unemployment issues sign kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Indiana on Monday will begin paying the additional $300 per week unemployment benefit Congress authorized as part of last month’s $900 billion stimulus bill to many, but not all, Hoosiers on jobless benefits, a state spokesman said.

Kentucky, on the other hand, is still unable to estimate when its residents will start seeing the additional money.

“We are doing our best to get this out as quickly as possible, but as accurately as possible,” said Amy Cubbage, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s general counsel, at Beshear’s briefing Friday.

The Beshear administration still has “80-plus pages of single-spaced documents (from the federal government) to go through” to figure out how to implement the new stimulus benefits, and Kentucky’s antiquated computer system for jobless benefits needs to be re-coded to enable the payments, she said.

“… The $300 (weekly supplement to all benefits) should be fairly easy to code. Once we make sure we’re good to go, it’ll be one of the first things pushed out. But it will take some time,” Cubbage said.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development spokesman Scott Olson said the $300 boost arrives next week for Hoosiers claiming benefits from the traditional, or “regular,” program.

Hoosiers on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance -- the program Congress created in March to help people like contractors, gig workers and those who have no childcare – will have wait longer, he said.

“We are still awaiting guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor” as to the PUA program, he said.

Indiana created a website to answer Hoosiers’ questions about getting benefits under the new stimulus program, which is officially called the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

The stimulus not only adds $300 to all weekly benefits through March, but extends two other unemployment programs and creates another.

Asked what Kentuckians need to do to qualify for the new benefits, Cubbage said the state would soon put details on its website. She didn’t say exactly when.

In general, people who have not exhausted their benefits will not have to take any action to receive benefits under the stimulus programs, she said.

“If you had gotten to a zero balance, you will likely have to go in and file your new claim,” she said. “But again, we’ll put that information on the Career Center website.”

To access that website, click here. To schedule an appointment, click here

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.