UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

$300 weekly unemployment payments resume in Indiana: When will I receive the check?

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has begun sending out unemployment compensation to around 120,000 who had their benefits cut 19 June.

$300 weekly unemployment payments resume in Indiana: When will I receive the check?

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb in May ordered an end to federal pandemic unemployment benefits which took effect 19 June. Jobless workers in the state became the first in the nation to file a lawsuit to reverse the governor’s decision, arguing the governor’s actions were unlawful.

Governor Holcomb ended the federal programs providing financial aid to out of work Hoosiers claiming that the benefits were harming the state by causing a shortage of available workers to fill open positions. Marion Superior Court Judge John Hanley sided with the workers saying that the harm created by terminating the benefits far outweighed any risks to the state.

Indiana workers had to wait for unemployment benefits to restart

The decision came a week after Indiana had already stopped payments to around 120,000 Hoosiers, including the $300 weekly booster to other unemployment benefits. Despite Judge Hanley granting a preliminary injunction on the state and calling for the payments to continue until there was a resolution in the case the claimants had to wait. On 12 July the state Court of Appeals denied the state’s attempt to keep the payments on pause.

Indiana began retroactively paying unemployment compensation to those who have been waiting since they received their last payment for the week ending 19 June. The first day some 25,000 recipients received a payment for the back funds to the week of 26 June, the first week that recipients didn’t receive a check, that were due to them according to state officials. Workers who have found employment since the state stopped paying enhanced benefits will receive payment for the weeks that they were still unemployed.

Commissioner Fred Payne said that the Department had been working with the US Labor Department since Judge Hanley’s decision to get the payments restarted. He said the agency’s goal was to make sure that those claimants who are entitled to unemployment compensation receive what is due to them and that the state is “moving in the right direction.”

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said that since the beginning of the pandemic the agency has paid out $8.6 billion to 875,000 individuals. The average unemployment compensation paid to a person is $10,600. Unemployment has come down considerable since the pandemic began with the rate now at 4.1 percent compared to 16.9 percent at the start of the crisis according to the department's data.

Indiana’s fight against unemployment insurance fraud held up claims

At the press conference Commissioner Payne and the agency’s Workforce Solutions Officer Regina Ashley addressed the claimants receiving letters about money owed for overpayment on unemployment benefits. Some workers have received letters saying that they owed the state excess money received from unemployment insurance in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some of those overpayments were due to fraudulent claims, the state has paid out $8 million in fraudulent benefits, an amount expected to rise. Commissioner Payne said that even he and his wife had been victims of fraudulent claims.

The state has been making an effort to stop unemployment claims fraud with anti-fraud measures which so far have prevented $236 million in fraudulent payments. However, those same systems have caused some unemployment claims to be held up.

In the event that the overpayment was caused by a small mistake made unwillingly and it can be proven that there was no attempt at fraud those individuals will not be penalized. Those individuals can appeal or request a waiver to stop efforts by the agency to reclaim the money.