Gov. Kelly issues executive order to ease access to unemployment benefits

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Kansans needing to file unemployment benefits due to loss of income related to COVID-19 are being encouraged to do so online to alleviate the high volume to its call center.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Tuesday that the Kansas Department of Labor is receiving over 230,000 calls everyday.

“We went from an average of 1,800 unemployment claims per week at the beginning of March to over 60,000 as of Sunday,” she said.

As a result, Kelly says the state has doubled its capacity at the call centers. Employees are working extended hours and additional phone lines are being added while employees from other agencies are being moved to help with the effort.

To alleviate any hurdles to getting those benefits, Kelly announced an executive order to allow residents to draw down new federal resources for unemployment insurance programs. She says the federal stimulus package passed by Congress last week will make more Kansans eligible for those benefits, including gig workers and small business owners.

“Additionally, all Kansans eligible for unemployment will receive $600 more in benefits per week, more than doubling the total amount of benefits a Kansan would’ve received under state law alone,” she said.

The website to file for unemployment benefits is GetKansasBenefits.gov.

Read the full executive order below:

EO-20-17-Executed
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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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