"It is like we are hunting aliens": Concerns raised over unemployment process

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MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) -- New reports from Workforce West Virginia this week shows April's seasonal unemployment rate sits at 15.2%. The highest unemployment rate reported in the state in over 30 years.

PHOTO: Unemployment claim form, Photo Date: April 2014 (Source: MGN Photo - Julie Chasen / MGN)

"Workforce has dispersed more than $600-million to West Virginia families that have been impacted by the coronavirus since March 16th," said Scott Adkins, the acting commissioner of Workforce WV, during Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing.

The organization is still hearing from hundreds of West Virginians applying for unemployment benefits. Phone lines are still tied up with applicants attempting to get ahold of agents.

"I have never felt so confused and without information," said Ashley Myers, a Marion County resident.

Her family applied for unemployment in March, reapplying again when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program launched in May.

"Yesterday evening [my spouse] did finally receive a deposit. He actually received two," said Myers.

The first deposit was well under the expected amount, the other was correct. Her PUA dashboard still says her payments are pending.

"I have called every phone number that I have found on Facebook and news articles on their own website," said Myers. "We have yet to hear someone's actual voice."

With over 100,000 West Virginians applying for unemployment, Workforce staff continue to hear from those seeking support.

"The biggest thing I have gathered from anyone and everyone is always the lack of communication and the unknown. It is like we are hunting aliens," said Myers.