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'I'm at a dead end every single time': Unemployed Kentuckians still looking for help

Labor Department says it saw an increase of 3 million unemployment claims last week
Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 24, 2020

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Living in different cities and leading different lifestyles, thousands of Kentuckians still share the same challenge right now - trying to get unemployment benefits.

"I haven't received any payments, and here it is December. Christmas is tomorrow and I ain't even received one payment," said Nicholasville resident Catrice Owens.

Owens filed for unemployment in August after she had to leave work to take care of her three sons when schools closed. She was approved for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but she hasn't received any help or answers outside of getting that information.

"I mean, I continue to claim my weeks every time it's time to claim them, but there's nothing," said Owens. "I'm at a dead end every single time."

She says she's not going to give up, but money is tight, and if it weren't for the fact that her family was picked for Shop with a Cop, her kids wouldn't have a Christmas this year.

Meanwhile, Louisville resident Austin Bouchard says he's trying to focus on positive things, like spending time with his children.

Bouchard, a barber, has been out of work since March, not wanting to risk his family's safety. He says checks were coming in at first but then stopped. He tried to resubmit in May, but it wasn't accepted.

"And now I get like a random call at 7:30 at night sometimes that says I'm still on the list waiting for a reply to talk to somebody about the issue," he said.

Bouchard says his wife's job helps keep them afloat, but with a newborn, he's eager to get his back pay and payments moving forward.

Owens, Bouchard, and others are hoping for some good news in the new year with so many unresolved claims.