WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Many residents across the country and here in the badger state have been struggling to make ends meet without support from unemployment.
As a single mother, Carmen Nichols has tried to figure it out on her own but now she's worried about what may happen to her kids if she doesn't get help soon.
She says, "I have $120 left to my name."
She's been working as a coil winder for the past 6 years, which she says she was making too much money to get any support from the government. But work was slow so she started working part-time on a potato farm to make ends meet.
Then her full-time job called her back so she quit her part-time job. Now, because of the pandemic, her full-time job started layoffs again forcing her to file for unemployment in April, that claim, still pending.
"I actually contacted unemployment at least two times every day and you either couldn’t get through, you got hung up on or when you finally got through they told you to keep filing and there’s nothing we do for you," said Carmen.
She went on to say, "then when I finally got through to somebody they would give you this run around and say well your case is pending and I said well I know that I can see that."
Then July 4th rolls around she gets a call that she can go back to work but little did she know she would test positive for the coronavirus.
"I had shortness of breath I use an inhaler now I take like 15 pills and before I only took two and I’m only 34," she said. She went on to say, "I’m exhausting my FMLA I have like two weeks left than what?"
If she doesn't get the help she needs she could lose everything.
Wisconsin's unemployment rate for the month of September was 5.4 percent which is down from August's rate of 6.3 percent.
News 9 did reach out to the Department of Workforce Development but have not heard back for comment.
She has been proactive in trying to start her own business. For more information click here. Or, to contact Carmen, call 715-216-5774.