After country-wide layoffs, tensions have been high. That’s no exception for workers in Washington. Two laid-off workers decided to take it to their state’s Supreme Court to get things settled.
McKeezi Barraza and Marianne White decided to do something about it. Barraza got laid off back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He started receiving his unemployment before it was randomly stopped in late May. He wasn’t alone. There were hundreds of thousands of employees in the same boat.
Of course, bills and rent don’t cease to exist just because unemployment payments stop. This, along with White’s plea, is asking for the release of the funds that were frozen. They aren’t looking for anything excessive, just the money that is due to them.
Lawyers who took on this case are from the Unemployment Law Project. They believe that this case can help free up the funds of many Washingtonians whose unemployment was abruptly frozen.
Commissioner Suzi LeVine claims that the freeze was due to a massive surge in fraudulent claims. Even so, that was months ago, and these unemployed citizens are still not receiving the money they were promised.
LeVine cites that nearly $600 million was paid out due to fraudulent claims, and that’s why this freeze took place.
Across the nation, unemployment offices have been swamped with numbers that they’ve never seen before. As agencies are scrambling to help everyone, they are being met by cybercriminals looking to take advantage of the system.
It’s an unfair turn of events. Hard-working people who were laid off are losing their opportunity to collect unemployment thanks to a group of people who made fraudulent claims.
Washington’s Supreme Court is being urged to act quickly due to the stakes of the situation. The team at Unemployment Law Project says that there is no time to waste here – people’s financial situations are very fragile right now and they need to receive the unemployment payments they qualify for.
It’s not hard to imagine that the unemployment seekers are looking for a fast payout. As the due date for bills approaches, this is no time to withhold legitimate funds that are owed to the citizens of Washington. Especially as time drags on and the pandemic continues to ravage the country.