Oklahomans line up for another day of unemployment event

Local

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Thousands of unemployment claims are still pending and many Oklahomans are still waiting for answers.

“To have to ask for help, it makes me feel less than an Oklahoman, a true Oklahoman,” said musician Charlie Maculite. 

Maculite is surrounded by hundreds of other Oklahomans in line with questions. 

“I’m not surprised that people need help but just the amount of people is extraordinary, man,” he said. 

Macultie made an appointment to come back on Tuesday, hoping to get help after months of waiting. 

It’s a similar story for others.

“I’ve got kids so just kind of weary because I’m just about to have a son, so I don’t know,” said Jacoby McCauley. 

OESC Interim Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt says 3,500 to 5,000 claims are still pending. 

“And usually that involves a phone call to double check information they gave us or something doesn’t match up with the tax information OTC gave us,” said Zumwalt. 

Some are still frustrated that meeting an agent in person seems like a necessity. 

“In a digital age, seeing someone in person and having them say, ‘I understand you’re upset and I can help you,’ I think that the last couple of months have been really tough on people and being able to offer them that really is probably the only way we’re going to be able to show them that this is going to be helpful,” said Zumwalt. 

It’s not all bad, we see a lot of smiles under masks. 

Kenitra Bishop says although it’s been a long couple of months for her family, she was still able to leave with some relief. 

“It had me on pins and needles after that second month went by. I got to panicking, thinking like okay, I don’t know how much my landlord’s going to take,” said Bishop. 

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