The state of Indiana has reversed a decision that would have suspended federal unemployment benefits for more than 30,000 Hoosiers.
Despite confusion over the impacts of sequestration, the Indiana Department of Workforce development consulted with the U.S. Department of Labor late Wednesday to reinstate the extended benefits.
Earlier in the week, Jim Snider, and thousands of other Hoosiers receiving extended unemployment benefits, received a notice that said their benefits would be suspended beginning on Saturday, March 2.
“That’s rather scary when that’s the primary means of support right now for my family and I while I look for another job,” Snider said.
Snider has kids and a wife in need of surgery in the coming weeks, but for the past year he hasn’t been able to find a job.
“I put in several resumes on a weekly basis,” Snider said. “I’m out there every day pounding the streets, making connections.”
A spokesman with the Department of Workforce Development told Fox59 that the state originally made the decision to suspend benefits because they didn’t want to make that burden greater for the unemployed if the sequestration cuts went into effect.
“The reason why that’s such a big issue for unemployed folks is if we pay them too much we have to, by federal law, get that money back from them,” said Spokesman Joe Frank.
Shortly after Frank’s interview with Fox59, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development released a statement saying they had reversed their decision.
“Late this afternoon the U.S. Department of Labor confirmed that unemployment benefits will not be impacted by sequestration through the week ending March 9, and additional guidance will be forthcoming,” Commissioner Scott Sanders said in the statement. “As such, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development will proceed with full payment of extended unemployment compensation until further notice.”
“It’s a short-term relief but there’s still some long-term concerns there,” Snider said.
Snider says he’ll work hard to make sure he finds a job before the next deadline looms. He simply hopes they do the same in Washington.
“I would like to have more confidence in our government officials, but it seems to me, at every turn our congressmen and the folks that we elected in Washington can’t put party politics aside and it’s us the taxpayers and the voters left to suffer,” Snider said.
The Department of Workforce Development will learn more about the potential long term impacts of the sequestration during a conference call on Friday with the Department of Labor.