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Charleston, WV -- Kanawha County Circuit Judge Maryclaire Akers ruled against two women who sued Workforce West Virginia after state officials terminated pandemic-related enhanced unemployment benefits.
Unemployed workers had hoped to find out Monday that they were set to receive benefits they lost in June, when Governor Jim Justice ended those benefits early.
“The court will make no finding as to whether or not it was a wise decision,” Akers said, “Whether or not it was a good decision, whether or not it was a decision that was correct. It’s just simply not a question for the court."
Following the hearing, a group of unemployed workers trailed out in disappointed silence.
Valerie White leaned against a pillar outside the judicial annex, waiting on her ride about 50 miles back to Logan County. When her unemployment ended on June 19, it came as a surprise.
“I have a four-year-old, a five-year-old and an eight-year-old,” she said. “Two boys and a girl. The two boys are my step-sons. And the little girl is mine. They’re just, you know, they’re ready to go to school. But I don’t let them know that any kind of struggle or anything is going on.”
At the same time, she noted that “you can tell when people are under stress.”
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This story was first reported by journalist Erin Beck and published at thinkkidswv.org. Any information obtained from this story and not from original reporting should be attributed to Erin Beck and Think Kids WV.