Munster man details difficulties filing for unemployment

WGN Investigates

MUNSTER, Ind. – A Northwest Indiana man said he’s been on hold multiple times with the state’s unemployment office, just to be disconnected.

Kevin Henson is one of millions across the country who has lost their job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His job as a pipefitter has gone away and Henson finds himself seeking unemployment for the first time in his adult life.

“I’ve been on some of the biggest projects in the Midwest and dealt with some strict scheduling timelines,” Henson said. “And I’ve never felt the anxiety level that I’m starting to feel now.”

Henson lives with his wife and two daughters, who are just out of college, and the bills are adding up.

Henson now says he’s spending his days on hold, literally.

“The wait times on the phone are astronomical,” Henson said. “I probably spent nine hours plus on hold or getting disconnected or transferred, only one person on the phone and that was a three-minute conversation.”

He was ultimately transferred and then, disconnected again.

Henson said there is little information on the state’s unemployment website and the number listed to call is always busy.

“Originally when I called a few weeks ago, there was a 15 20 second prompt… and then it disconnected,” Henson said. “That was aggravating trying to get through.”

Henson said he’s getting no where. His family said they would be surprised if he gets any relief for their mounting bills.

While he’s upset, he understands the gravity of the pandemic.

“I don’t know how they could have foresaw that, to be ready for it,” Henson said.

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