Archive for Monday, December 31, 2012

Disgruntled Kansans take to Facebook with concerns about state agency

December 31, 2012


Some disgruntled Kansas residents have taken their concerns about services from the Kansas Department of Labor to social media.

The agency's Facebook page is littered with posts from frustrated seekers of unemployment benefits complaining about continued problems with the agency's phone system.

"Have yet to reach anyone in over four weeks," reads a Dec. 20 post.

"Sure would be nice if the phone system would stop hanging up on me each time I try to call and get thru to someone!" reads a Dec. 26 post.

An agency spokeswoman had no easy answers.

"We know it's frustrating," said Cassie Sparks, Kansas Department of Labor communications director.

Sparks said the problems were a result of an influx of inquiries from those laid off in the winter months seeking unemployment benefits, a yearly issue.

"We're handling tens of thousands of calls a day," she said.

Sparks encouraged customers to use the agency's online filing system, if possible.

For those who need to speak with someone on the phone, Sparks recommends calling the one of the following numbers, even though the system is overloaded and the failure to get through to anyone is the source of the recent Facebook complaints.

• Topeka: 785-575-1460

• Kansas City: 913-596-3500

• Wichita: 316-383-9947

• Toll-free: 800-292-6333

"It's something we're trying to address," Sparks said. "We're doing everything we can."


ResQd 5 years ago

Sparks said the problems were a result of an influx of inquiries from those laid off in the winter months seeking unemployment benefits, a yearly issue.

No way, I drew unemployment for about 4 months 2 years ago, and it was the same thing and it was not in the winter months, but rather the spring.

Kat Christian 5 years ago

I totally agree with you. I had to result in letter writing. I did get a response where someone actually called. Once I had waited 2 weeks for am answer and resent my letter again. I think more people should write to them instead of expecting them to pickup the phone. This way you have it documented that you attempted to notify them.

KiferGhost 5 years ago

""It's something we're trying to address," Sparks said. "We're doing everything we can."

Except hire people to take care of this need like a responsible government would do.

chootspa 5 years ago

If they frustrate enough benefits seekers, they can make their unemployment levels appear really low. What's the level in Kansas again? That's your "shot of adrenaline" to the economy right there.

Danielle Brunin 5 years ago

The irony is, that the Department of Labor had a high number of layoffs itself this summer, and now the vast majority of agencies have a hiring freeze in place. Clearly they're not doing everything they can, or they wouldn't have this problem.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

Thank you President Obama for creating an environment where employers don't know what is in store for them so they just hang where they are.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

"Cant" is a worthy descriptor for this drivel (cant).

deec 5 years ago

My son had the same problem last spring.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

"Sure would be nice if the phone system would stop hanging up on me each time I try to call and get thru to someone!" reads a Dec. 26 post.

How about spending your energy looking for a job? There are a whole bunch of them out there. You just have to want to work more than you want to mooch!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

You are starting to get it. Many of them are lazy and have no desire to work till the free ride runs out.

KiferGhost 5 years ago

I know, they are living well off the state dang it, bet many are taking trips to Florida right now to sun on the beaches. I've even bet they are driving Mercedes.

deec 5 years ago

In my son's case he already had another job in about 3 weeks,so he spent a week or so using his lunch hour trying to get through to file for the two weeks he was due benefits.

Kat Christian 5 years ago

This is absolutely untrue. I was on unemployment for over a year and looked EVERY single day for work. I found some temporary p/t work but nothing permanent. I had many interviews and I have extensive office skills, I'm just not fresh out of college and in my 20s anymore. Just because you have to work your butt off doesn't mean that someone on unemployment wants to sit home and just collect and live on a poverty level. I certainly didn't want that. Shame on you for being so close minded.

Brock Masters 5 years ago

Getting unemployment is not mooching. Workers pay into the unemployment insurance fund, no different then putting in a claim on your car insurance when you have an accident. And you have to call in to collect benefits. No call in, no getting benefits.

I got a job before my benefits ran out, but I paid in for years so why shouldn't I have collected them to help with bills while I looked for work.

Lee Saylor 5 years ago

Workers (employees) don't pay into the unemployment insurance fund. EMPLOYERS pay into the fund. (check your paystub.)

Bob Forer 5 years ago

So what. Many workers don't pay for their health insurance benefits. Unemployment insurance, like health insurance, is a benefit EARNED by the employee.

Katara 5 years ago

Unemployment insurance is part of one's compensation. It is no different than when an employer pays all or a portion of your health insurance premiums.

chootspa 5 years ago

Mostly a meaningless distinction, except for the part where you can't generally pay into the system or get benefits if you're self employed. It's part of the compensation package that (presumably) would otherwise be paid in wages.

John Hamm 5 years ago

Collect "while I looked?" Yes. Refuse a job offer because you have more benefits coming? NO! Big, big difference.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

I love how people like to claim there are tons of jobs out there, but never happen to mention where they are or what they are or...well, anything that would actually help someone looking for a job to find a job.

vanessaliobanewton 5 years ago

Agreed. While I found a minimum wage job while I looked for a full time job, it was a nightmare trying to find a full-time job. And I have an advanced degree and have been constantly employed since I was 14 (I'm 24 now). I started applying for jobs in December and was only offered one at the end of August that was actually a worthwhile position. Yet everywhere I went people told me how there are tons of jobs out there. Great. You go find one. This was really the only year that I was in the job market since I have always been a student, but I can tell you from experience that this economy made it very difficult to secure a full-time position. I applied to well over 400 positions all over the US and some international opportunities as well.

Point being, it is tough to find a job.

GardenMomma 5 years ago

Yep, especially if you're over-qualified.

Kat Christian 5 years ago

OMG I can't believe you wrote ignorant. What does having to speak to DOL have to do with looking for a job? If a person has to contact them they most likely have legitimate business which has nothing to do with job hunting. DOL could make it easier for these people to conduct business with them if they would answer their phones or call people back when they promise to. A more efficient process would free these people up for job hunting.

Brock Masters 5 years ago

My experience was to have to go through all these steps and at the end have the system tell me they are too busy, to call back and then just hang up.

Very frustrating.

buffalo63 5 years ago

The problem I have is that the jobs I am qualified for, I can't even get an interview. A couple of the jobs have been re-advertized, so I'm not sure they are looking closely at the applications. Taking a job that doesn't pay enough to support yourself, let alone a family, might seem better than nothing, but it makes it very hard to look and interview for other jobs. And by the way, its unemployment INSURANCE, that I have paid into when I was working, not mooching!

KiferGhost 5 years ago

Oh no buffalo, until can't have it both ways faces a situation like yours it is as easy as blaming it on people being lazy. That's all it ever is, just the lazy people who could work at McDonald's and come out worse off financially instead of collecting what they paid into all these years while looking for new work.

John Hamm 5 years ago

Not necessarily. It's also painters and construction workers, etc. that refuse to take "small" jobs because "it doesn't pay enough. I'm better off just drawing my unemployment." Yes, I've heard it far too many times.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

And you think they should make financially bad decisions for themselves and their families...why???

KiferGhost 5 years ago

In free market theory if that money didn't go to the insurance it could have been paid to the employee to fritter away.

headdoctor 5 years ago

I wouldn't take Cant_have_it_both_ways very serious. They are just a vile troll. They can't be all that great of a current producer and spend as much time online posting as they do. Be pretty funny to find out they are just mad that someone gets something they don't and obviously not happy with their own life.

It wouldn't be the first time an LJW poster was posing as a hard working and/or rich pseudo conservative tea bagger while making very little income or living off of public assistance.

Katara 5 years ago

Cant_have_it_both_ways isn't that guy. The one you are thinking of is on here but he is just very disappointed now.

Trumbull 5 years ago

I know a fair share of those who draw a lot of public assistance and are huge Libertarians and far right wingers. They make exceptions for themselves I guess. Still hard to figure though.

KiferGhost 5 years ago

Yeah that's it. We just don't have enough swagg.

JayCat_67 5 years ago

On line has been down some lately too. Also, military coming off active duty have to open their initial claim by phone.

Armstrong 5 years ago

Sure fire way to fix the problem - get a job

KiferGhost 5 years ago

Too bad all those job creators weren't using their money all these years to create jobs when they were paying diddlesquat in taxes.

verity 5 years ago

And as the state lays off more workers, we're going to have more and more trouble getting tags, driver's licenses, police and other emergency calls, etc. Then these same people who are complaining about people not getting a job are going to be complaining about the state workers not doing their jobs because they have to wait or come back another day and lose work time. And their self-righteousness will know no bounds.

Hoots 5 years ago

The system sucked before any of the layoffs. This is just business as usual. My brother has the same problems with other state agencies he has to deal with in filing payrole taxes, and reports. One of my buddies tried to file a weekly claim on sunday which is the day you are suppose to file and the system was down all day. Public service my butt.

Claudean McKellips 5 years ago

Verity is correct. "And as the state lays off more workers, we're going to have more and more trouble getting tags, driver's licenses, police and other emergency calls, etc." Brownbackistan is no longer a livable state. It simply is not functioning. Time to vote them all out and start over.

Armstrong 5 years ago

Better yet I think you should really show Sam how mad and intent you all are on getting out from under his foot. Move to a blue state ! You will need to remember NY, CA, IL, ... are so broke they can't see the light of day and the "services" you demand are just not happening, or jobs, or hope of attracting future jobs. Good bye and good luck.

notaubermime 5 years ago

What you have posted about NY is an outright lie. New York still way more in benefits than Kansas does. New York has laid off a much smaller percentage of its government workers than Kansas did, so government services have not been affected as much.Further, Texas has greater budget shortfalls than New York does. Nor is New York's unemployment rate in the top 10 for the country. New York added over 80,000 jobs in 2012 despite losing nearly 30,000 in the hurricane.

There are enough things wrong with New York that you shouldn't have to resort to lying to make that point.

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