NewsCoronavirus COVID-19 Economic Impact


Central Indiana Hoosiers demand answers over PUA issues

"It really hurts not having it"
Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 20:31:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in Indiana, for some, payments restarted, while for others, they are still waiting to collect their benefits. For those Hoosiers, it is been at least a month since any money has hit their bank accounts.

Shawnea Coder is one of those people. She said she is thankful she collects Social Security because it is the only thing helping her get by as she continues to wait for PUA benefits.

"It really hurts not having it,” Coder said.

Although retired, the Wanamaker grandmother drove for Uber to help pay for expenses like her husband's medications. Once the pandemic hit, she had to hang up the keys and limit any exposure to keep the love of her life safe.

“I did have to take a Payday Loan to get two of his medications because they were expensive and I'm like he's gotta have them to breath,” Coder said.

During a Zoom interview, Coder detailed issues she had with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The last time she was paid her PUA benefits was early December.

“That money is pretty important and getting it as quickly as possible,” Victoria Stackhouse said.

WRTV spoke with the Anderson mother earlier as as she navigated through PUA issues after the program lapsed in late December.

"I am very scared it is not going to work out and that I should not probably count on that money and plan for tax time when I know there's a more guaranteed amount coming,” Stackhouse said.

On Wednesday, Stackhouse said she has already refinanced her house once and will have to do it again if benefits do not arrive soon.

Earlier this month WRTV was told by the state those under PUA would start receiving benefits by the end of this month. Both women expected vouchers to come on the 22nd of this month after they said that is what the DWD advised.

Now while some have seen PUA benefits, others like Coder and Stackhouse are still waiting. The DWD said vouchers were made available on Jan. 22, but several under PUA will not actually see them until Jan. 29.

Moving forward, these two women agree, what they would like to see is communication and transparency from the state.