Hoosiers still waiting for federal unemployment benefits after judge’s ruling

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – After a judge’s preliminary injunction Friday that Indiana must continue its participation in the federal pandemic unemployment benefits, many Hoosiers are still waiting to receive their payments this week.

“I hate this because this is a nightmare,” said Ricky Peavler, who lives in Indianapolis.

Peavler said he had never been on unemployment before he had to leave his job in a warehouse in April 2020. As a single father, he has had trouble finding a job that allows him to continue caring for his toddler.

“It’s either not paying well or they want you to work hours that I just can’t work having a kid all the time,” Peavler said.

He hasn’t been able to find childcare, so he was planning to return to work in September when his son can start preschool, he explained.

But despite the judge’s ruling that he can continue to receive federal pandemic unemployment benefits, he hasn’t been able to file his weekly voucher online, and the state’s website says his pandemic benefit claim has expired.

“Now, I’m already a day late on my money getting here,” Peavler said. “How much longer am I going to have to wait?”

We reached out to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, but a spokesperson said no additional updates were available since DWD issued a statement Monday that said it’s “determining how to proceed” when it comes to issuing payments.

The state had to give 30 days’ notice to withdraw from the federal program and now has to get back in.

During a public appearance near Evansville Tuesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb told reporters the state followed the correct procedures to leave the program and still plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

“We’ve got a pathway to connect you with the skills that you need for high-wage, high-demand jobs right here in the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said. “So that’s what we’ve got to be focused on.”

“I just want what we were promised,” Peavler said. “So that we can continue to live.”

Claimants do not need to take any further action right now to get their benefits back, according to the Department of Workforce Development.

The state was granted a motion Monday to have a new judge hear the case.

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