INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says that people receiving pandemic-related unemployment benefits will be paid through Sept. 4.
The announcement came Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously overturned a decision that forced the department to resume pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
However, not all are claiming victory.
State Sen. Fady Qaddoura says the ruling will put many Hoosier families in a hole; he called for benefits to be extended beyond September.
“I think it’s heartless that we take money away, federal dollars that are not costing the state a penny, to take it away from hardworking families at the time when they needed the most,” he said.
Many receiving benefits tell I-Team 8 that they fear having to repay the money back after seeing weeks of overpayment issues from the department, which says “no eligible claimant will pay any money back.”
Still the over 1,000 complaints I-Team 8 has collected over recent weeks have shown otherwise.
“I think we’re creating a legal cliff for really desperate families who are dealing with financial stress,” Qaddoura said. “I don’t think that the citizens should be punished for the mistakes done by government agencies.”
As the state senator calls for a “full assessment” of the department’s policies and operations, it is sending resources to claimants looking for work. Below is a list of those resources:
“I want to thank the Court of Appeals on its ruling to reverse the trial court’s decision on unemployment benefits. The state took the appropriate steps to terminate its participation in these optional federal pandemic unemployment programs and this ruling confirms that we had the legal authority to do so. These programs assisted Hoosiers in a time when some businesses were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, businesses are adapting so that they can remain open while maintaining a safe environment. Currently Indiana has more than 143,000 job openings and I know there are even more out there. The Department of Workforce Development continues to work with the unemployed to connect them with resources they need to gain skills and be matched with employment.”
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb