March 17, 2020

Indiana Sees Spike In Unemployment Claims, Urges Unemployed To File Online

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana’s unemployment insurance program has seen a significant increase in claims as business is disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Workforce Development is urging those filing a claim to go online instead of a WorkOne office.

Typically, someone has to be healthy and actively looking for work to receive benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance last week to allow states to grant unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are temporarily laid off or are quarantined. Those rules haven’t taken effect in Indiana yet due to state laws. 

Josh Richardson, chief of staff at the Department of Workforce Development, says they are looking at options to make the program more flexible. In the meantime, anyone who thinks they need unemployment insurance should apply.

“My hope is that those individuals would file, read the questions carefully, answer them honestly and let us do what we can to try to figure out who’s eligible,” he says. 

READ MORE: Indiana Workforce Boards Feel Pinch As Federal Funds Fall Short

At the end of 2019, the state reported it had just less than $900 million in the unemployment insurance trust fund. According to a federal formula, that puts it at only half of where it should be to be considered financially solvent. 

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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.

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