Hiccups applying for unemployment

(Source: WBRC)
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IDER, Ala. (WAFF) -- As the number of confirmed coronavirus case increases, so does the number of people filing for unemployment.

We talked with a business owner in DeKalb County who has had to lay employees off. She’s trying to help them file for unemployment, but it’s easier said than done.

Heike Dusterhoff and her husband own Continental Saddlery in Dekalb County. The company makes saddles for horses and they usually have clients from around the world. With less demand, she’s made the tough decision to furlough some employees.

“They’ve been with us for so long. They are not just employees, there are family. They are temporarily laid off and as soon as we can get back to work we will. They are all coming back,” said Heike Dusterhoff.

The ten employee company is reduced to just three people. She’s now trying to help the seven she had to let go.

“I worry about them more than I worry about myself. I want to take care of them I want to get this done and I just wish someone would get back to me,” said Dusterhoff.

Ten days ago she tried to file unemployment for her laid-off employees, but she hit a roadblock when working with the Alabama Department of Labor.

“You have to fill out an employee affidavit and email that in and they will issue a password. Well, I did that 10 days ago and I have not received an email with a password. I have called them on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day. You can’t get anybody on the phone. It’s an automated service, you leave a message,” said Dusterhoff.

As Heike Dusterhoff and her husband wait for answers, she says she’s looking into other options like the paycheck protection program that would give them a loan to help with payroll.

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