TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – People across the country are worried about their health in the time of COVID-19, the coronavirus. A potentially greater fear is how the response to the virus is impacting the economy and American families.
Newly unemployed workers are flooding government websites to file claims. In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb says more than 20,000 people filed for benefits this week. Numbers out of Illinois show more than 60,000 are looking for help.
News 10’s Heather Good spoke with Indiana Department of Workforce Development Chief of Staff Josh Richardson. They discussed high traffic on the unemployment website, ways to file and how soon claimants can expect checks.
INDIANA UNEMPLOYMENT WEBSITE ISSUES
News 10 viewers have reported issues with the Indiana unemployment website loading slowly or crashing. Richardson says the department is seeing a steady flow of claims coming in and there are some brief slowdowns. These issues could be due to slow internet or heavy use in your area.
"We never know exactly at what point in the pipeline the problems arise but we are working to try to make sure that access remains. And again, we've tested our system for very heavy loads. We're certainly seeing those now but they're not at the level that we would consider maximum capacity in terms of the number of users."
Richardson says if you are having issues to step away for a few minutes and then try again.
INDIANA UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENT AND TIMELINE
News 10 viewers have asked about unemployment benefit payments, when to expect them and if they can get an extension.
Richardson says individuals can expect a check 21 days after filing a claim. That’s been the process and has not changed but Richardson says this is a topic the department is watching.
Your payment total will depend on how much money you earned at your last job.
Richardson says 26 weeks is the maximum amount of time to get benefits right now.
INDIANA UNEMPLOYMENT FILING PROCESS
Individuals must file for unemployment benefits online. You can do this with a computer or smartphone. Some Work One offices will be open if you need access to a computer but Richardson says you should call ahead.
"I do suggest that anyone who plans to take that route goes ahead and calls the Work One ahead of their visit. Some are taking by appointment only. Again, and that's mostly because we want to limit the number of people that are congregated at the same place at the same time."
Richardson also notes individuals should file for unemployment in the state they worked, even if you live across stateliness.
"If I live in Illinois but I drive across the border and work in Indiana, their unemployment claim can be filed in Indiana. There's actually a screen where we'll ask them whether they worked in any other state. That's a really important question because by answering yes to that question, when they have wages we'll actually reach out to the other state to pull those wages in."
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: https://www.in.gov/dwd/2359.htm
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/default.aspx