good things come to those who wait as the saying goes.”
“People, don’t give up,” Reed said. “Stay on the system, call them, write them letters, go online, don’t just do one thing, do everything until something pops. That’s how I got here.”
There were no available in-person appointments at the time this article was published. The state will post additional in-person appointments on April 19.
To book an in-person appointment, click here.