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Kentucky gets help from global accounting firm to clear backlog of unemployment claims

Last week, Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky had partnered with global accounting firm Ernst & Young to clear the massive backlog of unemployment claims.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Outside work has started this week in Kentucky to finally fix the problem of getting unemployment benefits to those who qualify for them.

Last week, Governor Andy Beshear (D) announced that Kentucky had partnered with global accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) to clear the massive backlog of unemployment claims still needing to be processed from as far back as March.

To date, according to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, 7,155 pending claims remain from March, 26,802 from April, 21,178 from May, and 20,351 from June.

Brad Bowyer, 49, of Louisville says he filed his claim May 31.

“Right at about $75,” Bower said he had left in his pocket.

However, he is hopeful with EY on board he will see some help soon.

RELATED: Ernst & Young to help process more than 50,000 unemployment claims from March through May

Gov. Beshear pointed out that the company has a proven track record after helping Colorado and Oklahoma get caught up with their influx of unemployment claims.

“This is designed to get us as close to caught up in one month,” Gov. Beshear said.

The deal with EY is almost $7.6 million and the firm will be under contract until July 26.

According to the contract which FOCUS was able to obtain, Gov. Beshear pointed out that the company has a proven track record after helping Colorado and Oklahoma get caught up with their influx of unemployment claims. Find the contract here.

EY will also identify technology improvements to make the job of applying for unemployment much smoother.

To help make all this happen, EY will facilitate bringing in an additional 300 processors with 100 level 1 processors and 200 level 2 processors.

“There are now going to be 300 extra people that are going to be calling you on the phone, they’re going to be emailing you that say I want to fix your claim,” Gov. Beshear vowed.

Gov. Beshear said the oldest claims will be dealt with first.

With only $75 to his name, Bowyer can’t afford to wait much longer for help.

“It means it’s going to take a while to get to me,” Bowyer realized. “I’m more than a little nervous and anxious.”

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►Contact reporter John Charlton at jcharlton@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@JCharltonNews) and Facebook.