State waiting on federal guidance to process new unemployment enhancements

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says it can’t begin processing the changes in unemployment benefits included in the new $900 billion pandemic rescue package until it receives more guidance from the federal government.

President Donald Trump signed the relief bill, which adds an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits for individuals for another 11 weeks, on Sunday.

The CARES Act had previously added $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits, but that aid expired in July. Trump created another program in the fall to offer an additional $300 in benefits, but that enhancement also expired months ago.

The stimulus package also extends eligibility of benefits for self-employed or gig economy workers—individuals who are not typically eligible for unemployment payments—for 11 weeks. The CARES Act initially provided unemployment benefits for these individuals.

And the maximum amount of time an individual can receive unemployment benefits has been extended for 11 weeks, so someone who might have seen benefits expire this month can continue to receive payments if he or she is still out of work.

State benefits expire after 26 weeks. The CARES Act provided an additional 13 weeks of benefits to unemployed individuals, for a total of 39 weeks. The latest 11-week enhancement brings the total period of eligibility up to 50 weeks.

But it’s unclear when jobless Hoosiers will start receiving the additional benefits.

The state DWD has issued a one-page memo on the new provisions, but officials say many details are still unknown until written guidance is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“There is no firm timeline as to when states will receive this guidance from the federal government,” the DWD said. “The state cannot pay benefits until it receives rules for these modified programs. Once that occurs, DWD will work to implement the changes as quickly as possible to provide these much-needed benefits to eligible Hoosier claimants.”

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One thought on “State waiting on federal guidance to process new unemployment enhancements

  1. A well-functioning state government, one that serves its citizens, would issue payments under the current guidelines and recoup incorrect payments later, if necessary. But we’re in Indiana.

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