One-time $1,000 payments set for unemployed Kentucky workers

Unemployment claims in Kentucky at 5:30 p.m.
Unemployment claims in Kentucky at 5:30 p.m.
Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 11:46 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many Kentuckians are still struggling because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most suffering from financial hardship.

“Every day, you’re looking at the bank account, looking for that deposit. It sucks to live like that,” Janice Ardt told WAVE 3 News.

She said she and her family didn’t have a choice but to live like that for months, all while trying to feed multiple mouths. The pandemic pushed Ardt and her husband, Michael, out of their jobs.

She said unemployment was a difficult time for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was obvious: lack of money. Their state unemployment checks were late or never arrived, and the couple often didn’t know where their next source of income would come from.

“By the time you do get one [check], you’re already in need of another, it seems,” Michael Ardt said. “We just got really tired. We had to find to get something regardless if we were scared to get COVID or not.”

Fortunately, they said no one in their family has been infected so far.

Many families like the Ardts need assistance, which is why Gov. Andy Beshear allocated $48 million in federal aid for unemployed workers, an announcement he made on Friday.

Beshear plans to send direct payments of $1,000 to 24,000 Kentuckians. The recipients are those who filed a state unemployment claim between March 4 and Oct. 31, 2020, but have yet to get these claims resolved.

People who missed out on supplemental jobless benefits will also receive checks.

“People that we know are real, honest to goodness living claimants, we are going to get that $1,000 to,” Amy Cubbage, the general counsel for Beshear, said.

It’s unclear when the checks will go out, but the Ardts know from experience that any little bit helps.

“I hate to see families suffering and can’t feed their kids, or they’re going to lose their house,” Janice Ardt said. “It’s hard. It’s great they’re doing that, really.”

The Ardts said they both found new jobs they will start this month.

Beshear estimated that there are still about 30,000 unprocessed state unemployment claims.

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