For some Hoosiers, the wait goes on for unemployment benefits

Posted at 9:03 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 21:03:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Week after week some Hoosiers continue to see no money deposited when they check the status of their unemployment claims.

"It has been really, really hard," Rebecca Robinson, said.

Robinson is an artist and said she makes a living through art shows and contract work. She applied for unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program about a month ago. So far she hasn't received any benefits or any answers.

"You are on hold for 2 to 3 hours, they transfer you next thing you know the most frustrating thing is when the call disconnects and you have to start all over," Robinson said. "It's just frustrating and we just need some help."

She's not alone.

Robert Downham worked as a driver for Enterprise. He too has been waiting more than a month for his benefits.

"We have just been living off of the savings and pinching pennies," Downham said.

Downham said he's not sure how much longer he can do that.

"Just every day expenses, just being able to have gasoline in my car for when we do get called back to work," Downham said.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said more than 80 percent of claims are processed in the normal 21-day waiting period. He said the others are either not eligible or there is an issue that needs to be investigated. Call wait times are also decreasing as staff members now have access and are able to look up specific cases.

"I'm sure they are just backed up as well but it just makes it tough on individuals that have applied not knowing what's going on," Robinson said.