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Unemployment assistance available to more workers

Unemployment assistance available to more workers
Unemployment assistance available to more workers
State Rep. Steve Davisson

The COVID-19 outbreak has Hoosiers experiencing unprecedented difficulties, including our hard workers. Many in the workforce have been staying home and have lost their incomes. Unemployment insurance is a critical resource to help those impacted by this public health crisis. A process for Hoosiers who are self-employed, independent contractors and “gig” workers is in place for them to apply and receive crucial unemployment benefits.

Under the federal CARES Act, Hoosiers who do not typically qualify for unemployment benefits may be eligible through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, which is a temporary federal unemployment insurance program. It applies to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, including “gig” economy workers, people seeking part-time employment and people who lack sufficient work history but would be able to work if not for the public health crisis. To be eligible for this program, Hoosiers must first file for traditional unemployment insurance and be denied. If a claimant has already done this step, they will have a “To Do” on their application, found on the claimant’s homepage. Once this step is completed and the PUA application is approved, workers can expect to see payments within approximately 21 days.

The Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development will calculate benefits retroactively to March 29 for every week of unemployment an applicant experienced and include an additional $600 weekly benefit from the federal stimulus.

These benefits play a crucial role in helping us collectively flatten the curve, beat this pandemic and return to work stronger than ever. Unemployed Hoosiers who have not started the unemployment insurance application process can visit to apply or learn more about these benefits.

State Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, represents House District 73, which includes Washington County and portions of Harrison, Clark, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties.