Working People, Working Together to Build Power
Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation
The Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation of South Central Kansas (WHLF) is a non-profit labor membership organization devoted to supporting, advancing and advocating for the working people of the south central Kansas region. The WHLF brings together 30 local unions from every trade, occupation, public and private sector of the Kansas economy. We represent over 30,000 union members and their families, including teachers, aerospace professionals, operating engineers, construction workers, electricians, firefighters, state employees, janitors, train operators, and many more who are the face of today's workforce.
Our mission is to improve the lives of workers, their families, and our communities, and to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our region. To accomplish this mission the WHLF works to build worker power through political education and action, supporting economic development in South Central Kansas, being an active partner with business and government leaders, organizing workers who choose to be in a union, providing community service and job training, and conducting educational programs for working people.
Kansas Department of Labor provided an update today, via Facebook live, providing information to Kansans seeking unemployment benefits. They ask that anyone with computer and internet access apply (ideally before 8:30am or after 4:30pm, and not between the hours of 10:15pm and 6am) at GetKansasBenefits.gov to reserve phone lines for those without technology or with needs that can't be met online and to avoid peak hours and IT maintenance times.
Claims are up 7,000% due to Covid-19, so even though staffing has been increased delays are expected due to increased demand & due to website and other IT issues that are being addressed by KDOL. Kansans who qualify will also qualify for an additional payment of $600/week through the federal CARES Act, but these payments aren't expected for another 1-2 weeks, though they will be back paid to March 29th and go through July 25th for those who continue to qualify. CARES Act benefits will automatically be applied to any Kansas claim. Filing for direct deposit will speed receipt of funds.
If your Unemployment Insurance claim is denied by Kansas, but you qualify under a NEW Federal provision such as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you are asked to continue filing weekly claims. After updates are made to the system, you will receive the benefits for which you qualify more efficiently as a result of filing these weekly claims with KDOL.
We appreciate the KDOL's hard work in addressing these unprecedented challenges to get much needed benefits to those impacted.