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Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Court Of Appeals Reverses Emergency Order For Federal Unemployment Benefits

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(Justin Hicks/IPB News)
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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s emergency order, which required the state to continue to provide expanded federal unemployment benefits. However, the decision will likely not affect unemployed Hoosiers as those federal benefits run out.

Indiana announced in May it would opt-out of federal unemployment benefits through the CARES Act – an additional weekly $300, as well as benefits for self-employed or gig workers. Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and a few unemployed Hoosiers sued the state to maintain those benefits, and won an emergency order by a Marion County judge to continue them. 

In overturning that order, Court of Appeals Judge James Kirsch wrote the groups who sued the state did not have “a reasonable likelihood of success at trial” – one of the criteria for granting the injunction in the first place.

READ MORE: Experts Say Other Factors Are Causing Hiring Woes – Not Unemployment Benefits

Gov. Eric Holcomb praised the decision and said in a statement the ruling “confirms that we had the legal authority” to end the federal benefits. 

The reversal is unlikely to affect jobless Hoosiers. The federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on Sept. 4, and the Department of Workforce Development is required to provide a 30-day notice to end those benefits. 

In a notice to claimants, DWD said it would continue to investigate and resolve vouchers filed for these programs.

In recent weeks, both President Joe Biden and Congress have expressed reticence or opposition to extending benefits past Sept. 4, even with a new surge of cases from the delta variant.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.