DWD: Stay tuned for federal unemployment benefits questioned by judge – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Confusion over expanded federal unemployment benefits in Indiana: Payments not coming out, despite order from Marion County judge, and state plans to continue fighting payments before courts.
Indiana withdrew from the federal CARES Act unemployment program more than a week ago. The program had added $ 300 per week to existing state benefits.
News 8 has learned that reactivating the program is not as easy as flipping a switch.
For those trying to file for unemployment, federal pandemic benefits are not an option. And payments under the program are not coming out, even though a Marion County judge ordered the program to continue last Friday.
At last count, the state of Indiana has distributed more than $ 8 billion to 870,000 unemployed Hoosiers since the start of the pandemic. According to the Department of Workforce Development, 80% of the money comes from federal programs.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb told I-Team 8 last week that the state has programs in place to retrain displaced workers.
âWe want to make sure they know there is an abundance of opportunity in this new economy,â Governor Eric Holcomb said.
Indiana Legal Services represents a group of people who have taken legal action with the state to restore federal benefits. They sent a statement:
âThe judge’s order is clear, the state has an obligation to restore benefits, and the filing of an appeal itself does not change that obligation. We are waiting to hear from the state how they plan to comply with the judge’s order. We recommend that people who are waiting to file for benefits keep track of their job search history and monitor for updates. ”
I-Team 8 has learned that the state has filed an official notice of appeal, asking a higher court to allow it to opt out of extended unemployment.
The Workforce Development Department declined to talk about the court decision on camera and released a statement.
The DWD is determining how to proceed because federal programs no longer exist after they end on June 19. There is no action that an applicant needs to take at this time. Updated information will be provided on the DWD website.
According to Matt Will, a professor at the University of Indianapolis, the judge’s ruling creates some confusion about how and when states are allowed to give up CARES law money.
âBut if you look at the rules provided by the federal government, the CARES Act gives states the ability to extend unemployment benefits, so it’s up to the state if they want to do that. There are a lot of different layouts. There are three main parts, and the one that’s at issue right now is the $ 300 per week, and it’s up to the state to decide if that’s the case, âsaid Will.
The DWD can’t tell us if old claimants can just pick up where they left off or if they need to reapply. No one can tell us when the program will be available.
The federal unemployment benefit program is expected to end at the end of September, and it is questionable whether the governor’s appeal will be heard before the program ends.