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KDOL Catching Up on Unemployment Claims

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The issue is that large parts of the system haven’t been upgraded since the 1970s, and a refresh in the 2000s is now out of date.


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