Rep. Cordes offers help for unemployed

LINCOLN — At least one state representative is reaching out to her constituents and offering help in navigating the currently difficult process of filing for unemployment insurance.
Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln, this week sent out a message to people in her Vermont House district — which encompasses Lincoln, Starksboro, Monkton and Bristol — recognizing the fact that many of them are still struggling with the Vermont Department of Labor unemployment application process. The system was overwhelmed with tens of thousands of Vermonters filed claims when they lost their jobs due to social distancing measures imposed to fight the coronavirus.
She noted that many are new to the system of claiming unemployment benefits because they are self employed, independent contractors, or for other reasons would not normally file using the usual unemployment system.
“I have been quite concerned and have been communicating everything you send to me through the channels we have as legislators,” Cordes wrote in the message to her constituents. “I and my colleagues are still raising the pitch of our alarm to the state administration about the unacceptable backlog and still ineffective application and call management process. Some delay is completely understandable because of the huge amount of applicants and the need to create an entirely new system for non-traditional unemployment claim processing, but at this point the backlog and delays are truly unacceptable.”
Cordes said her legislative leadership has asked state reps to collect information from constituents, to give directly to Department of Labor leaders to address.
“If you are impacted by this problem,” she wrote, “please email me at [email protected] asap with the following information:
1. First Name
2. Last Name
3. Phone number
4. Last 4 of SSN
5. Email address
6. Have you received a UI/PUA or stimulus check yet?
7. When did you apply for UI?
8. What issue are you experiencing:
a. If regular unemployment insurance (UI):
– Haven’t received a benefit yet
– Didn’t receive the $1,200 check
– Need PIN reset
– SSN error
– Eligibility
b. If Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA)
– Can’t access the system to finish the application
– Made an error, need to update application
– Haven’t received a benefit yet
– SSN error
Cordes said it would be preferable for people to reach out to their own legislators, but she was willing to try to help anyone who needs it regardless of where they reside.

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