Unemployment offices reopening for in-person visits

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 11:56 PM EDT
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Unemployed workers who need help with their benefits can seek help in person beginning June 30th.

We’ve heard from people throughout the pandemic who say they have struggled to receive any sort of help from the state unemployment offices throughout the pandemic.

Denise Stephens of Washtenaw County says she’s feeling hopeful now that she might actually receive some of her benefits.

“I was really excited because I’ve been steadily calling since September. And I would have a little luck to where they would unlock it, and I could do a few certifications, but then I’d be locked out again.”

Stephens says she’s been trying to apply for unemployment through the States website for about 9 months but keeps getting the runaround.

Even though she’s happy to hear that the unemployment offices will be offering 15 minute in-person appointments next week she doesn’t think she’ll be able to make it to an appointment.

“I mean I would like to think so, but unfortunately I don’t drive I don’t have access to transportation to get to any of those locations that they listed,” said Stephens.

Back in March ABC 12 spoke with Carolyn Wallace-Smith from Mt. Morris where she was brought to tears out of frustration trying to receive desperately needed unemployment benefits.

“I just want to be a light in a dark place right now.. And that’s where I am.. It’s just bad,” Wallace-Smith said back in March.

On Wednesday Wallace-Smith says after 6 months she did finally receive help and was able to return to running her cleaning business – but she still thinks the state has a lot of work to do.

“The system in the United States is truly broken, it’s broken,” she said.

The unemployment agency says they are reopening 12 offices throughout the state beginning June 30th and is ready to help up to 900 people a day.

To find out how you can schedule an appointment and to find a location closest to you click on this article, HERE.

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