Lt. Jacqueline Coleman speaks about the backlog news during visit to West Kentucky

PADUCAH – It’s been a year since Wanda Reeps filed for unemployment in Kentucky. In September, she talked about the thousands of dollars in reimbursement the state owed her.

“Do your job. Do your job. You know when you can’t do your job, step aside.” she told WPSD.

Reep is back at work now but has not yet received any reimbursement.

“I keep going online, going through the applications, putting in my social security, PIN and all that and then they say the queue is full,” Reep said.

She has seen this for months, which is why the Kentucky Council Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, keep calling, Reep doesn’t mean much.

“I would just keep making those phone calls and email the people you connect with at UI (the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance) and they’ll get back to work as soon as possible,” Coleman said during a visit in West Kentucky Monday.

Coleman is under fire according to a report from WDRB, a local Louisville news station, announced that Coleman had contacted Muncie McNamara – the executive director of the UI state office – asking him to help certain people with their unemployment claims, including Coleman’s hairdresser and someone she said was ” a friend of a friend “. “”

The station reports that Coleman sent text messages to McNamara asking him to help certain people in at least four cases.

Governor Andy Beshear defended Coleman during a press conference Monday morning.

“There are people who are struggling to get unemployed and their information has been made available and they can pass it on to the office. And that is what other officials have asked for, and that is a line that we have tried to allow. “Said Beshear.

Reep says she will get the money she owes. “I know the money is there,” she said.

Coleman himself did not respond publicly to the allegations. But Coleman spokesman JT Henderson sent Local 6 the following explanation of the allegations:

“Many Kentuckians have been economically affected by this once-in-a-century pandemic. Because of these unprecedented times, Kentuckians have gone to various ways to obtain help with their unemployment insurance claims. The administration, including the lieutenant governor, receives daily calls, emails and letters From the public, local officials, and even the media requesting a review of certain UI claims. A claim resolution process then passes those requests to the UI team. These claims sometimes involve people known to the recipient Like all Kentuckians, they are injured and in need of help. To date there have been over 1.9 million unemployment insurance claims and over $ 5.9 billion in UI payments. No one in the state government will be satisfied until they receive the benefits. for which he is entitled. “”

The Kentucky Republican Party also responded to the allegation. “Shows once again that the government of Governor Andy Beshear every step of the way puts politics first and everyday Kentuckians last,” said party spokesman Mike Lonergan.

Eleven Kentucky Career Center locations are scheduled to open in April, including the Paducah office.

Coleman said Beshear asked state lawmakers to allocate about $ 50 million to update the state’s outdated unemployment system.

“He put the money in the budget and we have to hope lawmakers keep it there,” Coleman said.

Coleman was in West Kentucky visiting COVID-19 vaccination sites. The lieutenant governor visited locations in Paducah and Graves Counties where she thanked the health care workers who administered the shots. At the Strawberry Hills Pharmacy in Paducah, Mayor George Bray and Craig Clymer, judges in McCracken County joined them.

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