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'Oh, I am grateful!' Kentucky opens new unemployment offices

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Posted at 2:54 PM, Apr 15, 2021

MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Given the despair we’ve seen on peoples’ faces, heard in their voices and read in the emails they sent to LEX 18, it was refreshing to hear quite the opposite tone coming from those who were leaving the newly-opened unemployment office in Rowan County on Thursday.

“Oh, I am grateful! Really grateful,” said Denita Warren, who had been waiting for several months to have her claim resolved.

Mrs. Warren said there were come clerical issues with her claim, and for some reason, those couldn’t be resolved over an automated phone system that has given fits to thousands across the state. While Warren’s husband had his claim settled months ago (he too lost his job due to COVID-19), she has been waiting months for todays’ resolution.

“…We’ve been doing OK, but this is going to help even more,” said Warren, who was told to expect a round of unemployment insurance payments early next week.

Diana Royse had a similar experience with the in-person meeting this morning.

“I am very relieved and grateful. They were wonderful in there,” she said of the personnel inside this Morehead office.

No one there was allowed to speak on camera with LEX 18, but a staff member did say things were moving along quite well on this first day. The office will have by-appointment-only hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday.

Those hours will help avoid the problems that brought so many to this office today after months of trying to handle the situation over a phone line, or in front of a computer screen.

“Every time I called, every time I tried to get online it sent me somewhere else,” said Anita Back while waiting for her 11:45 a.m. appointment. “It’s been awful,” she added.

So far, it’s been the opposite of awful for those who got to go meet with someone face-to-face today.