Hundreds of "Tier 1" unemployment insurance workers were let go in May, here's why

Hundreds of "Tier 1" unemployment insurance workers were let go in May, here's why

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — In an effort to process an unprecedented number of unemployment claims due to the pandemic, the State contracted out hundreds of workers to help answer the phone lines at the UI call center in April. Five-hundred people were contracted to answer the phones as "Tier 1" workers, but at the end of May, the contracted employees were all let go. Currently, the State has no tier 1 workers on staff. In a statement, the State said, "As Kentucky transitions to Healthy at Work, our more experienced workers are needed for adjudication and processing complex claims. Tier 1 workers were not handling complex claims. When the contract ended, it was not renewed." LEX 18 spoke to one of those contacted workers who said he wished the State had taken the time to train him and his fellow workers so they could process complex claims. However, he said they did not get the chance. "It's easy I think to say that the state did make a mistake, but I think that it's also fair to entertain the notion that nobody knows what they're doing right now," the former worker who wants to remain anonymous, said. "It's all trial and error. It's all hit and miss and that was the experience that we had while we were also working." While he was working for the State, he said he did feel like he was helping. He answered general questions like how much money they would be getting or whether ...
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