Ashland man worried about potential delay of unemployment benefits

Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors.
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Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors. We spoke to a man in Ashland who is not sure how much longer he can wait for the assistance before he starts losing things.

“It was going to be my retirement job so that set me back traumatically, them closing their doors,” said James Vossmer.

Vossmer was recently laid off at Denver Plastics in Wahoo. He says it’s not temporary like many others, the business shutdown.

“Right now, it’s kind of spooky looking for work because even if you get a job you might have a job for just a little bit and then boom you get laid off again,” said Vossmer.

Vossmer says it’s taken him weeks trying to file for unemployment. He says he has been calling nearly every day and no one has gotten back to him.

His electric company, Omaha Public Power District, is giving residents until April 30th to pay bills but Vossmer fears that’s not enough time.

“Everything that I have worked so hard for over the last two years, it will just go away and I will be back to square one,” said Vossmer.

During Governor Pete Rickett’s briefing last week, the Nebraska Commissioner of Labor said more people filed for unemployment during the past three weeks, than the entire year of 2019.

John Albin says he has doubled his staff. The hope is get money sent out within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

“We’ve drafted people out of other programs, we’ve pulled them into the program to help with the unemployment claims and speed up the processing,” said Albin.

Vossmer says even if he is able to find a job, it’ll be another 2 weeks before a paycheck.

“If you want stuff in life, you got to work for it,” said Vossmer. “I don’t even like the fact that I’m using unemployment, it’s not who I am.”

Categories: Coronavirus, News