ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — To get paid unemployment benefits in Kentucky, filers must now prove they have been searching for jobs. The work search requirement again took effect Monday. It had been suspended for the pandemic until now.

Some filers said it's easy to prove they've been applying, but not so much getting hired.

What You Need To Know

  • Unemployment insurance filers must now prove they've been searching for jobs 

  • Filers must show evidence of at least one job search contact each week, with some exceptions

  • Applicants say it's difficult to find work, with barriers like costly childcare still interfering

People are still looking for work in Kentucky, and Kristi Harding is one of them. 

"It is very difficult," the Elizabethtown resident told Spectrum News 1. "I've been applying for the last two weeks. I've probably sent 50 applications."

She lost her job earlier in the pandemic and has been collecting unemployment benefits while her husband works. Harding said child care has become an issue as the cost for her 5-year-old son has doubled at area facilities. So, she's kept him home with her. She feels it's been a barrier to her securing employment and that businesses aren't flexible to accommodate this. 

"To put him in day care, everyone around here is charging $200 a week. I would literally be working just to pay day care. It's just not feasible," she explained. 

Harding has no problem showing proof she's searching for a new career, she claimed. 

Gov. Andy Beshear's General Counsel Amy Cubbage explained last week, "It's recommended you keep a record of all your job contacts including the name of the business, title of the position, name and title of person contacted, and date and method of contact. And you will be required to provide those details during your biweekly benefit request."

At least one contact will need to be made every week, with some exceptions, like for those union members who have job searches conducted for them.

While Harding is hoping for work, she's also hoping to shake the stigma that comes with being jobless.

"It's like everybody stares at me like I wanted to be unemployed. I didn't, you know? I was really hoping that I could've moved up in a nice titled position at my last job," she said.