FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – While frustrations remain, the state is making progress on unemployment claims and still is reviewing whether to extend a contract with the accounting firm Ernst and Young and continue to assist the state.
During the daily briefing Thursday, Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Andy Beshear, updated Kentuckians on virtual appointment scheduling, federal Continued Assistance Act implementation and the number of Kentuckians who have now received unemployment insurance (UI) payments.
“The virtual appointment schedule is an 18-calendar day rolling schedule,” Cubbage said. “For instance, day 1 is today, Jan. 14. Day 18 is Jan. 31. Appointments for Feb. 1 should be on the website tomorrow for claimants to schedule. Appointment hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily. There are currently 16 staff working 125 appointments a day.”
The system allows claimants to schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments as well as add the appointment information to their calendars.
If a claimant forgets their appointment information, they can go to the website, enter their email address and the system will resend the appointment information.
The system is also set to send reminders to claimants with appointments the day before their scheduled appointment.
“The programming for the federal Continuing Assistance Act is largely finished. Additional $300 per week payments should start going out next week,” Cubbage said. “Additional PUA/PEUC weeks should be ready to claim without opening a new claim, even if you had exhausted your full number of weeks previously.”
Cubbage added, “We are changing the way we report numbers to give a more accurate context for the work done by the Office of Unemployment Insurance since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The total numbers from the beginning of the pandemic to the end of November are as follows:
- Total Claims: 1,539,784
- Total Claims Paid/Payable: 547,836
- Total Claims Denied: 27,552
- Total Pending with Fraud/Identity Issues: 90,144
- Total Pending with No Fraud/Identity Issues: 23,236
- Total Amount Paid: $5,450,709,280
Meanwhile, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 4,084
New deaths today: 51
Positivity rate: 12.34%
Total deaths: 3,042
Currently hospitalized: 1,661
Currently in ICU: 409
Currently on ventilator: 196
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Kenton, Boone, Oldham and Fayette. Each of these counties reported 170 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 642.
The list of those lost to the virus, included a number of residents in the region. A health care worker in Clay County was among them. To see a list of those reported lost to the virus, click here.
Thew state also has lost a health care pioneer in the state, Beshear said in a memorial
“Today we share the loss of Lewis Bass, known to many in Louisville and throughout Kentucky as Sonny. He was 99 years old. He was a beloved community leader who was always ready to jump in and help others. His granddaughter Anna said his true loves were his family, the University of Louisville and giving back to his community.
“Sonny was born in the West End of Louisville and dedicated his life to helping the entire city succeed. He was a three-year football letterman and a two-year letterman in basketball at the University of Louisville, before serving his country during World War II. When he returned to Louisville, Sonny took the first step in his many business ventures, which included co-founding what is now known as Humana. Sonny was a gifted tennis player and played competitively into his golden years.
“But his greatest achievement was meeting Gladys, his wife of 74 years, and beginning the family he loved so much. Gladys, Sonny and many other family members were infected with COVID, but unfortunately, it hit Sonny the hardest. Despite the efforts of those at Baptist East Hospital he passed away on Dec. 11. Gladys is recovering, and thankfully her family was able to locate caregivers to help with her recovery despite the challenges of the virus.
“Sonny was special. Not only did he accomplish so much professionally and within the community, he also made everyone who came in contact with him smile. He lived by the motto, ‘It only takes a minute to give a little joy and see a smile.’ Anyone who knew Sonny can’t help but smile when they think of him – he was an all-around great man.
“Today we lift Gladys and their entire family in prayer. This is a huge loss for them, and the entire community of Louisville. Today we mask up for Sonny,” Beshear concluded.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.