The Department of Workforce Development still has no deadline for when unemployment benefits, authorized by federal law, will reach self-employed Hoosiers – despite receiving guidance from the Department of Labor over the weekend.
DWD’s Commissioner Fred Payne says staff are working to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program as soon as possible, but he still has no definite timeline. The changes will make self-employed workers, independent contractors and gig workers able to access unemployment benefits – something he says the state’s program wasn’t built to do.
However, he says those already receiving regular unemployment benefits will begin to see an additional $600 provided by the CARES Act starting the week of April 20.
“There’s a huge difference between modifying our current unemployment system ... and creating an entirely new system for a totally new class of covered workers,” Payne says.
He says it will take cooperation from multiple agencies to create a way to verify earnings. Meanwhile, to address the clogged unemployment application websites and phone lines, the department has hired 100 additional workers on a temporary contract.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.