Indiana DWD seeing all time highs in unemployment claims

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

Ind. (WEHT) — The Indiana Department Of Workforce Development (DWD) is seeing all time highs in claims due to the coronavirus.

“27-28,000 was the previous record. We have seen six, maybe seven consecutive weeks with claims volumes above that, reaching 140,000 in one particular week,” Josh Richardson, DWD Chief Of Staff, said.

In addition to the number of people being out of work, rules for who gets unemployment and how much they get have changed.

“In normal times, you’ve got to be able for work, available for work, and actively seeking work to obtain benefits. For the most part, those have been significantly relaxed,” Richardson said. “Basically, if you were working and you’re now not working because of a COVID related reason, it is very likely that you will qualify for unemployment benefits through one of the programs or the other.”

Richardson says when it comes to unemployment benefits it does not matter if a person was furloughed, which is usually temporary, or if they were laid off, which tends to be permanent.

One question that has come up is people who may refuse to go back to work because with the added benefits, they are actually making more money on unemployment than working.

“I’m not expecting it to be a huge problem, but I have no doubt that people will try to test that and see whether they can and we’ll be ready for it. We’ll be ready to process those claims from employers when they let us know that an individual has failed to return,” Richardson said.

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