Governor talks student financial aid, Recovery Month, jobless extension OK’ed

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky students should do all they can to take advantage of student financial aid, Gov. Andy Beshear advised Tuesday.

During his daily briefing, when not talking about the coronavirus or situation in Louisville, Beshear also touched on National Addiction Recovery Month and the state being approved for three more weeks of federal unemployment assistance of an extra $400 a week for those who qualify.

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“We want Kentucky students to be preparing for their futures now whether that’s college or advanced training so when we emerge from this pandemic, they’ll be ready to take advantage of the opportunities awaiting them,” said Beshear. “And we want every Kentucky student to access the federal and state assistance available to the greatest extent possible.”

The Governor also encouraged, “If you are in school and experiencing financial difficulty, contact your schools financial aid office. They can help reassess your financial need, which could result in your aid being increased.”

Students can contact the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) at KHEAA.com or 800-928-8926 for questions about student financial assistance and how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA for the 2021-22 school year will become available here on Oct. 1, 2020.

KHEAA administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs. In fiscal year 2020, thanks to proceeds from the Kentucky Lottery, more than $272 million in state scholarships and grants were awarded to Kentucky college students.

Students can also turn to KHEAA’s sister agency, The Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), Kentucky’s only source for state-based, fixed interest rate, competitive private education loans.

Loans administered by KHESLC help Kentucky students afford college when an unmet need still exists after all scholarships and grants have been exhausted.

KHESLC has also assisted thousands of borrowers with financial hardships during the COVID-19 by offering forbearances, which allow loans to be put on hold for specific amounts of time.

For more information on KHESLC and the resources offered to help education borrowers, visit KHESLC.com.

Beshear also recognized National Recovery Month, which is held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

“You meet some of the hard-working folks helping others through recovery, many of whom have gone through this themselves, dedicating their lives to help other people,” said Beshear. “You see a little bit of God’s grace right there.”

The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reports that roughly 22 million people in the United States are in recovery as of today.

The Kentucky Chamber started the Opioid Response Program for Business, which launched in June 2019, in response to Kentucky employers struggling to navigate the issue of workforce participation and overdose deaths.

One special story: Rob Perez owns DV8 Kitchen in Lexington where all of his employees are in recovery, said Beshear. He shared his business has seen huge successes including a turnover rate that is one-third better than the national average and a longer tenure of employees. And, DV8 was named the 40th best restaurant in America.

And as of Tuesday, Beshear announced Kentucky has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an additional three weeks of LWA payments. Eligible Kentuckians will receive $400 for the weeks of Aug. 22, Aug. 29, and Sept. 5 for each week a claimant meets the criteria.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Individuals who qualify for a weekly benefit of at least $100 per week in unemployment compensation for each week covered by FEMAs LWA
  • Individuals who have self-certified that their employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Payments will be automatically processed for claimants who meet the weekly benefit criteria and have already provided a self-certification. Claimants meeting the weekly benefit requirement who have not yet self-certified will be given an opportunity to provide the required self-certification, and those claimants will receive the benefit so long as FEMA funding remains.