Federal unemployment benefits ended in Indiana June 19. Here's what you need to know.
Thanks to enhanced unemployment benefits, servers and bartenders may have more guaranteed income at home than at a workplace capped at 50% capacity. Indianapolis Star
During the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers relied on state and federal unemployment benefits as they waited for businesses to reopen. The unprecedented financial crisis prompted national lawmakers to pass hundreds of billions in aid.
But the temporary safety net has been riddled with problems in Indiana and across the country, including massive delays in paying out the benefits and cyber attacks from hackers siphoning off billions.
As businesses reopen and mostly-Republican states see these extended benefits as a barrier to people returning to work, about two dozen states are cutting these benefits before they are set to expire.
Here’s what you should know about unemployment.
Gov. Eric Holcomb is ending the benefit June 19
Citing the need for more workers, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced in May that Indiana will stop participating in the federal program on June 19. The benefits that will end are listed below:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides recipients extended benefits after their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to individuals who do not normally qualify for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed, gig workers and independent contractors.
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 additional weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits but also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income.
Two groups are suing to make the governor continue the paying the benefit
Indiana Legal Services, representing Hoosiers on the federal unemployment program, and Macey Swanson Hicks & Sauer law, representing The Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, are suing state officials for ending Indiana’s participation in federal program.
The two groups cite an Indiana law that requires the state to procure federal benefits to its residents and are asking a judge to temporarily compel the state to continue paying these benefits.
More: Indiana Gov. Holcomb cut off federal unemployment benefits. Why are some people suing?
Scammers are targeting unemployment recipients
In the last month, scammers have siphoned off at least $120,000 in unemployment benefits with phishing texts in Indiana.
Hoosiers are falling victims to scams and cyber criminals who are stealing their information to get unemployment benefit.
The Department of Workforce Development warned Hoosiers that it would never ask for identity verification via text messaging.
If you lost benefits to scammers, you can get another payment.
Others are reading: FBI says scammers have stolen more than $120K in unemployment benefits via bogus texts
Penalties are increasing for fraud and misinformation
Starting in July, there will be a new penalty for people who don’t report their wages accurately or intentionally misinform the Department of Workforce Development. Even if there was no payment was issued, those applicants would not be eligible for employment even after one year of working.
Contact IndyStar reporter Binghui Huang at 317-385-1595 or Bhuang@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @Binghuihuang
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Published at Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:14:34 +0000