Hoosiers Can Get 13 Extra Weeks Of Unemployment Benefits, But There's A Wait

Apr 15, 2020

 

A local WorkOne employment office displays a sign on the front door saying it's closed due to COVID-19.
Credit Justin Hicks / IPB News

The federal government recently issued a memo to states, including Indiana, on how to extend unemployment benefits beyond the state’s current time limit. However, it will still be several weeks before those changes are implemented.

Under Indiana state law, unemployment benefits end after a maximum of 26 weeks. With the new federal rules from the CARES Act, the Department of Workforce Development will manage the payment of federal benefits for an additional 13 weeks. This will help anyone who exhausted state unemployment benefits since last July.

The extra weeks of benefits couldn’t start until April, at the earliest, since that's when the state signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to accept the changes. But it might be a little while before Hoosiers can benefit from them.

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DWD Chief of Staff Josh Richardson says the agency needs to focus on getting payments to self-employed workers before it has time to extend the length of unemployment benefits.

“It likely is to come after though it’s not really dependent upon that,” he says. “It’s just a matter of that’s the order that the guidance has come out and that’s the order we’ll implement.” 

The agency has not yet announced when the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed workers will be available. 

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

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.