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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says his office is continuing to address an historic amount of unemployment claims.

"Every day, we're getting thousands of additional claims," Beshear said.  "That's required us to rebuild a system, reform a workforce, and build up a workforce."

One of those claims is from Melinda Traynor, a field service representative who hasn't worked since March 16, and hasn't received unemployment.

"My bills are months behind," she said. "I'm afraid my car is going to get re-poed. I'm just so scared that that they're going to turn everything off and I've already used all my savings account...I actually cashed in 401K borrowed money from family members that I desperately need to pay back. I don't know what else to do."

It's an all-too-familiar situation for James Dixon, a boxing trainer and gym manager who hasn't worked since March 16.

"I've called literally every single day," Dixon said. "I have the phone records to prove it. I have a file date right here. My claim was filed...it's been filed and I haven't received a penny. I haven't received the phone call. I haven't received nothing -- nothing."

According to Beshear, more than 600,000 Kentuckians have filed unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown started.

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The governor says about 89 percent of those claims have been processed.

"The other 11 percent, we ran into issues with federal law," said Gov. Beshear.  "We're systematically going through those claims, especially the oldest claims, those that are still out there from March, claims that have to go through adjudication, which is what federal law requires."

Adjudication is the process for settling a dispute between an employer and employee.

"I don't want to be provocative and just blame the state: 'Oh, they're terrible.' I get it," said Chris Davis, an unemployed independent contractor. "But on the other side of the coin, Governor Beshear, you know, any of the people in the state representatives whose paychecks haven't stopped, try to live like us. Try to try to understand, you know, try to understand what it's like to know that 80 percent of your income has gone -- Gone! -- for the year."

Kentucky recently hired 1,000 more unemployment workers to help clear the backlog of claims.

However, Gov. Beshear says his office is still dealing with some issues.

"I had an unemployment office that I inherited that was starved -- absolutely starved -- not enough people to carry out unemployment for when the economy was very good," said Gov. Beshear.  "I think it improves every day.  It's just not improving fast enough."

Gov. Beshear is urging anyone still waiting on an unemployment check since March, to check their e-mail accounts.

"There have been a number of times, where because it's (e-mail) coming from the government, it will go into people's junk files," said Gov. Beshear. "The second (tip) is to make sure you have important documentation, like your driver's license on you, because when you get the call, we want to make sure we get it processed as quickly as possible."

It's help that couldn't come soon enough for Brittany Beckham, a distillery tour guide who hasn't worked since March 14.

"I -- I don't know when the net check is coming or if the next check will come," she said.

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