Hundreds of Kentuckians wait in line to get help with unemployment claims


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Many unemployed Kentuckians stood in line for hours in Frankfort trying to get their unemployment claims resolved.

The office at the Cabinet of Health and Family services is open to in-person appointments Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm.

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It saw hundreds of kentuckians Thursday.

People spent most of the day waiting in line only to be inside the building for less than ten minutes.

People walking out called the process easy but getting to this point, was anything but.

More than 850,000 Kentuckians have filed for unemployment since the pandemic hit in March. Those numbers are these peoples lives.

“It’s just a bummer. We’re unable to pay our bills. We’re unable to support our families. I have two little girls with birthdays coming up and it’s hard to tell them I might not be able to get them presents,” says David Blaine. He filed for unemployment in March.

“I mean there are people who are losing their cars. I’ve talked to people that haven’t made electric payments, house payments, some people are getting ready to lose everything,” says John Goodman. His wife filed in March.

“It’s pretty rough when you’re waiting on some money and you file and it doesn’t go through,” says Katie English. She celebrated once walking out the doors with her claim resolved.

We’re told people who drove hours to be here Wednesday and were turned away before getting help, camped out in line overnight to be among the first to be seen when the office opened.

Porta potties and water tables were set out for those waiting.

“I brought a chair. I brought some water. I brought a video game if I got bored, but everyone in line has been great, super friendly and super cordial and kind and ya know, trying to be respectful. It’s a tense situation and people are just trying to get their money,” says Blaine.

There was a line for claims filed in March and a separate, longer line for people who filed in April, May and June.

John Goodman and his wife were in the March line and still waited more than six hours.

Goodman says he doesn’t understand why this is the state’s only unemployment office opened to the public.

“If everybody is back to work, you can go to your dentist, now the doctor, the hairstylist, why aren’t the people in the unemployment office back in their offices working? Why are they still working from home?” asks Goodman.

The frustration and fatigue visible on the faces of many who are out of work, out of money, and out of patience with the state.

“I haven’t been able to pay my power bill, or my water bill, any kind of bill really,” says Blaine.

But, in a line where you don’t see many smiles there applause for those walking out the doors, jobless claims resolved.

“Yay y’all, it worked!” cheered English.

For some it was a day of celebrating, but for others it’s going to be another day or maybe longer before they get help with their unemployment claims.

The governor says he hopes to have people back working in field offices in two weeks to help with claims.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at