Unemployed Kentucky Residents Not Eligible for Stimulus Money

Staff Writer, April 16, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor told the governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, that he could not use his executive powers to extend federal benefits to unemployed residents who recently lost their jobs. This week, many exhausted their state and federal unemployment aid. The federal government has offered a 13-week extension of the benefits with a stimulus plan. However, because Kentucky failed to change several crucial laws, residents of the state are not eligible.

Beshear had been confident that the state’s uninsured unemployment rate would reach 5 percent, which would have been high enough to automatically trigger a response from the federal government, but he was disappointed when the numbers did not dip this low. The rate is currently set at 4.91 percent.

Currently, if a Kentuckian loses a job, then he or she is eligible for unemployment benefits for only 59 weeks. Twenty-six are paid for by the state’s government and 33 are paid for by the federal government.

Beshear has said that he will continue to work with the federal government to get an extension that the residents of Kentucky so desperately need.