New policy in place to file unemployment claims

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020

If you’ve lost your job due to ongoing issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic, the state – and the Kentucky Career Center JobSight network of career centers throughout Eastern Kentucky – are working to ensure your claim for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits will be quickly processed and eligible funds made available.

Applications for unemployment must be initiated by contacting local workforce professionals across the region by phone, as all in-person services at local Kentucky Career Center JobSight locations have been suspended until further notice upon state order. Regular career and employment services remain available, and if you live within the 23-county Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) workforce area, you can apply via telephone through the Kentucky Career Center JobSight’s Community Action partners.

For assistance with unemployment or to enroll for career and employment services during normal business hours, you may contact one of the following partners based upon your county of residence:

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• Bell-Whitley CAA (Bell County): 606-337-3044

• Big Sandy Area CAP (Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties): 606-789-2857

• Daniel Boone CAA (Clay and Jackson counties): 606-598-5127

• Gateway CA (Menifee and Morgan counties): 606-743-3133

• Harlan CAA (Harlan County): 606-573-5335, extensions 237, 236, 241, or 233

• KCEOC CAP (Knox County): 606-546-2639

• LKLP CAC (Knott, Leslie, Letcher, and Perry counties): 606-436-3161

• Middle Kentucky CAP (Breathitt, Lee, Owsley, and Wolfe counties): 606-666-2369

• Northeast Kentucky CAP (Carter, Elliott, and Lawrence counties): 606-638-4949

If you live within the EKCEP workforce area (counties listed above), you may also apply for unemployment benefits by calling, toll free, 1-888-503-1423.

Employers within the EKCEP service area requiring Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services or assistance directly relating to issues with the COVID-19 pandemic can also contact staff members at the above agencies.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear this week waived the waiting period for unemployment benefits for eligible Kentuckians who lost their jobs due to issues arising from COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus. Additionally, the state’s new policy on COVID-19-related unemployment benefits includes the following points:

• Payments are authorized for 14 days upon approval, without the standard seven-day waiting period.

• A claimant may request benefits every two weeks. This process may continue for a maximum of 26 total weeks or until the claimant obtains employment or returns to work.

• The weekly benefit amount is based on the worker's past wages.

• The maximum weekly benefit amount is $552.

• Workers approved for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 will also not be subject to a job search requirement during the course of their benefits.

In order to file a claim for unemployment benefits, please be prepared to present your Social Security or alien registration number, date of birth, mailing address, and telephone number. You will also need to provide certain employer information, including:

• Business/company name.

• Business/company mailing address.

• Business/company phone number.

• Dates of employment.

• Reason you are no longer working for EACH employer.

Other information you may need on your application includes:

• If you worked in other states: List of states in which you worked.

• If you worked for a temporary agency: Name/address of temporary agency.

• If you worked for the federal government: Agency name; component name; copy of your standard form (SF8, SF50).

• If you were in the U.S. Military: Copy of your DD214 Member 4.

• If you worked through a skilled trade union: Name of contractor.

“My obligation is to keep people safe during this time. I realize many of the steps I am taking to protect Kentuckians during this COVID-19 emergency are affecting employers and workers financially. Temporarily waiving some of the UI benefit rules during this time is one step I can do to help protect Kentuckians financially. I know this is a difficult time but we are going to get through this by working together to help each other,” said Beshear.

EKCEP, a nonprofit workforce development agency headquartered in Hazard, Ky., serves the citizens of 23 Appalachian coalfield counties. The agency provides an array of workforce development services, administers the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) program for dislocated coal miners and their spouses, and is the White House-designated lead organization for the federal TechHire designation for Eastern Kentucky. Learn more about us at, and