Kansans seeking work find challenge navigating ‘My Reemployment Plan’

KANSAS CITY (KSNT) — In May, the Kansas Legislature passed a new law that requires people who are receiving unemployment to sign up for the state’s “My Reemployment Plan.”

The program is designed to match unemployed workers with jobs based on their interests and qualifications.

KSNT News’ sister station FOX4 has heard from multiple people who are struggling with the system, including Angel Page.

The pandemic has been tough for Page and her family. She has been collecting unemployment since she lost her job in March of last year.

“I have bills to pay, I have three children. They have hospital bills, they had a dentist appointment today, I have to pay for that,” Page said. “So, it’s hard.”

About a week ago, Page learned she had to sign up for the Kansas My Reemployment Plan or she would be disqualified from continuing to receive unemployment.

“It was an hour long on my laptop of ‘what are your interests for your career? Where do you want to be? What do you want to do?'” Page said.

Page completed the requirements and got an email confirming the state got her submission but received a surprise a few days later.

“I got an email stating, ‘Oh, sorry claimant, you’ve been disqualified.’ Well, why?” Page wondered.

Page said she has made dozens of phone calls and spent hours trying to get help. Mike Beene, Director of Workforce Services at the Kansas Department of Commerce, suspects she and others have been reaching out to the wrong people.

“I’m not familiar with this specific person or this specific situation. But in that scenario, I would encourage her to reach out to the center or engage in chat and figure out where the missing pieces if any,” he said.

The Kansas Department of Labor administers unemployment, but the Kansas Department of Commerce oversees My Reemployment through its workforce development arm, Kansas Works.

“It’s a totally different phone number. It’s not the unemployment call center of KDOL’s UI call center, it’s Kansas Works,” Beene said.

There are three ways to reach Kansas Works for questions and issues with the My Reemployment Plan. You can visit the Kansas Works website at this link. You can also visit a physical location from this list of places.

There’s also a website dedicated to the My Reemployment Plan, which you can find here.

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