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In-person unemployment help reopens in Kentucky

Across the commonwealth, 13 locations opened for in-person unemployment help.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was long overdue, especially for those who have waited months for their unemployment benefits. Across the commonwealth, 13 Kentucky Career Centers opened Thursday for in-person help.

They are by appointment only and must be booked online.

Time slots are released in two week periods with about 9,500 availabilities according to Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky.

Shawn Bratcher, 33, was lucky to get one for Day 1.

“One of them I picked was instantly gone the second I finished the paperwork,” Bratcher said. “So then I just picked the latest one that was available at that time.”

His appointment was scheduled for 11:15am, but it wasn’t until about two hours after that that he came walking out of the Career Center in Louisville.

“Everything got fixed.”

Bratcher, whose benefits all of the sudden stopped, figures he is owed upwards of about $4,000.

“They have to manually accept every week that you didn’t get paid and then basically give it to you all in one lump sum,” he said.

Laura Wood also got her claim fixed.

“Three feet above the ground,” she said. “I feel like a weight has been lifted.”

However, with the in-person appointments, there are no guarantees.

Kenya Kimberland has to wait even longer for a supervisor to clear up her claim.

“I’m a little disappointed only because they told me it’s going to be about ten more days before I’ll know anything. It’s something that they cannot help me with in there,” Kimberland said.

Why it’s taken this long to get the offices open is something Bratcher wonders.

Because people need money to live, he considers unemployment specialists essential workers who, he argues, should have been in-person soon after the crisis began in March 2020.

“There was people in line I talked to hadn’t been paid in eight months,” he pointed out. “That’s unacceptable.”

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

►Have a story tip? Contact the FOCUS Investigative team at FOCUS@whas11.com