St. Louis, Missouri 2021-01-12 23:04:00 –
ST. Louis (KMOV.com)-There was a massive reaction to the News 4 investigation reported on Monday night, and lawmakers and leaders are now vowing to help. Missouri has demanded that people repay the unemployment allowance, which many say was desperately needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If there’s nothing by the end of January, I’ll be on the street,” said Bridget Frasetti. She is currently one of the thousands of people in debt to Missouri. “They say I owe $ 5,360.”
“Now they want $ 2.400,” said Dominique Randazzo, who is in the same situation. “You are on hold for 4 or 5 hours, then they hang up on you.”
People throughout the state have received letters, and some say there were unintended mistakes or omissions in the unemployment allowance. As a result, they have to repay the unemployment funds that many of them received over the months, the money they say they are in desperate need.
“Are you going to take off your clothes from my child’s back? That’s because I bought it for some money,” Jenna Leaker said.
News 4 Investigates revealed data showing that more than 11,300 people were overpaid under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Fund. Totally, it is a state-managed federal taxpayer fund of over $ 44 million.
Bridgeton’s Leaker is one of the many Missourians to receive notifications. In March 2020, she was fired from a customer service job just a year after she won the Hardwork Award.
“Can the state catch these errors sooner?” Asked investigative journalist Lauren Trager.
“Yes, they should have,” said State Senator Doug Clemens. “And that comes down to the resources we provide to the department,” Clemens says, which may be due to outdated systems and staff shortages.
But now he says that in most cases the state shouldn’t ask for repayment.
“Ultimately, the department has the discretion to allow these debts, and in these times we have to keep money in the pockets of these people, without their own errors. I think we need to do everything honestly with the power of Clemens, “said Clemens.
He says that in times of crisis, the state should not threaten to punish people for simple mistakes.
“And these penalties are very realistic, without intervention, salaries will be paid and tax returns will be lost. In any case, we will intervene and prevent them from happening. Must be, “said Clemens.
He is drafting a letter to the governor, but in the meantime, if this is happening to you, he says, “Contact your elected official, that is the purpose for which we are here. , We work for people. “
“I was stunned, it was absolutely unacceptable, and I was stunned by their actions,” Frashetti said. People like her say they can’t even believe it. “It’s disappointing, I lost my trust in the system.”
Missouri is not the only state dealing with this. Many others, as well as those who have paid incorrectly, are reporting.
Illinois reports overpaying about $ 36 million from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Fund.
On Tuesday, News 4 received the following statement from Missouri Congressman Ann Wagner’s office:
“The Congresswoman Wagner Member Services Office is available daily to assist members with unemployment allowance issues. If someone is required to repay their benefits or has other issues. Please contact the Wagner.House.Gov office to review the process and contact the Missouri Department of Labor Legislative Liaison for detailed cases. “
Following the first episode of News 4, hundreds of Missourians contacted us for help. Here’s what you can do:
In this case, if you haven’t filed an appeal yet, you can click here to find out more about how.
Contact state and federal elected representatives. Some people have already promised to provide support and they are considering measures to abandon what they owe. You can search for representatives here.
If you are told to repay the money, we want to hear from you. Send an email to LaurenTrager at Lauren.Trager@kmov.com
Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation) All copyrights
Some leaders vow help as thousands are told to repay their Missouri unemployment or face ‘very real’ penalties | News Headlines Source link Some leaders vow help as thousands are told to repay their Missouri unemployment or face ‘very real’ penalties | News Headlines