Just a few weeks ago, Indiana’s new jobless claims numbered just a few thousand a week. Then the coronavirus shuttered the economy and Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered non-essential businesses to close. The result: The last week in March saw 146,243 new unemployment claims.
The surge has flooded the state’s computer system and its call center, and the Department of Workforce Department is quickly hiring and training new staff to handle the workload and get unemployed Hoosiers answers and benefits as quickly as possible.
But the situation is complicated by the CARES Act, a law passed by Congress that expands who is eligible for payments and dramatically increases the amount workers can receive, moves that require the Department of Workforce Development to reprogram its software and retrain staff.
The DWD’s chief of staff, Josh Richardson, talks with host Mason King about who is now eligible, how soon they’ll begin receiving benefits and how the agency is adjusting to the flood of applicants.
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