LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was August 19 that Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said unemployed Kentuckians should expect to see payments of an extra $400 per week, once the system could be updated which was supposed to take a couple of weeks.
Four weeks later, Earl Harris, 54, of Louisville was still anxiously waiting.
“It’s been over two weeks,” he said.
The way state unemployment has been going for tens of thousands of Kentuckians still waiting for any payment at all, that’s just par for the course.
Harris, who was furloughed in March from the Galt House, has been receiving his unemployment, but ever since the extra $600 per week in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was cut off by the federal government at the end of July, he has struggled.
With regular unemployment, Harris says he makes about $500 every two weeks.
“Oh my gosh, right now, I’m sitting here, I’m eating Ramen noodles right now,” he said. “I’m hoping every day that the $400 drop, so I can go get some groceries.”
The $400, however, is only good for three weeks with a total payout of $1,200. Harris says that’s all he needs to get back on his feet.
“I got to get my car looked at so it can travel, so I can go look for work.”
If things play out right, he should expect the money by next week.
“It’s going out in three phases,” Gov. Beshear said Thursday. “One has already gone out, one is going out tonight, and the other is in the next several days.”
Gov. Beshear also pointed out that he is looking into extending the extra $400 for another three weeks.
According to the Kentucky Career Center website, if a person believes that they are eligible for the additional payment and have not previously certified that they are out of work because of COVID-19, they will need to update their claim online.
FOCUS pressed the state’s Labor Cabinet for figures on the current extra payments which have already gone out.
The cabinet said 114,026 payments for the week of August 1, 108,759 payments for the week of August 8, and 108,446 payments for the week of August 15 have been distributed.