BALTIMORE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Marylanders participated in an emotional protest on Wednesday outside the Department of Labor in Baltimore.
Demonstrators rallied on behalf of the thousands who are still waiting on an unemployment check – many of whom have gone three months since the lockdown went into effect and layoffs began.
They’re laying the blame on Governor Larry Hogan – and demanding that he fix it.
In recent weeks, FOX 5 has been shining a light on the issue of unemployment in Maryland – talking to those who are still left in the lurch.
A fitness center owner in Baltimore has been unable to bring in customers for months – and he’s blaming the governor.
"He wants to run for president one day, who is going to vote for him when we can't afford to pay our bills to eat there are people much worse off than I am you know in a couple of weeks I am not going to have any money,” he said.
In Baltimore on Wednesday, speaker after speaker – including three state delegates – related very similar stories.
No one answers the phone at the unemployment office – despite people spending hours on hold, personal information gets lost in the system.
When someone does pick up, the call taker is unable to answer their questions.
Benefits are approved – but the money never arrives, or they’re still under investigation, but an interview will take weeks before it can be completed.
"I was approved for unemployment on April 19th and it is June seventh and after endless phone calls not answered, emails not responded to, the broken websites, nothing,” said Chrissy Holt.
Earlier on Wednesday, FOX 5 received a statement from a spokesperson for the Department of Labor and it reads, in part:
"Our department recently implemented an IT solution that has led to additional substantial progress....however, the U.S. Department of Labor continues to reiterate that we must verify the eligibility of all claimants to maintain program integrity.”
also said more information on Maryland unemployment claims will be released on Thursday.