WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio has over 1 million people who have filed for unemployment and the state has paid $2 billion since COVID-19 started. Some are still waiting to be added to the list, though.
One Warren woman is tired of hearing state leaders say they’re working on it.
Alexis Bowen and her 3-year-old son, Maddox, are healthy but the coronavirus is taking its toll. Bowen lost her job at Perkins on Elm Road two months ago.
“Now I’m fighting, and fighting and fighting unemployment,” she said.
Her challenge every day is getting through to Ohio’s unemployment office. Don’t question her perseverance.
“I have dialed 192 times in three days.”
Bowen filed for unemployment the day she got notice from Perkins. A state letter shows she was approved for $189 a week and would get an additional $600 a week from the federal government.
So far, she hasn’t received a penny.
“There are too many of us struggling,” she said. “There are too many of us who have kids, like myself. We all need this money. We all need the help.”
Governor Mike DeWine said Tuesday that 1,600 workers are trying to catch up on the unemployment every single day. The state said it has resolved 91% of the cases.
“If you’re part of that 9%, that’s still a large number of people,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “That’s still tens of thousands of people who have not had their issues resolved.”
Bowen is one of them. While she’s waiting, she’s made partial rent payments but said she’s just one bill away from a shutoff.
Her patience has run out.
“They’re just going to sit there, twiddling their thumbs like, ‘OK, we’re trying, we’re trying.’ Do something instead of say you’re going to try.”
Bowen is hoping to see that backpay.
She had a meeting Wednesday afternoon as Perkins gets ready to reopen Thursday. However, she knows the restaurant won’t have all of its usual hours just yet.