Indiana has resumed expanded unemployment benefits.
Governor Holcomb announced last month the state would opt out of the federally funded 300-dollar add-on to jobless benefits. Indiana is one of 26 states to say no to the extra money, but a judge ruled three weeks ago that under state law, Holcomb doesn’t have that option.
Workforce development commissioner Fred Payne says the state didn’t drag its feet on restarting. He says because the payments had been stopped, the state had to confer with the Labor Department to regain access to the federal funding.
If you were on unemployment the last three weeks, you’ll get the extra money retroactively.
Payne’s also trying to tamp down concerns about people who received more in benefits than they should have being asked to repay that money, sometimes in the thousands. Ohio and Kentucky have announced they’ve created a process to waive those repayments if the overpayment wasn’t your fault.
Senate Democrats have demanded Indiana follow suit. Payne says Indiana instituted the waiver process in November.
While Kentucky and Ohio have sent letters to residents urging them to seek the waiver, Payne says Indiana explains the process in the same letter which advises recipients of the overpayment. In all three states, the applications will still be reviewed to confirm the overpayment wasn’t your fault. Payne says the state still has to be on guard against persistent attempts at unemployment fraud.
Payne says the department has identified eight-million dollars in fraudulent claims. One identity thief applied for benefits using Payne’s personal information.