THV 11 News' Rolly Hoyt explores problems with the state's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which has been painfully slow in getting federal assistance to jobless Arkansans amid the pandemic.
PUA funding lapsed as the CARES Act ran out, but state officials hoped to restart payments once Congress approved the new plan in December.
But: New guidance from the Labor Department "put in a lot more stringent requirements for identification," Commerce Secretary Mike Preston said.
Plus: "There was so much fraud in the first round of the PUA that we had over 50,000 fraudulent claims that we then have to sift through on an individual case-by-case basis," Preston said.
All that added up to more delays and more confusion among program recipients: "You get a different answer every day," one person said."They tell me one thing and then say it might be mid-February. My mom calls up and she gets told something different." (THV 11 News)