Kentucky temporarily closing unemployment insurance system due to data breaches, hacking
Kentucky temporarily closing unemployment insurance system due to data breaches, hacking (WKRC FILE)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKRC) - Kentucky is shutting down public access to its unemployment insurance system for four days beginning Thursday at midnight.

The move is in response to criminals attempting to breach the system and steal the benefits of hundreds of thousands of claimants. Additionally, people in Ohio and Kentucky may soon need to seek a job before collecting unemployment benefits.

Kentucky's General Counsel for the Governor's Office says attempts to breach the unemployment insurance accounts of hundreds of thousands Kentuckians is forcing the state to shutdown the entire public-facing system temporarily.

"We are going to shut down the public-facing UI systems for four days starting [Thursday] at midnight," Amy Cubbage, general counsel for the Kentucky Governor’s Office, said.

All Kentuckians with unemployment claims will be forced to re-register in the system next Tuesday.

And regarding unemployment, Local 12 had asked Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday whether he was going to re-implement the requirement to look for work while being on unemployment.

"We will get back to on that Thursday,” he said.

So we renewed our question Thursday:

"There's a lot of people out there hiring,” he said. “So, yes, the administration will move in that direction, but it's not right to do it when we have to shut down the system for four days, but it's going to come in the near future."

Local 12 asked Ohio's governor the same thing on Monday.

"Aren't we creating a welfare state if we continue to allow people to continue to collect their unemployment benefits without being required to look for work?" Local 12 asked Gov. Mike DeWine.

"No one wants to create a welfare state,” he said Monday. “I'm happy to have our lawyers take a look at this."

And we re-asked Thursday:

"We're spending $95 million a week of state money on unemployment. Why are you still waiting until September to require people to look for work while on unemployment?" Local 12 asked.

"I will check with the department, and we'll get back to you on that,” he said Thursday. “Look, we obviously want to encourage people to look for work."

Local 12 will check back with both governors.

Kentucky's general counsel says people will only need to re-register their unemployment accounts beginning Tuesday. They will not need to refile their claim if they have an existing claim.

For more information on Kentucky’s unemployment system shut down, click here.

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