If you're among the millions of Americans who've suffered job losses or reduced income because of the COVID-19 crisis, help may be closer than you think. On March 27, the federal government passed the CARES Act, an exceptional set of measures that will inject nearly $2 trillion into the economy. One of the most significant provisions from the act involves the expansion of the Unemployment Insurance benefits package. According to the National Employment Law Project, those eligible to claim unemployment under the act can get in Indiana:

  • A supplementary $600 each week on top of what the state allows until the end of July 2021.
  • A waiving of the usual 7-day waiting period after filing claims.
  • Up to an additional 13 weeks of paid benefits on top of what the state allows until the end of July.

To further support those adversely affected by the economic downtown, the eligibility criteria for claiming unemployment continues to be expanded. Under normal circumstances, claimants are required to verify they are able to work, ready and available to work, and actively seeking work. Because of the current situation, this is no longer the situation, at least for those claiming as a result of COVID-19.

If any of the below applies to your situation, you may be able to claim unemployment underneath the new rules:

  • You are either sick with COVID-19 or perhaps in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19.
  • You are caring for someone with, or that has been exposed to, COVID-19.
  • Your employer has closed, whether permanently or temporarily, because of COVID-19.
  • Your hours have been cut because of COVID-19.
  • You are unable to work because of school closures.
  • You cannot travel to work because of COVID-19 and don't have the option to work from home.
  • You feel it's unsafe to continue to work due to COVID-19.
  • Your work as a gig worker, a freelancer, or a contractor has been affected by COVID-19.

How Do I Apply for Unemployment in Indiana?

As Motley Fool reports, Indiana continues to be slow to introduce the new measures of the CARES Act; however, it's working to ensure rollout as soon as further direction from the Department of Labor is received. In the meantime, it's recommended that workers file their claims as soon as possible after being made unemployed to prevent any delays in payment.

To make an application for unemployment in Indiana, you will need to supply the following information:

  • A valid email address
  • Driver's license or valid ID
  • Mailing address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Your last employer's name, address, phone number, your first and last morning with the employer and your reason behind leaving.
  • Bank routing number and account number if you chose to have your benefits paid by direct deposit.

As eligibility is partly determined by meeting minimum income requirements, you will also need to verify your previous earnings. To be able to qualify for unemployment, you'll need to have earned at least $4,200 in total over your base period, and at least $2,500 of that sum should have been earned in the final 6 months of your base period. Your overall earnings in the base period ought to be at least 1.5 times your overall income during your highest-earning quarter.

  • Your base period will depend on when you file your claim.
  • If you file your claim between April and June 2021, your base period will be January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
  • If you file your claim between July and September 2021, your base period is going to be April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021.
  • If you file your claim between October and December 2021, your base period will be July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

Once you've gathered all the information, the next step will be to create an online account at the DWD's online portal. Once the account has been created, follow the system prompts to log your claim. After you have filed your initial claim, you'll need to submit a weekly voucher to ensure your claim. You'll need to file your first voucher the week following your initial application, even when a decision on your claim continues to be pending.

How Much Money Will I Receive in Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits in Indiana are limited to $390 per week, but you may earn less than this, depending on your previous salary. To calculate your likely benefits, add up your total earnings during your base period, divide by 52, multiply by $47, and round right down to the nearest dollar. If you'd rather another person do the math for you, check out the handy calculator over on File Unemployment: simply enter your earnings and the tool will crunch the numbers to give you your estimated entitlement. Just remember this is intended as an indication only: what you actually get may be different.

Next Steps

Within 10 working days of filing your application, you'll get a monetary determination form having a breakdown of what your potential weekly benefit will be if your application is successful. This DWD will continue to investigate your claim and can notify you within 21 days via a Determination of Eligibility of the decision.

If your claim is denied, you've 10 days of the mailing date from the Determination of Eligibility to log an appeal. Information on the appeals process will be included in the Determination. In brief, you'll be expected to provide a written statement outlining the main reason you believe the decision is incorrect. The statement also needs to include your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. If your claim is successful, you will be eligible to claim for any maximum of 39 weeks. To get payment, I'ts vital you verify your claim weekly on the online portal to avoid any interruption in payment. Payment will be made either via Direct Deposit or perhaps a Key2Benefits prepaid Mastercard, depending on your choice.

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