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Governor Beshear Makes Changes to Unemployment to Help with Coronavirus Job Loss



Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is making changes to unemployment to help with job loss from the coronavirus.

Along with his announcement Monday that he was closing all restaurants and bars in the state to dine-in traffic, Beshear also talked about putting into effect new changes to unemployment to help with the financial impact of job loss that the coronavirus restrictions would have.

"I want you to know that I realize the impact that it's going to have, but we have to take the steps to make sure that we are protecting our people. And this is a necessary one." Beshear said.

As part of the change, Beshear said he will waive the waiting period for unemployment for workers that are losing their jobs because of the coronavirus. Beshear will also waive any work search requirements while the state of emergency is in effect.

"We know that the steps we're taking are going to cause people to lose their job, we want you to be able to qualify for unemployment and we don't want to create impediments that keep you from being able to get through this." Beshear said.

You can file an unemployment claim at There is a schedule on the state COVID-19 update website directing individuals when to sign up for unemployment insurance in order of their last name. 

To file a claim, you will need:

  • Your social security number
  • Your complete mailing address
  • Name, address, and phone number for each of your employers over the last 18 months.
  • The exact day you began work at each job.
  • The last day you worked at each job.

On Thursday, Beshear urged Kentuckians to continue applying for Medicaid and Unemployment benefits, and said anyone who has lost benefits because they are now unemployed may immmediately apply for Medicaid.

“I want everybody to be able to get the health care that they need,” he added. 

“We have more Unemployment Claims than we've ever seen,” Beshear said. “It's gonna sound strange, keep them coming, keep them coming. We want to help each and every one of you.” 

To sign up for Medicaid go to or call 855-459-6328. For other benefits visit or call 855-306-8959. Beshear warned wait times for Medicaid or Unemployment phone calls will likely be longer than they should be and wants to encourage patience in the public. 

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