Kansas is on track to pay out an extra $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit as part of a coronavirus rescue aid package, a top Department of Labor official says.
Ryan Wright, who stepped down as acting secretary of the agency in December but remains a top staffer, said “we are talking days and weeks, not months”.
The KDOL came under fire after a historic surge in unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic taxed the state’s aging system, leading to widespread crashes and outages.
In July, there was a backlog of over 25,000 claimants awaiting benefits.
The backlog of regular unemployment claims is now down to 188 applicants.
A separate backlog of claimants in a different program targeted at those who are self-employed or freelancers has been halved in the last six months.
The issue is that large parts of the system haven’t been upgraded since the 1970s, and a refresh in the 2000s is now out of date.