This has been an ongoing issue for my husband and myself since having to file for unemployment. In December 2020 after being unemployed for more than a month I tried several times to contact the KDOL using their phone number and Amelia the online assistant. Every time I call the customer service numbers the que is full and the call is disconnected. When I tried using Amelia, I was advised that I needed to contact customer service. It was a never-ending circle that always ended in frustration and tears.
Initially I wanted to speak with someone to see what effect cashing out my 401K would have on my unemployment status. Eventually I had no choice but to cash out 401k so we could eat and pay the utility bills. Throughout all of this I continued to file my weekly unemployment claims in hopes that it would all get worked out and we would get back pay.
On the week that I cashed my 401K, I tried contacting KDOL again to find out if and how I needed to show that money on my unemployment for that week. I had the same results; I could not reach anyone and could not find any answers online. I proceeded to file my weekly claim and marked that I had received a pension to account for the 401K money. The first week of January I received a letter from KDOL it was a Pension Statement I was confused on how to fill it out because the questions did not pertain to my situation. I again tried numerous times to contact KDOL to get help regarding the form. Unfortunately, with the holidays and mail delays I did not receive the letter until January 5th, the day after it needed to be completed and turned in.
I have call logs of the many times I tried to call, but I was never able to reach anyone at KDOL until I received my notice that my unemployment had been denied for a different issue. I filed an appeal for that issue and during the hearing I was informed about the pension paperwork issue. Because I had not received the notification for that denial the appeal hearing for the pension issue was rescheduled for May 5th so they could resend the paperwork.
I attended the May 5th phone hearing advising appeals referee Todd Richardson that I had made many attempts to contact the KDOL regarding the paperwork and had not turn it in because I was unable to get assistance and I did not want to provide false or incorrect information by not filling it out correctly. He advised that I should have just turned it in anyways.
The end of May I received the decision notification that my appeal was denied, and I would be ineligible for benefits. I decided to appeal that decision, I provided cell phone records, emails and text message to show that I had gone above and beyond to try to contact KDOL. Since I do not have access to a fax machine or money to pay to have it faxed, I mailed my request to appeal on June 1st to the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review as listed on the decision notification.
I had not received any notification regarding my appeal or additional hearings, so I contacted the KDOL appeals department last week. At that time, I was notified that they did not receive my appeal request. I was advised that I would need to resubmit the appeal and provide a good reason that it was outside of the 16 days to appeal.
I am so disheartened and beaten down by this system I have considered giving up many times over the last 6 months. I continue to fight through the hopelessness and depression for my children in the hope that I will be able to find a job again soon. In the meantime, we have defaulted on a loan, lost our car insurance, have two unregistered vehicles and my loose our house due to the complications with KDOL.