Gov. Andy Beshear announced last Wednesday that the state has opened up access to unemployment insurance to the tens of thousands of Kentuckians who are self-employed or work as independent contractors and would otherwise be ineligible to receive benefits.

That includes thousands of cosmetologists, barbers, hair stylists, personal trainers and others who are not technically employees of any business, and thus don’t contribute to or receive benefits from the joint state-federal unemployment insurance system.

Many of those workers have been barred from their jobs by Kentucky’s effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Beshear said other groups who were otherwise ineligible — child-care workers from churches, substitute teachers, gig economy workers and “anyone who has had to leave their job because of quarantine or unpaid leave” — now qualify for unemployment.

People who have already filed do not need to re-apply, he said.

The government is urging all new applicants to follow a schedule released by the administration.

The updated schedule directs people to only apply for unemployment benefits on certain days next week, based on the first initial of a their last name: Sunday, A-D; Monday, E-H; Tuesday, I-L; Wednesday, M-P; Thursday, Q-U; Friday, V-Z. Those who missed their day may call on Friday.

File by calling 502-875-0442 or visiting the Kentucky Career’s Center unemployment benefits page at https://kcc.ky.gov/career.