As Indiana ends federal unemployment programs, some Hoosiers still waiting for months of payments

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INDIANAPOLIS — The state of Indiana will no longer provide expanded federal pandemic unemployment benefits, but some people who applied for those benefits could still be owed months of back pay.

FOX59 has heard from multiple Hoosiers whose weekly unemployment vouchers are on hold, awaiting investigation and approval from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Margaret Broderick’s payments stopped last November. A gig worker, Broderick qualified for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, program. Since then, her online portal shows a request to upload proof of employment, which she said she has repeatedly sent to DWD.

“I faxed it, I emailed it and I mailed it,” Broderick said. “I’m not even sure if it’s been assigned to a real life person to deal with.”

Peggy Newnam received unemployment last year, until she was called back to work in November. This March, her employer shut down permanently and she applied again, but her case remains under investigation.

“I just reach out to them at least twice a week trying to get some kind of an answer and I’ve asked for somebody higher up to give me a call back and I just don’t get anywhere,” Newnam said.

DWD has repeatedly denied FOX59’s requests for interviews since last year. In an email, a spokesperson said “every eligible Hoosier will be paid” and noted “roughly 88% of unprocessed claims have indicators of fraud.”

If approved, both Newnam and Broderick would be eligible to receive back pay for past weeks, but both women said they had no idea how long it would take to get a decision from the state.

“I would love to get it straightened out and get my money, so that I can move forward,” Newnam said.

“It’s impossible to plan anything, you know, putting gas in the car, getting groceries, paying that electric bill or that gas bill,” Broderick said.

A Marion County judge will hold a hearing next week on a lawsuit filed as a challenge to Indiana’s decision to end federal benefits.

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