Kentuckians have faced ongoing issues with the state’s unemployment system since the start of the pandemic and Wednesday’s opportunity to schedule an in-person appointment to resolve those problems brought new hope.In just one day, all of the spots at Kentucky’s 13 unemployment insurance centers were reserved and two lucky Louisvillians were in the number. Renae Riley was one of the first people to snag an appointment for the downtown Louisville office, which reopens on April 15.”It was actually better than trying to get the telephone appointment because those go really fast and you never can get them,” said Riley.Receiving unemployment assistance over the phone has been the only option for claimants since regional sites stopped in-person services in 2017 under the previous administration. Riley is one of the thousands of Kentuckians who desperately need help with their jobless claims to get their weekly benefits. She was laid off from her county government job when the pandemic hit and the journey to receiving unemployment has been far from easy.“It’s never continuous, it’s always something,” she said. “The system kicks you out, there’s new criteria, and we’re always looking for guidance.”Related: Kentucky unemployment system shutting down for several days to offset ‘massive’ fraudLouisville native Kortney Johnson is also hoping his scheduled appointment will bring a resolution. He lost several jobs during the pandemic, including his position at the Ford plant due to the company’s part shortage.Even with both phone and email correspondence, he says he has not received one dime in unemployment.“You got cars down, no food, landlord trying to work me,” he said. “It’s been a long haul for me and an overall stressful moment.”Johnson is also engaged to be married, which has been halted due to the pandemic and his current financial situation. His appointment with an unemployment specialist is on the very first day in-person services are allowed, and he plans to be there bright and early.“I feel like this is going to put me at ease,” he said. “I pray for me and all of us that we’re able to get this resolved because it’s been a long time.”Many Kentuckians were not as lucky as Riley and Johnson to get a spot in the first round of appointments, but all hope is not gone. On April 19, claimants can schedule in-person appointments for May 3 and every day after.A photo ID is required to enter the Kentucky Career Center facilities and masks must be worn at all times while inside.

Kentuckians have faced ongoing issues with the state’s unemployment system since the start of the pandemic and Wednesday’s opportunity to schedule an in-person appointment to resolve those problems brought new hope.

In just one day, all of the spots at Kentucky’s 13 unemployment insurance centers were reserved and two lucky Louisvillians were in the number. Renae Riley was one of the first people to snag an appointment for the downtown Louisville office, which reopens on April 15.

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“It was actually better than trying to get the telephone appointment because those go really fast and you never can get them,” said Riley.

Receiving unemployment assistance over the phone has been the only option for claimants since regional sites stopped in-person services in 2017 under the previous administration. Riley is one of the thousands of Kentuckians who desperately need help with their jobless claims to get their weekly benefits. She was laid off from her county government job when the pandemic hit and the journey to receiving unemployment has been far from easy.

“It’s never continuous, it’s always something,” she said. “The system kicks you out, there’s new criteria, and we’re always looking for guidance.”

Related: Kentucky unemployment system shutting down for several days to offset ‘massive’ fraud

Louisville native Kortney Johnson is also hoping his scheduled appointment will bring a resolution. He lost several jobs during the pandemic, including his position at the Ford plant due to the company’s part shortage.

Even with both phone and email correspondence, he says he has not received one dime in unemployment.

“You got cars down, no food, landlord trying to work me,” he said. “It’s been a long haul for me and an overall stressful moment.”

Johnson is also engaged to be married, which has been halted due to the pandemic and his current financial situation. His appointment with an unemployment specialist is on the very first day in-person services are allowed, and he plans to be there bright and early.

“I feel like this is going to put me at ease,” he said. “I pray for me and all of us that we’re able to get this resolved because it’s been a long time.”

Many Kentuckians were not as lucky as Riley and Johnson to get a spot in the first round of appointments, but all hope is not gone. On April 19, claimants can schedule in-person appointments for May 3 and every day after.

A photo ID is required to enter the Kentucky Career Center facilities and masks must be worn at all times while inside.

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