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Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Unemployed Hoosiers Plead With State To Fix 'Disconcerting Problems'

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Justin Hicks
/
IPB News

A group of Hoosiers are asking the state to address what they call “disconcerting problems” with the unemployment system. That’s from a letter they sent Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office Monday afternoon.

The letter comes from a Facebook group formed in early April for volunteers to support others navigating Indiana’s unemployment system. Members report getting conflicting information from the Department of Workforce Development’s call center and are frustrated with long waits to get questions answered.

Alisha Lambert is one of the administrators of the Facebook group. She said many Hoosiers are struggling – financially and emotionally – with the long waits to get their unemployment issues resolved.

“They’re losing their homes, their cars, they can’t find jobs, they can’t get answers from DWD on anything,” she said. “We’ve had several members talk about suicide. They’re hopeless.”

In a written response, DWD says that the agency paid roughly $4.8 billion to about 680,000 Hoosiers in the last five months and built systems to administer new federal programs while dramatically increasing the size of its staff.

It says while individuals may have experienced challenges, each situation is unique and the vast majority have received their benefits within 21 days.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.