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OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (KCTV) — A Kansas man says his world is about to crash and he blames the Kansas Department of Labor.
It seems the new updated security the department celebrated in January may be to blame for the interruption in benefit payments to some of those who qualify. The upgrade was supposed to weed out fraud, but it also complicated things for honest unemployed workers.
Douglas Blevins received his weekly unemployment benefit regularly, until the upgrade. He has not received benefits in 19 weeks. Blevins has spent weeks trying to confirm his identity with the state, which hadn’t been a problem before the upgrade.
“I would like to see the system work! It’s broke. I’m proof of it,” said Blevins.
He tried repeatedly to talk with someone at the Department of Labor. He even called the governor’s office and state representatives.
“I’ve called over 5,400 times; 860 hours I spent,” said Blevins. He knows “because I document how I do it.”
Blevins says when he can finally talk to a real person the answer is always the same.
“They tell me, ‘I’m sorry, but there’s nothing else I can do’,” said Blevins. Some even direct him to call Catholic Charities or the United Way.
Doug tells us he’s been selling his personal property to get some money. He struggles to feed himself and his cats. He’s worried he’ll lose his house while waiting for the mess to get cleared up. He knows what’s next.
“In the ditch, living in my truck,” he said.
Doug recently notified KCTV5 that he did get some good news from the state recently. The email from the Kansas Department of Labor Fraud Unit read, in part: “We completed our review and your account is now ID proofed…We look forward to assisting you further.”
But, no word on when he might receive benefits.
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