‘We are available’: State representative responds to unemployment woes – 13WMAZ.com

Many people have written in to 13WMAZ over the past few months detailing problems they’ve encountered with GDOL. One state rep says he sees the frustration.

MACON, Ga. — The unemployment rate in Georgia is 5.6%. That’s almost double the usual rate, but 1% less than the national average.

Many Georgians are writing state representatives and they say they’re going their part to try to help any and all constituents. 

Ken McBrearty lives in Montezuma and says he hasn’t gotten his unemployment payments from the state for the last eight months.

He says he’s reached out to senators, and state representatives to try to get help.

“I keep filing every single week and I still have not received anything since June 1,” he said.

For McBrearty, he’s had to put his full-time job of selling kitchen gadgets on hold as fairs and shows continue to get cancelled. He says his only option is to ask for help.

“Main thing is, why start something if you’re not gonna continue with it? They started it and nothing has changed. I’ve filed every week since then and I know my time is expired. I think they gave me 39 weeks,” he said.

State representative Dale Washburn says he’s heard from dozens of Central Georgians about some of the problems they’re having.

“There’s been a lot of frustration and a lot of delays in receiving benefits,”  Washburn said. “To be fair with the Department of Labor, they’re just overwhelmed with so many requests and of course it’s frustrating for the people who need the help and need to get the benefits, but it is difficult.”

Washburn says reaching out to state representatives may not be a quick fix, but it does let people know that their voices are heard.

“We are available to them, and we do receive requests and we try to help and we try to act on those requests. And of course we are not processing the claims ourselves, we are not experts in that field,” he said.

Washburn adds that there is a staffer with the House of Representatives who is taking individual claims to the department of labor to try to get personalized help.