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Alabamians experiencing financial stress from delays with unemployment payouts

Alabamians waiting to receive help with their unemployment claims in Montgomery (
Alabamians waiting to receive help with their unemployment claims in Montgomery (
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Furlough and jobs cuts are creating a lot of stress and anxiety for many people across Alabama.

While unemployment payout delays continue with the Alabama Department of Labor, some are finding it difficult to cope with that financial stress.

"I put my appeal in about two and a half weeks ago, and I've been checking, I still haven't gotten any notification,' Domenick Hall, a Mobile resident said.

Hall is like many others who are waiting to receive unemployment benefits from the state of Alabama.

"You're worried about rent. You're sitting there and you're worried about food, which is the main necessities right now and bills ya know light and water," Hall explained. "You don't know if that check's gonna come in or not."

That uncertainty can bring about feelings of stress and anxiety.

SEE ALSO: Alabama leaders evaluating President Trump's order to extend unemployment benefits

"People are suffering and it's causing some real problems," Steven Traylor from Alexander City said.

Traylor says he's owed about four weeks of unemployment payments from the state.

"I went in debt. My credit score took a hit," Traylor said. "I had to max out my card. I had to feed my family. As a man I'm not really scared of anything other than being able to control what's going on around me."

Counselors say these feelings are normal.

It's best to recognize the situation and lower expectations.

SEE ALSO: Jefferson County teens discuss how they deal with stress during the pandemic

"Try our best, again focus on those support systems, as much as you can, get as much support as you possibly can," Andrea Gregg, a licensed professional counselor and Clinical Director at Safe Haven Counseling. "Try your best to turn your attention to those things that are within your control."

It's important to remember dealing with mental health isn't a quick fix.

"You're trying to build up your emotional muscles and resiliency and that takes time and practice."

Gregg also suggest that people research ways to receive professional help if they believe they need it.

There are businesses and organizations that offer free or reduced counseling.

ABC 33/40 reached out to the Alabama Department of Labor for an update on its progress with addressing claims.

As of Tuesday, 89% of active claims have resulted in a payment.

A spokesperson told us the department is still working hard.

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Staff is continuing to work overtime and on the weekends to catch up on claims.

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